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A trip down memory lane – John’s story

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Posted on 29th August 2023.

The York branch has been supporting their customer John, with meal preparation, domestic tasks, and companionship.  On a recent visit, the team spent some time reminiscing about John’s working life, where he shared an incredible story about his time as an Apprentice Electrician.

“I began working life in the pit at Seaham Harbour as an Apprentice Electrician but went on to have an incredibly varied career. I worked with the MOD at RAF bases and also at the Houses of Parliament.

Around the time of the Cold War, I worked closely with the military and government intelligence agencies. My role was as a Chief Technical Officer, and this meant working within a top-secret capacity to visit military and other confidential sites to ‘make sure all was in order’.



My career progressed through chance, simply by moving through departments until I was able to work within a top-secret capacity. At one stage, the threat of global nuclear fallout became so large that the government built underground structures all over the country labelled ‘safe havens’.

The idea was for important figures to migrate into these structures in the event of a nuclear war and control the country from underground.

In 1967, a solar storm brought the world to the brink of what could have been a nuclear war when it caused a malfunction in missile early warning systems. Attacks on these stations, including signal jamming, were considered an act of war, and British and American governments readied nuclear arms to retaliate against the Soviet Union.

Thankfully, forecasters worked out that it was the storm that was blocking the signals and not the Soviets, and as a result, the deployment of nuclear arms was halted. This story wasn’t public knowledge until 45 years later. Until it was published, I was one of the few people on earth aware of the event!

Thankfully, the ‘safe havens’ were never utilised as intended, and everybody was kept safe from nuclear fallout and the world went on.

Countries, even when in conflict, began to communicate better to avoid potential disasters, and the world became a much safer place.”

Jaskiran Jutla Content Writer
About Jaskiran has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Film & TV Studies and has written for a variety of national publications, including Woman magazine, Bella, Total TV Guide and TV Choice. Read Jaskiran's full profile