A plan and instructions for building an Anderson Shelter.  This type of air raid shelter was made of metal. 1942.

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A plan and instructions for building an Anderson Shelter. This type of air raid shelter was made of metal. 1942. © PRONI Reference: CAB/3/G/10/35

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Air raid shelters

Air Raid Shelters were built off main streets for people caught in a raid too far away from home to get back safely. There were many different types, but most had two or four compartments and were built to hold around 48 people.

These shelters proved their worth on many occasions, for example when a parachute mine fell near the shelter at the corner of Oxford Street and Bridge Street (cutting all mains supplies, damaging surrounding property and leaving a large crater in the road) out of the 100 people in the shelter there were only two casualties – a broken arm and a broken leg.

In addition to the official shelters, many people took refuge in makeshift bunkers. This diary shows how a church boiler house was used in such a way and also highlights how one particular nurse who refused to take shelter lost her life whilst caring for her patients.