The Darkest Hour

Event date | Jun 14, 2018

A special visit to the Churchill War Rooms,

Members of the Chelsea Society and our guests will have the opportunity on Thursday 14th June at 1.45pm to meet the historical adviser to the recently acclaimed film The Darkest Hour and to tour the operations centre deep below London from which Winston Churchill directed the Second World War.

Phil Reed OBE was Director of the Churchill War Rooms from 1993-2016 and also Director of HMS Belfast from 1999-2016. He will give us some insights into the creation and workings of the operations centre during the war, as well as anecdotes about its principal historic occupant.  He will also talk about the challenges of making films about historic events.

Churchill’s wartime bunker is a fascinating piece of history – an underground maze of rooms that once buzzed with round-the-clock planning and plotting, strategies and secrets. Here the most senior figures of Britain’s Government and its armed forces worked and slept whilst the blitz raged above. It remained the nerve centre of Britain’s war effort until the lights were finally switched off in August 1945.

The rooms remain exactly as they were, and we will step back in time as we walk through them – experiencing the atmosphere and conditions of those dramatic times, in the place where Churchill took decisions crucial to the survival of the nation. We will see the Map Room, with the original wartime maps covering the walls, and the thousands of tiny pinholes plotting the progress of Allied ships along the convoy routes.  We will also see the colour-coded telephones, and Churchill’s private room – an office-bedroom with the desk from which he made four of his wartime speeches.

We will meet at the Groups entrance, Clive Steps, King Charles Street,

London SW1A 1AQ. Nearest underground station Westminster.

 Only 35 places are available  – Tickets £20 from the Box Office of the Cadogan Hall, or 0207-730-4500.

 

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