UKWMO and Emergency Services Communications

Navigating through the Site's Contents

Please use the tabs at the top of every page. Clicking the top level introduces a different group of topics in the lower level, clicking these loads a new page. The five tabs currently visible on the lower level give only a brief summary of each topic but it is worth looking at these before progressing onto the detailed topics. To help maintain continuity the footer on some pages have links to related topics.

Web Site History and Future

This site was created in 2001 and contained just a few pages about the public warning system. Since then its grown to 33 Pages thanks to a lot of helpful feedback and encouragement from so many people able to plug the holes in my knowledge. I am always pleased to receive all kinds of information and to hear of your experiences related to the topics on this site as there are still pieces of the jigsaw missing.

Are you holding a piece of the jigsaw ?

Many of us signed the Official Secrets Act, this protected information for 30 years, so anything pre-1987 is now open. The National Archives in Kew have files previously classified Secret open to public inspection which form the basis for a number of pages on this website. The Freedom of Information Act, has opened younger files too.

There are still a few of foggy areas where your knowledge may help provide a better understanding. Please click the link below to see the burning issues.

Issues Still to be Resolved

Steve Scanlon - The Web Site Owner

I became interested in the UK Civil Defence for the Cold War, as a result of working as a engineer for 'Post Office Telephones' later privatised and renamed 'British Telecom'. Between 1978 and 1981 I maintained the early warning equipment and visited ROC posts in part of North Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire. At the time I never disclosed this information even to my closest friends. Now twenty years have passed since the Cold War ended the Internet provides a good medium to disseminate the details of these defunct systems.

Contact Details for Steve Scanlon


Site Last Updated : 20-Apr-2017

20/04/2017 Exploring the BT Archives online.

HANDEL / WB400&600 Added internal images of exchange distribution cabinets. WB600 Gallery added. HANDEL / before HANDEL Added early siren control systems, post WWII but pre-HANDEL, outline description of D, DX, E, F, G and K. Related Topics / Other WB systems Added photos of WB800, Music distribution. Related / GPO =>BT Major revision, adding extracts from Engineer in Chief Reports mapping the development of communications resilience in the early cold war period. Gallery of 21 images of Anchor Exchange construction. The BT Long Haul Microwave communications network - topic revised further and adding 3 images.

10/03/2017 Revised Communications / Networks Era 1 "Radio Backup to Landline" adding Coventry aerials photo. Added new topic "Posts to Group HQ Radio".

27/02/2017 Revised and moved some WB400 text from HANDEL / Warning System to HANDEL / WB400 adding a HANDEL section with diagram of remote clock control.

23/01/2017 Added tunnel plan and equipment layout of Birmingham Anchor Exchange to gallery Related Topics / GPO->BT

07/12/2016 Added WB200, a 1951 field trial of a warning system, leading to the development of WB400 in HANDEL / HANDEL Warning System

05/12/2016 Added SHR Radio Room & Eddystone, photographs from Jim Went.

05/12/2016 Historical data added HANDEL / HANDEL Warning System and Related Topics / Other WBs from BT Archives of GPO E-i-C Reports, extracted by Dan Glover.

06/11/2016 Added: Two photographs of CONRAD vehicles. MOULD vehicle in civilian colours. Upper Menu Tab: Post Strike

13/09/2016 Major revision to the History of GPO Microwave Network, debunking many Backbone myths. Page: Related Topics / GPO->BT

12/09/2016 Added two Gents siren photos, modified text, tnx Jason Miles. Page: HANDEL / Power Siren. Bug Cleared: unable to select Contact Me tab when using MS Edge browser.

25/04/2016 Added a little more detail for RN2, London South, Brown Clee Hilltop. Page: Communications / Networks ERA2

29/07/2015 New photographs of later switch panel added to siren page. Internal photographs from Alistair McCann of the old Grey TeleTalk AD3460 added.

18/07/2015 Thanks to tremendous feedback from four contributors, the new power siren page now contains 50 detailed photographs.

30/06/2015 Added a dedicated siren page, replacing fragmented coverage on WB600 & WB1400: HANDEL / Power Siren.

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