In our English class we are studying Goodnight Mister Tom. In the novel Willie and Tom build an Anderson Shelter this got us interested in Air Raid Shelters. This is what they are.
An Anderson shelter is a shelter that is half buried in the ground with dirt piled on top of it to protect them from the bomb blasts. They were made of six corrugated iron sheets, the entrance was protected by a steel shield and an earthen blast wall.
Inside an Anderson shelterInside the shelter it was dark and damp so people were not willing to use them at night. The lower areas of the shelter were prone to flooding and also if you slept at the bottom you could still hear the bombs exploding.
How much did they cost?
If you earned more than £5 a week you would have to pay £7. But the government gave them out free to people who earned less than £5 a week.
What is a Morrison Shelter?
A Morrison shelter was a shelter that you could put in your house, people also used them as a table because they were big enough. They were for people who didn’t have a garden so they were mostly used by people in tenement buildings. Young children often played in these shelters, young girls often took their dollies into these shelters or pretended it was a dolls house.
Inside a Morrison shelter
When you had to go inside during the raids it would be very cramped because it would be very small. You could not get a lot of people inside them. Some people even had some for their chickens!
The government opened public shelters when they realised that the ones for your home wouldn’t protect you enough. They opened the London Underground as Air Raid shelters one night in 1940 177,000 people slept in the underground in one night! Jerry Springer was born in the underground during an Air Raid!
This helps us to understand how it would have been to live during the war. We are lucky not to have.