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?

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    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.

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  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

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    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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