The Cold War and the Marlborough hotline!

on 19 August 2016.

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By Harvard Film Archive This photograph is from the National Archives and is not credited by Harvard. Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Muhends using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5137930

The Cold War, that period of political and military tension between the end of the Second World War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, was rich with tall tales and conspiracy theories. The daily newspaper fodder of scare stories usually turned out to be only that, but one unlikely report stood up.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, rumours circulated that there was a direct telephone line, or 'hot' line, linking the White House to Moscow via Downing Street, which ran beneath the Bath Road by the gates of Marlborough College. This was thrilling news to schoolboys on the playing fields to imagine that Kennedy, Krushchev and Macmillan were having top-secret conversations of international importance beneath their feet. In all likelihood Marlborough would have produced its fair share of future Oxbridge graduates who went on to become spies so the legend seems somewhat apt.

Information taken from An English Baby Boomer: My Life and Times by Neil G. M. Hall, Marlborough College old boy and Marlborough Townsite content contributor. http://www.anenglishbabyboomer.co.uk/

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