PortCities London

Defending the East End

Air raid shelters

Garden refuges

Stalham Street, 1940.
View full size imageAnderson Shelter in Stalham Street, Bermondsey, January 1940. © NMM
Londoners responded to the appeals of the government and local authorities by digging up their gardens and building simple corrugated steel Anderson Shelters, covered by earth.

The shelters could protect a family from falling debris and shrapnel, but could not withstand a direct hit from a bomb.

The shelters were mass-produced and cost £5.00 each. By April 1940, hundreds of thousands had been issued across the city.

Mass sheltering

Parkstone Road, Peckham.
View full size imageShelters on Parkstone Road in Southwark, c.1940. © NMM
As the raids worsened, larger street shelters built of brick and concrete were erected. The examples shown here were built on Parkstone Road in Southwark.

All of the residents of the street would have been able to take refuge in the shelters, which were deeper, and therefore safer, than the smaller Anderson Shelters.

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