corned beef – fuel for a brave new world

While researching Inverurie Hospital’s past we have come across some very unusual things. None more odd than this fact: Inverurie hospital became the site for a “CORNED BEEF STORE” in 1982, set up to feed the survivors of a nuclear attack!

During the Cold War, the UK government ordered the construction of thousands of underground complexes. Aberdeenshire Council has two, one below its Gordon House offices in Inverurie that was built in 1982. This council structure features reinforced concrete, steel blast doors, decontamination chambers, communication rooms, dormitories and generators to provide electricity.

As the cold war defrosted in the 90’s the thick blast doors on the entrance to the Inverurie complex were permanently fixed in an open position in 1992, a clear sign at the time of the relaxation in tensions between the East and West.

The corned beef stockpiles too were abandoned as the tins reached their sell by dates of 10 years. However Iverurie hospital manger Jane Graham has hinted that perhaps this explains why there have been stovies served every friday in the canteen for years.

That they chose corned beef is puzzling. Especially as Aberdeen had such a poor relationship with Scotland’s favourite tinned meat.

Aberdeen was brought to its knees by the largest typhoid outbreak in recent British history 50 years ago. More than 500 people of all ages had to be quarantined in hospital. The infection was eventually traced back to a single tin of Argentinean corned beef sold in a supermarket


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