A mole ‘down the hole’ ?
Posted by Big John on March 30, 2007
When I was reluctantly ‘doing my bit’ as a National Service conscript in the RAF back in the late 1950s, I was stationed on the south coast of England, because some idiot at the Air Ministry obviously thought that I would be a major asset to the security of this country if they turned me into an ‘Air Defence Operator’ and sent me to ‘operate’ within the confines of a ‘secret’ radar station.
This radar station was so secret that everyone including the Russians, knew exactly where it was, for although the guardhouse and entrance to the underground bunker was cleverly disguised as a seaside bungalow, the surrounding area was covered in large rotating radar antennas and other assorted military equipment which rather gave the game away.
Now I don’t want you to tell anybody, but I did sign ‘The Official Secrets Act’, because only those who had done so were allowed to go ‘down the hole’ and along the long neon-lit passageway which led to the corridors and control rooms of this ‘Cold War’ nerve centre: which meant that all jobs within the bunker had to be done by the likes of me. For example, we, the radar operators, and not the N.A.A.F.I. had to run our own canteen. We also had to man the PBX (telephone switchboard) and other communications equipment as the operators who would normally run this equipment were not required to sign this ‘awesome’ document.
Before we entered the bunker every officer and airman had to hand in his identity card to a ‘snowdrop’ (RAF policeman), who then issued each man with a numbered pass which was to be returned on leaving the complex. This meant that the guard knew exactly who was on duty below ground at any time as every man was accounted for …
Hang on a minute ! … ‘every man’ ! … ‘all jobs’ ! … So who was that little old geezer with the grey hair and the limp who used to push his mop up and down that long passageway and drag his bucket along those secret corridors ? … Didn’t he live in the village ? … Wasn’t he a regular at the local pub ? … and …
… didn’t he only drink vodka ?