Safe from nuclear attack ? and Santa

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The Independent Online

The stresses of Christmas drive many to the point of distraction but few suffer from such an absence of festive cheer as Colin Woods.

The 30-year-old financial services worker yesterday cured his aversion to bickering relatives, overcooked turkey and unwanted socks by heading 100ft underground to spend the season of goodwill in a nuclear bunker.

The Santa-proof hideout at Kelvedon Hatch, in Essex, will be sealed for a fortnight, with its sole occupant paying £300 for the privilege. In return, he will be guaranteed absolute protection not only from atomic and biological attack but all other seasonal horrors from Slade to Brussels sprouts.

Such was the extent of his Christmasphobia that Mr Woods was not even available to offer even a "bah humbug" as he headed for the complex designed for government in time of nuclear war.

Michael Parrish, the owner of the bunker who auctioned off the sojourn to one lucky Scrooge, said Mr Woods – who will have Spam and cold baked beans for Christmas dinner – who will have was in for a grim experience. "It's like being in prison without the exercise hour," Mr Parrish said.