Cold War on show for Heyford Park visitors

Visitors tour the battle command centre at RAF Upper Heyford with Terry Adams from the Upper Heyford Heritage Centre.
Visitors tour the battle command centre at RAF Upper Heyford with Terry Adams from the Upper Heyford Heritage Centre.

VISITORS got a taste of what life was like for the 15,000 US airmen based at RAF Upper Heyford in a rare tour last week.

The former Cold War nuclear bomber base, used by the US Air Force from 1950 to 1994, is now on English Heritage’s list of protected national monuments.

Parts of the base were opened up to the public for the national Heritage Open Days scheme on Friday and Saturday.

Chris Prescott, director of the Heyford Park Heritage Centre, said: “By encouraging people to visit, we want to make the most of the unique Cold War era architecture and military artefacts and educate local people about the place they live in and the important role it has had to play on the global stage.”

Visitors had a guided minibus tour of the base, including the quick reaction alert area, the weapons storage area and the battle command centre.

A bid to have RAF Upper Heyford added to the list of protected World Heritage sites was rejected last year.

To arrange a tour through the Heyford Park Heritage Centre, email k.brock@dorchestergrp.com.