Restoring one of the most important Second World War sites in the world
August 5th, 2020
Western Approaches HQ has extreme significance in the Second World War as being the place where the entire Battle of the Atlantic campaign was devised, making it one of the most significant historical sites of World War Two. The Battle of the Atlantic lasted from the first to the last day of the war and was crucial to be able to have constant supply for the war effort and to keep Britain from starvation.
Some of the items on display at Western Approaches HQ
The bunker is 35,000 square feet with over 100 rooms and 300 people worked there 12 hours a day to ensure the battle was won. Western Approaches HQ was only re-discovered in the 1990s after it had been sealed off for decades. Now a non-profit organisation, the bunker is open to the public to learn about the place and people who worked there to ultimately win the war.
The Head Quarters needed some sympathetic refurbishment, so Brewers Decorator Centre in Birkenhead were able to expertly match the colours and donate the paint needed to restore The Map Room. The map itself is of high significance as teams of Women’s Royal Navy and Women’s Auxiliary air Force tracked the positions of merchant Navy convoys, enemy ships and U-boats which were all reported back to the British ships and Whitehall. This was all achieved before GPS and computers, so everything was calculated and updated by hand!
‘There is no doubt about it, that this is one of the most important and significant restoration projects of any Second World War site in the world, so we are very grateful to Brewers for their advice and support’
The project took almost three months as the entire 1990s façade wall has been demolished and replaced with over 600 square meters of fireproof timber boards, lined with 5mm cork sheeting to match the original wall built in the 1940s designed to pin the routes of ships and convoys across the Atlantic. Two coats of Brewers Contract Matt were used to seal the boards, followed by two coats of Albany Vinyl Matt in the original dark green colour. 4km of grid lines were hand drawn before the land masses were also applied by hand in the original colour.
If you would like to find out more about Western Approaches HQ or even pay them a visit, please head over to their website for more information.
Photos from before, during and after the refurbishment