A memory which remains with me from the 1940s is the use and misuse of Air Raid Shelters. I don't remember them being built but that's understandable as in August 1940 when they were solidly in place in the street outside our house in Queen Eleanor Road I was but 2 1/2 years old.

Notice the words solidly in place. They did take quite a bit of space in the street. No windows of course. I seem to recall slatted gate ends for access.

We did evacuate to the shelters from time to time with blankets and some kind of emergency lighting such as torches and candles. Going in held fear for me as far as I can remember because this was a time when Mrs Tilling from two doors up brought in refreshments to be shared. Whole packets of biscuits!

A later photograph (date unknown) but maybe taken late 40s shows no evidence of shelters in the street. I remember the machine that came with a large concrete ball attached that would bash into the walls of the shelters as they were now redundant. In the months before demolition the gated ends became damaged and access was possible. It was forbidden to enter but some of us street kids dared each other to run through the darkened interior which was a spooky experience! Going in then held fear!

There is little evidence left of the Queen Eleanor Road shelters but a walk up London Road even now might give a hint of the shape on the pavement where once a shelter stood.

Circa 1939 no sign of shelters. Gwen and Denis (15)

August 1940. In the garden of 31. Air Raid Shelters blocking the view of houses across the way . Gwen 2 1/2

Late 40's. Taken from between 27 and 29 Queen Eleanor Road. Doreen Plackett, Gwen, Joy Worley and Vera Plackett. George Watts house seen clearly now