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Whale’s Gusher 10 ....Surviving The Cold War

Fifteen feet below a field on the outskirts of Portadown lies a relic of the Cold War. The former monitoring bunker was once part of a wider network of similar structures all over the United Kingdom built to study and report the effects of nuclear explosions and the resulting Radioactive Fallout.

During the war, the MOD specified Whale Gusher 10 pumps to remove waste water from the bunkers. In the instance of a nuclear exchange, men and women from the Royal Observer Corps would be expected to spend 3 weeks below ground, unable to open the hatch until the radiation cleared.

Alistair McCann, the bunker’s restorer said, “The bunker was closed in 1991 but it has now been fully restored to as it would have been in the 1980’s at the height of the Cold War. Pumping vertically from a sump situated 12 feet below ground, the Gusher 10 pump you see in the Portadown Post today was fitted in 1981 and still works perfectly. Serviced about 5 years ago, it only needed a clean inside and the outer rubber seal replaced, but the original internal seals are still being used.”

Alistair offers you the chance to step back in time and witness how Northern Ireland would have coped if the Cold War had ever turned hot. The Portadown Post is open four or five days throughout the summer months or for private tours for interested groups. For booking email: Admission to the bunker is free but if visiting, consider making a donation of any size that will go to the Royal Observer Corps Association.


To find out more about Northern Ireland’s Secret bunker, visit their website at 

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

To find out more about Whale’s long life Gusher 10 pumps, visit the product page here.