YOUNGSTERS have entered an underground complex of a Second World War Army HQ in Chester to shoot a video.
In 1943 and 1944 the subterranean complex at Western Command in Queens Park was the venue for top secret meetings involving Winston Churchill, General Dwight Eisenhower and General Charles de Gaulle and was later visited by Field Marshall Montgomery.
The seven-minute video, by a group calling itself Ninja Benification, shows tunnels with evidence of a collapse, a ladder, stairs, possibly a shower and official numbers as well as graffiti on the walls.
Cheshire West and Chester Council press officer Ian Callister has already advised The Chronicle the tunnels are not safe based on what its archaeologists previously found.
The council will consider a planning application for a Redrow housing scheme above ground later this year which would involve demolishing the original Army building where Lloyds Banking Group was latterly based.
The network of tunnels and rooms were created to provide a bomb-proof emergency centre of strategic importance to Britain’s defences in the Second World War.
Blasted through the sandstone bedrock by Royal Engineers, mostly Welsh ex-miners, the subterranean complex of four tunnels and 19 rooms, played a significant role in Britain’s military history.
John Murray, of Handbridge.com who is among residents to have seen the video, said: “Although there are some obvious signs of collapse in places, the bulk of the tunnels appear to be in better condition than the council led me to believe.
“Feedback from local residents, so far, is that they would like to see the tunnels preserved while some suggest that they should be restored and opened as a visitor attraction.”
Ninja Benification appear to be Chester’s answer to US TV hit show Jackass with videos on YouTube showing bike and motorbike stunts, tight-rope walking and a young man eating a dead wasp.