Communicating the Unthinkable

About

This is a blog where I share documents + artefacts from the Cold War. It focuses on British civil defence and 'domestic propaganda' from 1950-1990, with other bits thrown in from time to time.

It's written and edited by me, Taras Young. I collect this stuff. I try to post something new as often as I can, at least once a month.

To stay up-to-date, follow the blog on Twitter:

@coldwaruk

More info

Categories

1950s · 1960s · 1970s · 1980s · 1990s · Administration · Advertisement · Analysis · Booklet · Central Government · Central Office of Information · Civil Defence · Civil Defence Corps · Cultural responses · Document · Emergency planning · Exhibitions · Home Office · Infrastructure · International · Leaflet · Local Government · Media · Medical · Military · Ministry of Defence · Postcards · Protest · Public Information · Royal Observer Corps · Training and Tools

Recent posts

Displaying posts tagged 'Cultural responses'

Threads – 35 years on

Today marks 35 years since the broadcast of Threads, the BBC’s docu-drama portraying a nuclear attack on Sheffield. Still shocking today, the film is widely held to be among the more realistic depictions of the effects of nuclear war on British life.

Although it has only been shown three times on BBC TV (in 1984, 1985 and 2003), Threads has had an ongoing impact on the British psyche. Last year saw the release of a remastered Blu Ray of the film, so there is no excuse not to have seen this powerful work of nuclear horror.

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Britain’s Cold War Revealed at the National Archives

People looking at the exhibition

This week, I had the opportunity to visit the Britain’s Cold War Revealed exhibition at the National Archives at Kew. I was impressed at how it manages to explore a wide range of themes in such a small exhibition space.

The exterior is styled like the entrance to a bunker, and you’re encouraged to sign in by taking an official-looking name badge. You can even choose your role in the bunker – including Camp Commandant (obviously the best choice, as you get to be in charge) and Scientific Officer. There are a few more activities along this theme once you get inside the exhibition proper, which I imagine are intended for kids. Fortunately, nobody stopped me from participating, and I walked away with my very own officially-stamped travel pass.

As I mentioned, the exhibition space is quite small (and the topic is rather big). I chatted with the curator, Mark Dunton, who suggested the space may be expanded for future exhibitions. However, they’ve managed to make good use of the space they have, and there’s plenty to see, including original documents from the archives, cultural artefacts and some interactive exhibits.

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