Raids Over York’s First #ShelterSelfie!

We’re delighted to receive news of another retained air-raid shelter in the city.

This shelter is on Stamford Road East in the Leeman Raid area – the only one we know to have survived in this area.

During the war, there were a number of bombs that fell in and around this area, largely due to its close proximity to the railway freight yards. So having a sturdy brick shelter would have been a smart move.

It is a double-skinned brick built shelter, with a six inch-thick (150mm) reinforced concrete slab roof. It is of a type that we are discovering was quite common and, unless we find out otherwise, rather unique to the city. A ‘York Shelter’ – perhaps?

We’re particularly pleased that Chris M. has also given us our first ‘#ShelterSelfie’; thanks, Chris!

[ Think you might have an air-raid shelter in your garden or back yard? Do send us a photo … and a #ShelterSelfie! ]

5 thoughts on “Raids Over York’s First #ShelterSelfie!

  1. What would the original ‘York Shelter’ doors have been like/made of? Presumably not the ordinary-looking wooden doors in these photos?


    1. Hi. We’re finding that if they had doors at all, these were simple timber doors if the owners had added them. If the brick shelter was a bit more evolved, there’d be a recessed entrance at a right angle to the main shelter inside, helping to enclose the shelter area with brick walls and concrete roof. The shelters were only designed to withstand shrapnel splinters and bomb-wave damage, or if the house collapsed around or on it, not direct hits. Heavy timber doors would have been at risk of exploding as a myriad of wood splinters – just as lethal as metal bomb splinters. So you were recommended to hide yourself as deep in the shelter (…and then hope you weren’t unlucky!); must have been terrifying.


  2. We had a air raid shelter in the groves Nelson St. Same as the one in the pic .But it had a corrugated mettle door. But we never used it. Mi Mam always stuck us under the stairs


    1. Thanks, Alan. That’s really interesting to know of the use of a corrugate iron door. It does seem to be that not much care was put into shelters being things of beauty – which is understandable! If you’ve not read it yet, our write-up of the 6th raid on the city includes lots of Groves details.


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