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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 19:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
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Location: Norfolk
Group: RNRLHG
Hi all,
Just wondering if you could help me with some stuff to do with air raid shelters. Basically one of my friends owns a large detached house which has a brick bomb shelter with a vaulted concrete roof. It has since been dry lined but we plan to restore it to how it would be originally.

It is built onto the house where a doorway leads into a medium sized brick box about 2 metres cubed. It has a vaulted concrete roof on the top with an air grille built into the wall furthest away from the doorway. It is a very simple design. I'm afraid no photos at the moment.

My questions are:
- How should the walls/roof be finished? Whitewash, paint, wallpaper? Suggestions please.
- Any carpet laid or a bare stone floor?
- What should be in the shelter? Beds, hammocks, radio etc.
Any information on these shelters would be brilliant. Any other suggestions would be great. Thanks, Matt.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 20:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 16:22 pm
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Location: Bridgend, South Wales
Real Name: Barry Ward
Group: Glamorgan Home Guard, AFRA
if it is only 2 x 2 metres, then normal beds would be out of the question. Maybe a narrow triple bunk and a few stools, or narrow bench.

really depends on the size of the family that is going to use it and also what class they were, middle / upper class had more money to fit out there shelter.

whitewash on wall was probably most common

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 20:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 20:22 pm
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Location: Cumbria...but currently Leeds.
Real Name: Haydn
Group: A.F.R.A
simple knocked up narrow bunk bed jobbie on one wall, lamp, small table and a chair/stool perhaps? with what little reading material was to hand. nothing fancy if working class, perhaps a rag rug for the section of bare floor not taken up and whitewash walls

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 20:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
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Location: Norfolk
Group: RNRLHG
I think this shelter would have been used by someone middle class as it is a very large house. It was built around 1895 and a normal working family could not have afforded it. I would imagine we are looking at husband and wife, middle class perhaps but I will check with the owner about who lived there. Many thanks for all the replies so far very interesting and I will be sure to keep this thread up to date as we progress. Looks like I better start building some furniture for this then! Thankyou so much for the replies so far. I didn't even know where to start before now. Thanks, Matt.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 20:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 16:22 pm
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Location: Bridgend, South Wales
Real Name: Barry Ward
Group: Glamorgan Home Guard, AFRA
Candles / parafin lamp

upside down flowerpot with candle underneath, as heater for the shelter

bucket with cover over it, for latrine

Waterjug and some mugs

_________________
Proud to be GHG - GLAMORGAN HOME GUARD
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." - Maria Robinson
"Remember your not in the real army, so go out and enjoy your hobby" - Bigred
"LIFE IS GOOD" - Hitcock45


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 20:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
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Location: Norfolk
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Hi Barry,
Many thanks for your brilliant suggestions. It seems that the shelter would have been for 2-3 people of the upper middle class.
I will start compiling a list of items to gather and things to build. It should look very good when it's done. Thanks again, Matthew.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 21:02 pm 
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Location: Infiltrated into London
Real Name: peter
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Shelters always got damp, very much doubt if any kind of carpet would be viable ! A mate years ago had one in his garden with a cool escape hatch in roof made of very heavy steel plate.
Sounds like you've got a great project there, do some pics maybe ?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 21:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
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Location: Norfolk
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Hi Peter,
I agree now that no carpet is the best option - maybe a rug. This is also proved by the fact there's one in there at the moment and it's not lasted too well. At the moment it's been dry lined and is a storage cupboard, we'll soon put that right. If only mine had an escape hatch and some tunnels and a radio antenna etc. That sounds very cool though. I'll definitely do some pictures once we've started. It should look brilliant when done. Matt.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 21:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Norfolk
Group: RNRLHG
Just an update on this project; we finished tearing out dry lining and removing the wooden supporting battens for it. Then we removed the carpet which was stuck on far too well! We now have a clean brick wall although there is a leak through the concrete where the shelter meets the wall of the house. That will be repaired and then we intend to whitewash the walls and paint the floor with red floor paint as some of the current floor is painted. I'll add some pictures up within the coming week of it as it is now. Thanks for the help many have given and happy new year, Matt

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 0:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 18:06 pm
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Location: Surrey & Hampshire
Group: On Parade & The Law at War
So glad to hear of an air raid shelter being cared for. Nowadays I keep hearing of people not knowing the historic value of these basic red brick blocks and knocking them down to build a conservatory.

Thank you airborne1234 for preserving history!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
Hi Matthew

Sounds like a great project. I agree with most of the above - just imagine what you would need if you had to take shelter in the middle of the night and might be in there for many hours, and equip it accordingly. Being built into the house makes it slightly different from Anderson shelters which were semi-subterranean and very damp.

I am not recommending this book, because I have not read it, but it might be useful "Air Raid Shelters of the Second World War": http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1848 ... 1848843275

I have a wonderful letter, 9 pages, written by a wife to her husband the day after a raid on Norwich. Here is a brief extract:
"... so we went to see if we could help get things out for the other people. They were shouting for ladders and stirrup pumps so I said we’d got a garden hose which they could use. In the end they had one of my baths with the stirrup pump, and the hose up the stairs, then there were three of our pails in use, both shovels and forks. I never in all my life knew anything like it people don’t seem to have anything to use... and Violet is gone away because she is so upset. Gladys and I got wrong with her for she stood against their shelter while we were running down the garden with our things, running on a lot of dribble, and when she asked me what the time was, I told her I hadn’t looked and she had better go look herself if she wanted to know. She said she couldn’t leave Ian, Gladys said “Ian be damned why the hell don’t you do something to help..."

Owen (Civil Defenders - Home Guard, farmer etc sometimes at Gressenhall)


Last edited by obt48 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
The book I mentioned is a lot cheaper on eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/ctg/Air-Raid-Shel ... -/99845656


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
Posts: 732
Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
... and some of these BBC People's War reminiscences may be of help:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peoples ... es/c54690/

Good luck, Owen


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 18:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Norfolk
Group: RNRLHG
Hi Owen,
Thanks for the links I will maybe try and purchase a copy of that book at some point. Also the BBC link is very helpful indeed. Interesting letter r.e Norwich. Sounds like tensions definitely got frayed on more than the odd occasion. One of the best books is Coastal towns as war by Peter Brooks which details the air raids and general goings on of Sheringham and Cromer during WW2. I highly recommend it. I might well see you sometime next year Owen as I'm now the the Royal Norfolk Regiment Living History Group and they will be a Gressenhall.

Westinghouse - It's a brilliant project and I imagine getting rarer as time goes on. It's attached onto the side of a dry lined room which used to be a dance studio but is now part of one of my friends houses. There was damp caused by the crack between the shelter and the main room so it needed to be looked at anyway, why not restore it completely? I will definitely add some photos up very soon. All the best, Matt.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 17:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Norfolk
Group: RNRLHG
Here's some photos of the shelter... any comments or information would be greatly appreciated.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 17:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 17:16 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Norfolk
Group: RNRLHG
Photos don't want to load at the moment so I will upload them sometime tomorrow as I've got to go now.

_________________
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US rocket launcher
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash"
"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


Top
 

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