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 'Home Office'

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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Next on CITV… the Four-Minute Warning?

Pop quiz: What connects beloved children’s shows Woof!, Bernard’s Watch and Tarka the Otter with nuclear war?

Woof!

Well, it turns out that these classic pieces of kids’ entertainment share a director with The Hole in the Ground, a 1962 film created for the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation (UKWMO).

Commissioned to showcase UKWMO’s quick response to a nuclear strike on Britain – indeed, they were the organisation tasked with issuing the Four-Minute Warning. The film was directed by David Cobham, who went on to create many happier memories through his work on cherished children’s films and TV shows through the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

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Scrapped fallout shelter scene from Protect and Survive

Even public information films have deleted scenes. Following on from my last post about the Domestic Nuclear Shelters pamphlet, it’s interesting to note that there was a scene planned for the Protect and Survive films about making an outdoor fallout shelter. However, the scene was scrapped at the storyboard stage.

Deleted scene

The unfilmed segment would have shown the construction of a makeshift nuclear bunker for your family. It was set to appear after the door-frame ‘inner core’ instructions in the Refuges episode.

“Dig deep enough for you to stand up comfortably, and make a trench about a yard wide and long enough for all your family”

Here’s the Refuges film as it finally appeared: