16th June (#61)

I set my alarm early as I had a route planned that would involve a bit of exploring around Hunsdon airfield to satisfy my boyhood curiosity. Having read about the airfield some more, I discovered that if you look hard enough, you can find derelict defence infrastructure hidden in under growth on the edge and inside of the surrounding woods.

I decided on as much off road as possible to avoid rush hour hell on the roads and was expecting a cool morning. Once I got started it was anything but cool under a clear blue sky and warm sunshine. I like that about summer-it’s warm when the sun shines. The airfield is only 6km from work but I only left 10 minutes earlier than planned so didn’t have much time exploring. I gingerly went down a wooded footpath (not strictly legal) and discovered some brick reinforced trenches leading to and surrounding a stronghold hiding under ivy and weeds.

Perimeter defence

Aside from that, nothing. I bumped down a path in a field of wheat and slowly made my way to work, disappointed not to have more time to have a look around. Work was spent sourcing some wall mounted had sanitisers for outside the teaching rooms. As self appointed Director of Hand Hygiene security, I went nuclear with the signage so while my tech taught IV cannulation, I laminated.

The benefits of a Masters education

Being chronically underfunded the NHS (and other systems I suspect) has had to rely on individuals to get things done rather than a process. During the C word crisis, we have had directives but no formal process that achieves a lot of them and no practical input from key personnel. Just people in pockets who know how to get things done while their usual work suffers a little, sometimes a lot. No one from infection control, as subject experts actually contacted me to come up with a co-ordinated plan to help people learn the when/how/why of PPE. I just did it because people were confused, scared and deserve more for putting their life in danger.

Not that I’m complaining. I am happy to use my initiative to help make a difference but it does cheese me off that the assumption from those of a higher pay grade that this seems to be the norm. My building, being slightly detached from the main site was curiously missed out as being one of the places who require adequate hand hygiene to start returning to normal business. I wonder if this is because of an unconscious bias towards patient facing activity, a lack of overall operational foresight or that we were simply over run by this thing. All of the above I think and I just have to accept that it is what it is, a complete $#¡T show. Anyway, I was paid handsomely to do what had to be done. I managed to sweet talk my way in securing lots of dispensers but demand had exceeded supply on the alcohol refill front so I could only mount six today.

I left early to go and explore the airfield some more. I took the perimeter road to look for more pillboxes. I found 3 + a bonus air raid shelter and a parachute store that the farmer now uses to store grain apparently.

Two octagonal pillbox perimeter defences
Oakington or mushroom pillbox
Concrete air raid shelter. This would’ve been covered with soil back in the day to resemble a mound that would help absorb a bomb blast.
Parachute store. The high roof was for parachutes to hang and dry before being folded and stored for use

How I would have loved to explore around here in my younger days of Commando comics, Airfix model aeroplanes and my toy soldiers. I was snapped out of my reverie by a phone call from Mrs B2W. We have a viewing tomorrow so my thoughts turned to more house cleaning, tidying and a curry recipe to deal with the weekends roast chicken left overs. Sadly, I was back to being a responsible 50 something again…

Total UK deaths: 41,969 (233)

About biking2work

Sometimes bad tempered Dad to 2 sons who break things. Use the 2 wheels to get from A to B when I can
This entry was posted in Covid 19, Plague, WWII and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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