Lucky Escape after old Air Raid shelters collapses.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Medic7922, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Medic7922

    Medic7922 Senior Member

  2. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    When I was at primary school in the 1960s the underground air raid shelters were still there adjacent to the playground (N.W. England). To obtain access required a heavy metal manhole cover to be lifted. This revealed a fixed metal ladder which led down into the underground shelter. Presumably the shelters had been retained so they were already available in the event of another war.

    Officially the air raid shelter was out of bounds for the schoolchildren but occasionally a group of the boys would manage to force open the metal cover and go into the shelter. On one occasion when some of the older boys had done this I was among a group of younger children who went over to look down to see what was going on. The thing I remember was the darkness.

    Using the air raid shelter as an adventure playground was frowned upon by the teachers (on safety grounds). So it was not long after this occasion that the vertical entrance was covered up and initially turfed over. A couple of years later the school buildings were extended and the new building was put over the former air raid shelter.

    Many children in the post-war era all over the country must have used air raid shelters and bomb site areas as their playground. It was part of their time growing up.

    Arguably, in the modern era of the 21st Century one imagines that the different prevailing health and safety culture would regard old air raid shelters as a danger rather than let children use them as an adventure playground. The way round this and to preserve the heritage of some of the shelters for future generations would be to take some of the Anderson or Morrison shelters (for example) to a heritage museum.

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