Ground Station Zero was a wartime wireless station located in Toplis’s tailoring workshop at 135 Smedley Street at Matlock. This was a covert Second World War wireless station code named ‘Operation Sea Lion’ operated by a specially trained civilian unit of volunteers. It was part of the secret wartime resistance set up to combat any invasion by German forces which was expected by the Government in the weeks following the evacuation of Dunkirk. This communications and intelligence command centre had the aerial hidden from view and its top-secret radio transmitter had a pistol, ammunition and hand grenade kept beside it at all times.
Fortunately the command centre was never required and the only indication of its existence is a blue plaque on the wall. The plaque was installed by the Matlock Civic Association in 1999 and the inscription reads - ‘GROUND STATION ZERO 1940-1944 Auxiliary Unit Wartime Wireless Station'.