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Nuclear Winter of the 1980's...

I've mentioned this before but I really don't think that many people who weren't very old - or even born - in the early-mid 1980's in the Uk actually realise how much the nuclear threat affected people.

It was a major issue and the clock always felt very close to the proverbial 'midnight'.

I remember having nuclear drills at school, being taught what to do incase of a nuclear attack (like hiding beneath a table propped up against a wall would have really helped!) and seeing the 'public service' adverts on television all the time.

People took the threat of nuclear war between NATO and the Soviet Block very seriously as The Cold War was at it's height and everyone seemed to be on tenderhooks. I knew people whose families had nuclear shelters in their gardens FFS! I also remember me, and the rest of the class/school, being scared shitless when the local nuclear siren went off when we were in class completely unexpectedly. But three minutes later we were all still alive - albeit very shakey - and we never found out why the damn system had gone off!

Anyway, with this in mind I'd like to link to an article that mindcube found this evening.

Remember the Forgotten Hero Who Saved The World (ITPRO Blog; Tuesday 26th September 2006)

Thank heavens for a level head!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
scimon
Sep. 27th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
I wish I'd heard about this yesterday. I think I may have heard of it before but it would have been good to get some vodka and raise a toast.
cholten99
Sep. 27th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
It never quite goes away
Thanks for posting this Angus. I remember having nightmares for ages after watching The Martian Chronicles on TV (nuclear war is shown killing everyone on Earth). I agree that younger people don't know what it's like (which is a good thing). The sound of an air-raid warning siren is still to this day the single most frightening thing I know.
obake
Sep. 27th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
Wow, here I thought I was the only one who remembered nuclear bomb drills. The siren would go off and we would all walk silently and very quickly to the auditorium where we would hunker under desks away from the wall with windows. Only years later did I find out this was so that they could find all the bodies in one convenient place later. I don't know if I remember the siren codes anymore, but we had a different ones for air raid, nuclear threat, tsunami, hurricane, general alert, etc. It's always a culture shock to talk about the cold war with someone who was born in the 80s or someone who never lived in a first-strike zone (most people don't even know what I'm talking about when I say that!).
angusabranson
Sep. 27th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)
Didn't know the reason was for the bodies. Nice touch that...

We had air raid and nuclear sirens. Luckily living in the UK tsunami's and hurricanes weren't that much of an issue back in the 80's. Although by the sounds of things hurricanes might become more of an issue over the next century for us with the lovely changes to our climate.

Living in London we were definetly in the 'first strike zone' category. To be honest all the drills were pretty pointless when you lived this close to the centre of the potential action. If something really went off we'd just be inflicted with three minutes of pure terror waiting for the bombs to hit before that was it over and done with.
pwca
Sep. 27th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
Agreed.
I never had any of the drills and I certainly do not remember receiving any education as to waht to do in the event of a nuclear attack. Nor do I recall actually having nightmares, but it was frightening. It could have happened and the threat was ominous at the very least.

As to the sound of the siren, I grew up within two miles of the British Army Royal Signal Corp base that had a huge communications tower stuck on a hill. If that was not a target... But the sound of the siren? Enough to send chills through you.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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