VARIOUS IMAGES HERE OF A PRESERVED AND FULLY RESTORED SECOND WORLD WAR ORIGINAL ANDERSON SHELTER AS WAS USED IN NEWPORT, WALES. THIS PARTICULAR SHELTER HAD NOT BEEN PARTIALLY BURIED BENEATH THE GROUND AND WAS SURFACE BUILT AT THE TIME ABOVE GROUND WITH SANDBAGS FOR PROTECTION
REBUILT AND HERE ON DISPLAY TO COMPLIMENT OUR SECOND WORLD WAR NAZI HOLOCAUST EXHIBITION AND TO SIMPLY PROVIDE A NOSTALGIC AND AN EDUCATIONAL INSIGHT INTO HOW MANY FAMILIES FOUND SHELTER DURING THE GERMAN LUFTWAFFE BOMBINGS THROUGHOUT BRITAIN .
ALSO ON DISPLAY WE HAVE VARIOUS ARP (AIR RAID PROTECTION) UNIFORMS,GAS MASKS , INSIGNIA AND OTHER 2ND WORLD WAR MEMORABILIA ITEMS
SEE BELOW SLIDESHOW FOR IMAGES OF THE ANDERSON SHELTER AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL AND OTHER EXAMPLES FROM AROUND THE UK .
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANDERSON SHELTER
In November 1938, Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be erected in people’s gardens. Within a few months nearly one and a half million of what became known as Anderson shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe.
Made from six curved sheets bolted together at the top, with steel plates at either end, and measuring 6ft 6in by 4ft 6in (1.95m by 1.35m) the shelter could accommodate six people. These shelters were half buried in the ground with earth heaped on top. The entrance was protected by a steel shield and an earthen blast wall.
Anderson shelters were given free to poor people. Men who earned more than £5 a week could buy one for £7. Soon after the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, over 2 million families had shelters in their garden. By the time of the Blitz this had risen to two and a quarter million.
When the Luftwaffe changed from daylight to night bombing raids, the government expected people to sleep in their Anderson shelters. Each night the wailing of the air raid sirens announced the approach of the German bombers and ensured that most people had time to take cover before the raid actually started.
Anderson shelters were dark and damp and people were reluctant to use them at night. In low-lying areas they tended to flood and sleeping was difficult as they did not keep out the sound of the bombings. Another problem was that the majority of people living in industrial areas did not have gardens where they could erect their shelters.
A census held in November 1940 discovered that the majority of people in London did not use specially created shelters. The survey revealed that of those interviewed, 27 per cent used Anderson shelters, 9 per cent slept in public shelters whereas 4 per cent used underground railway stations (4 per cent). The rest of those interviewed were either on duty at night or slept in their own homes.
In March 1941 the government began issuing Morrison Shelters. Named after the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, the shelters were made of very heavy steel and could be put in the living room and used as a table. One wire side lifted up for people to crawl underneath and get inside. Morrison shelters were fairly large and provided sleeping space for two or three people.
CLICK ON BELOW IMAGE OF ANDERSON SHELTER TO VIEW HISTORIC BRITISH PATHE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE ABOUT ANDERSON SHELTERS DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR