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Veteran journalist recalls life in secret bunker

A former weekly editor and journalism lecturer has appeared on television talking about his life in a secret underground RAF bunker.

Gerry Kreibich, who was Matlock Mercury editor for three years and later ran the NCTJ courses at Richmond College, Sheffield, was interviewed on Restoration Man – a programme about rescuing neglected architectural treasures across Britain.

During Gerry’s National Service from 1952 to 1954, he worked at an underground RAF bunker in Watnall, Nottingham from the age of 19.

The episode followed the restoration of RAF Watnall underground bunker which began its construction in 1938, but was not put into use until 1940, playing a key role in Britain’s war defences.

Gerry Kreibich was tracked down by Channel Four to feature in the programme

After researchers from the Channel Four programme tracked him down, the veteran journalist spent an afternoon with architect turned presenter George Clarke at the site.

“It seems that I was the only old bloke they could find who actually worked underground all those years ago at what was then the secret RAF bunker,” he told HTFP.

“The Restoration Man programmes like to find out about the history of the places that people convert – they’ve done old windmills, lighthouses, pumping stations and stuff like that.”

The programme was screened at 8pm last night.

Gerry, now 80, had been working as a junior on the Warrington Guardian for a year before being called up to serve his country but returned there after being demobbed.

“I had never heard of Watnall when I was sent there as a ‘fighter plotter’, but I met and married a girl from Kimberley, five minutes away, and we’ve been together for 59 years now. So I have the RAF to thank for that,” he said.

Gerry now runs his own website – Memoirs of a Pioneer Journalism Lecturer.


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  • February 13, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Gerry always did have some quirky stories up his sleeve when he was one of our journalism lecturers at Richmond College. And he’s certainly looking well for 80 – all the best, Gerry.

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  • February 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    He was a great lecturer and wow, 80! Where did the years go? You look amazing Gerry, although the hair is a little shorter these days.

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