Wednesday 15 June at Wright’s Hill Fortress, 7.30pm.
Club members Don ZL2BL and George ZL2AG were our hosts for this event.
The Fortress is at the top of Wrights Hill Rd, and while the views from the top of Wright’s Hill are impressive, we weren’t up there for the views. Instead we went underground to the rabbit warren of concrete-lined tunnels built in the second half of World War II as part of a protection system for Wellington from foreign invaders. The big gun installed at Wright’s Hill could send shells around the harbour and further afield.
Members got to have a chat, peruse the old war recruiting materials, and then venture out of the meeting room to check out the restored radio shack, complete with ZC1s and other vintage equipment. Overall it was a very enjoyable evening and not as cold as we had anticipated underground!
Don Beswick ZL2BL spoke on underground activities at Wrights Hill, the possibility of an underground tunnel complex in Mt Cook (under the former Dominion Museum) and the No. 10 set used at the end of the second world war (and which was installed in several locations around Wellington).
Doug McNeil ZL2AOV noted in his report of the evening:
“Don Beswick ZL2BL entertained and informed members with a wide range of photocopied images from the Wrights Hill project and the No 10 set – a valve-based eight-channel multiplexed voice transmission and reception system operating around 4500MHz. He also outlined his research into what the military and/or civilians built under the Dominion Museum building in Buckle St, Mt Cook. Don is convinced there are still tunnels down there; though public records point only to several air raid shelters. Don is writing a book on the topic – “there’s a lot more down there than we’ve been led to believe” and is seeking Massey University (the site’s occupiers) support to excavate spots on the site. Don’s talk, and members’ comments, extended to similar developments at Palmer Head and elsewhere in New Zealand.”