Six less than obvious tales from the Churchill War Rooms

I’ve done so many tours of the Churchill War Rooms recently (né Cabinet War Rooms, né Central War Room) that I’m half-expecting them to give me my own office there. In March alone I did six tours, and there are another half a dozen already slotted in for this month (april).

The place is – quite rightly – a key site, particularly for US visitors, and the bounce back of small group and family tours from the USA is manifesting in the repeated requests I get to show people round. We are though, still in that happy state where although visitor numbers are up, they are not anywhere near as overwhelming as pre covid. (Shortly after The Darkest Hour came out the queues could be three hours or more long for those who hadn’t booked a timed slot.)

It’s fortunate then that I still get a kick out of the venue, both the historic rooms and the attached Churchill Museum. There’s a video I made early in lockdown about the cabinet room itself, and rather than use this blog post to give you the ‘grand tour’ of the museum, here are some of the smaller details that it’s easy to miss, but which tell some deep tales about life in the rooms and about the war.

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The Cabinet Room at the Churchill War Rooms

My Instagram Live talk from today about the Cabinet Room in the Central War Rooms and how it was used in WW2.

“This is the room from which I shall direct the war” said Winston Churchill in May 1940. Click on ‘play’ to hear about the set up, the atmosphere, the tense meetings and arguments that took place beneath the streets of Westminster, and to see some of the incredible artefacts that have been preserved in the space.

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