Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed
The National Archives, London
Decades before the chaotic fragmentation of international politics, we (the West) had one clear enemy - the terrifying prospect of a marauding imperial communist nuclear power. With this in mind the UK government asked people to wrap up in bin liners and hide in the cellar. A DIY kit on how to survive nuclear war seems like a cruel charade in hindsight.
The National Archives hosted this immersive exhibition that recreated a government bunker on one side, and a typical period living room (complete with DIY fallout shelter) on the other.
Bomb spec, MI6 spy files and Churchill’s memos, Laura Ashley wallpaper, Threads and tins of corned beef all play prominent roles.