Our latest cannabis farm was in a system of tunnels that was a nuclear bunker during the Cold War
Wayne Robinson, the caretaker of Drakelow Tunnels, a nuclear bunker from the Cold War, has been convicted at Worcester Crown Court after developing a cannabis farm there. He has been told to expect to spend time as a guest of Her Majesty. He will also be punished for possessing an unlicensed shotgun and cartridges.
Drakelow Tunnels, occupying 285,000 square feet and including 3.5 miles of tunnels, lie beneath Kingsford Country Park, betwixt Kinver and Kidderminser. The tunnels were constructed in 1941 as a shadow factory for the Rover motor company. Aircraft parts and later tanks were manufactured there during the war. In 1961, half the tunnels were converted into a nuclear bunker that would have housed the post-apocalyptic Regional Seat of Government 9. In 1980, blast doors and airlocks were installed. The complex remained secret until the Cold War ended in 1990. In 1993, the Ministry of Defence decided it was no longer required and sold it.
The SORDID CRIME
The site has been owned by Robinson’s brother since the 1990s. The man himself, of Marlpool Lane, Kidderminster, who owns a nearby logging business, claimed that he had rented out part of the tunnels for ?200 a month to two tenants he knew only as Thomas and Fabian, whom he believed to hail from the Black Country. He asserted that he had no idea they were growing cannabis; they had informed him that they would be storing car parts. The 48-year-old alleged that the pair threatened to ?bury him? when he terminated the rental agreement due to the rubbish present. He insisted that had he known of the massive cannabis farm, he wouldn’t have granted access to hundreds of visitors for events, including Evil Rising in 2013, when over 300 people were pursued by around 30 actors dressed as monsters.
On November 27 2013, 30 police officers discovered a cannabis farm with 321 immature and 564 flowering cannabis plants in three rooms off one tunnel. The crop could have been worth ?70,000 (BBC News and other sources put the figure at ?650,000; it’s the way of these things that the lower value will be true). Hydroponic equipment for heating, lighting and ventilation was also recovered. The court was told that Robinson must have been aware of the operation. He was granted bail following his conviction. Reports will be compiled. Judge Abbas Mithani QC warned Robinson to ?expect to see custody? to deter people from growing these ?very dangerous? drugs that cure arthritis, Crohn’s disease, brain damage, cancer, depression, HIV and post-traumatic stress disorder as can be seen here. In December 2015, Jason Whiley of Brierley Hill was sent down for two-and-a-half years for assisting with the operation.
The Drakelow Tunnels Preservation Trust intends to convert the complex into the United Kingdom’s largest Cold War museum. Tours currently occur in some tunnels. This is the country’s largest underground space that is open to the general public.
The most elaborate cannabis farm to turn up in Blighty was uncovered in January 2016: a nine-bedroom country mansion in Cambridgeshire, which contained over 1,000 plants and was described by one constable as ?something you would see in Downton Abbey.?