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In November 1938, Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be erected in people's gardens. Within a few months nearly one and a half million of what became known as Anderson Shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe.
Made from six curved sheets bolted together at the top, with steel plates at either end, and measuring 6ft 6in by 4ft 6in (1.95m by 1.35m) the shelter could accommodate six people. These shelters were half buried in the ground with earth heaped on top. The entrance was protected by a steel shield and an earthen blast wall.
Anderson shelters were dark and damp and people were reluctant to use them at night. In low-lying areas they tended to flood and sleeping was difficult as they did not keep out the sound of the bombings. Another problem was that the majority of people living in industrial areas did not have gardens where they could erect their shelters.
A census held in November 1940 discovered that the majority of people in London did not use specially created shelters. The survey revealed that of those interviewed, 27 per cent used Anderson shelters, 9 per cent slept in public shelters whereas 4 per cent used underground railway stations (4 per cent). The rest of those interviewed were either on duty at night or slept in their own homes.
Ellen Wilkinson was made responsible for air raid shelters and was instrumental in the introduction of the Morrison Shelter in March 1941. Named after the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, the shelters were made of very heavy steel and could be put in the living room and used as a table. One wire side lifted up for people to crawl underneath and get inside. Morrison shelters were fairly large and provided sleeping space for two or three people.
There was also much argument about the advantages and defects of indoor versus outdoor shelters. The outdoor Anderson shelter was very good and provided almost complete safety except from a direct hit. However, the fact that it would have to be sunk into the ground meant that in many urban areas it could not be put up because of the lack of any garden and in other districts the shelter was liable to flood during the winter months.
The wide desire for an indoor shelter which provided some degree of comfort and also assisted people to get a night's rest in warmth and dryness did not take into account the fact that there was some fire risk involved. I decided that the risk was worth taking. Experience proved me justified. Next the experts began to argue about the best design.
The experts - engineers and scientists - would have argued for weeks. However, I told them that I intended to lock them up in a room until they agreed, promising to arrange to send food into them. I reported to Churchill that I had taken this attitude and he was delighted, saying that he would back me to the limit. The experts had their designs agreed upon and completed within twenty-four hours. So was born what became known as the Morrison table shelter.
If you were out and a bombing raid took place you would make for the nearest shelter. The tube stations were considered to be very safe. I did not like using them myself. The stench was unbearable. The smell was so bad I don’t know how people did not die from suffocation. So many bodies and no fresh air coming in. People would go to the tube stations long before it got dark because they wanted to make sure that they reserved their space. There were a lot of arguments amongst people over that.
We did not have an Anderson shelter so we used to hide under the stairs. You felt the next bang would be your lot and it was very frightening. My grandmother was a very religious person and when she was with us during the bombing raids she would gabble away saying her prayers. Strangely enough, when I was with her, I always felt safe.
When air raids are threatened, warning will be given in towns by sirens, or hooters which will be sounded in some places by short blasts and in others by a warbling note, changing every few seconds. The warnings may be given by the police or air-raid wardens blowing short blasts on whistles.
When you hear the warning take cover at once. Remember that most of the injuries in an air raid are caused not by direct hits by bombs but by flying fragments of debris or by bits of shells. Stay under cover until you hear the sirens sounding continuously for two minutes on the same note which is the signal "Raiders Passed".
We had always slept in our beds during the earlier raids and later we were never bothered by the lethal danger of V-2s. If one dropped near you, you would never know and so it wasn't worth bothering about, but buzz-bombs, with a lateral blast, were a confounded nuisance because it was your own fault if you, or your friends near you, were cut to bits by flying splinters of glass. If you were sensible, you led the way to a shelter. Night after night we would both go to bed, and then be woken by a familiar noise in the sky. I preferred the nights I spent fire-watching. The bomb would cut out and I would turn over in bed and mutter, when I heard the bang, 'Oh, that's Mrs Smith and not us', but after two or three times I would realize my folly, get up and find Dorothy, also in two minds, sitting on her bed near a window. We would dress and go down to a shelter, which we shared with Olga Katzin, and wait for the morning.
In the day I would work in the kneehole under my desk to avoid the danger of shattered glass from the windows. I remember that children in one of the great hospitals had their faces so penetrated by glass splinters that the doctors questioned whether their lives would be worth saving. Glass, unlike metal, will not respond to magnets and there was no alternative but to cut away their faces.
First of all we had an Anderson shelter in the garden. You were supposed to go into your Anderson shelter every night. I used to take my knitting. I used to knit all night. I was too frightened to go to sleep. You got into the habit of not sleeping. I've never slept properly since. It was just a bunk bed. I did not bother to get undressed. It was cold and damp in the shelter. I was all on my own because my husband was in the army.
You would go nights and nights and nothing happened. On one occasion when my husband was on leave, I think it was a weekend, we decided we would spend the night in bed instead of in the shelter. I heard the noise and woke up and I could see the sky. They had dropped a basket of incendiary bombs and we had got the lot. Luckily not one went off. Next morning the bombs were standing up in the garden as if they had grown in the night.
Rosie, my mum's sister, had to go to hospital to have a baby. Her mother-in-law looked after her three-year-old son. There was a bombing raid and Rosie's son and mother-in-law rushed to Bethnal Green underground station. Going down the stairs somebody fell. People panicked and Rosie's son was trampled to death.
My father set up our Morrison shelter in our dining room. He first erected the steel girder framework and then bolted down a huge sheet of discoloured steel as the 'lid'. The frame was surrounded by wire mesh, held in place with sprung hooks on each corner.
Whenever the air raid siren sounded, announcing the coming of an air raid, my mother would pick me up from my bed and deposit me in the Morrison shelter.
Then she would try to get her own mother who was living with us. That took time and effort. My mother would be screaming at her to come on and she would announce ponderously, "All right, all right, I'm coming". She was old, widowed and fed up with life, and I realise now that she probably didn't care very much whether a bomb hit us or not.
The Morrison Shelter was introduced in 1941 after it was decided that the corrugated Anderson shelter was not suitable for indoor use. Although named after politician Herbert Morrison the shelter was actually designed by a dentist, Alfred Moss, the father of Sir Stirling Moss, one of Britain’s greatest ever racing drivers. The shelter was built in the form of a table which could be used by the family when a raid was not in progress. It stood on steel legs two feet, six inches high, and was topped with a sheet of steel measuring six feet by four. When the siren went the family took cover underneath and fitted mesh side pieces to give themselves all round protection.
Morrison shelters proved to be extremely strong and frequently the occupants were found safe and sound despite their house being destroyed around them. It was reported that a house in Roseland Avenue was totally destroyed by a high explosive bomb but six people in the Morrison on the ground floor were rescued unhurt, while a house in Monks Road was hit and the Morrison blown over a brick built communal shelter in the street before landing in a bedroom of a house on the opposite side of the road virtually intact. The occupants, a woman and two children, were not quite so fortunate this time as the woman and one of the children needed hospital treatment. Sadly it’s injuries later proved fatal, but the other child happily escaped uninjured.
What to do with 6000 shelters?
Prior to the Exeter Blitz in May 1942 the number of Morrison shelters issued in the city totalled 5918, but once the war was over these life savers became so much scrap. Many were salvaged by Exwick business man Bill Eastmond who was to become a director of the Exeter Falcons speedway team. When speedway returned to the County Ground in 1947 building supplies were in very short supply and materials to build a new safety fence around the track were unattainable. Mr Eastmond soon came to the rescue and built the fence using the top panels of 242 Morrison shelters attached to wooden posts obtained from air raid salvage dumps.
At first there was opposition to the construction of this fence mainly from the governing body, the Auto Cycle Union, but these concerns were overcome in time for the opening meeting in April 1947. It was not however unique as the idea was later copied at Poole, Ipswich and Halifax.
Over the years many visiting riders feared what they considered was an unforgiving fence. It certainly was if you hit it, and plenty of riders still carry the scars to prove it. This gave the Falcons considerable home advantage as the likes of Len Silver, Ivan Mauger, and Vaclav Verner frequently gained extra drive off the bends by running with their back wheel up against the steel panels. In fact pioneer Falcon Sid’ Hap’ Hazzard was offered an extra fiver in his pay packet if he got his wheel up again the fence. Sid replied ”Make it a tenner and I’ll get both wheels up” . Ten pounds was a fortune in 1947 and Sid fulfilled his promise.
The old steel safety fence lasted until the stadium was demolished in 2006. Before that happened a small band of Falcons supporters were given permission to remove five panels, one of which is destined for the National Speedway Museum at Hoddesdon. Even then the fence claimed one last victim. Long time track official John Tombs was cutting off retaining bolts with a cold chisel when it slipped and badly cut his thumb!
Tony Lethbridge has lived in Exeter all his life, and his family ran a butchers shop in Cowick Street for many years. Tony is the city's foremost expert on the Exeter Falcons and has written several books about them.
A Morrison Shelter. Photo Express and Echo. Andy Sell rides the Morrison shelter barrier at the County Ground. Photo Mark Tregale. John Tombs by the Morrison shelter barrier when it was being removed in 2006. Photo Tony Lethbridge.
Air raid shelters
Mrs Doreen Mander
Anderson shelters were dug deep into the ground. You went in down steps, and there were two bunks either side. The corrugated iron walls were always wet with condensation, and the bottom of the shelter was always wet. If the sirens went off while you were eating, you took your meal down there. The lady who lived next door to us had a concrete shelter built in her garden.
Eunice Essex (née Nicolle)
Each day we would help our father get water from the bottom of the Anderson Shelter – as many as 50 buckets. They did eventually come round and cement the floor but we often sat on slat boards, our feet just about a foot above the water. No wonder we have arthritis today!!
One week they cemented the shelters in Circular Road, which backs on to Dolphin Lane, and we had 15 in our shelter for 13 hours. We sang, played games and slept. Father had made bunk beds and mother had a stool or chair. He made a good entrance with a heavy wooded door and a barrier of sandbags to stand any blast. Once he saved our mum’s life going to the shelter. He pushed her back into the kitchen as he heard a ‘swooshing’ sound and next morning we found a big piece of shrapnel under the hedge. We used to go with a tin collecting it after a raid. I do not know what happened to my tin I guess mum threw it away when we were evacuated.
My husband never had a shelter in his garden so they used to make a bed under the stairs and stay there. It had a door on it but must have been very claustrophobic. (From The War Years, used with permission)
These were introduced later in the war. Anderson shelters were unpopular, and many people hid under the stairs or in their basements. Morrison shelters were a strong steel cage with thick wire mesh sides, that could be put up indoors. Ethel Hone, who worked at the laundry on Warwick Road, had a Morrison’s shelter at home, so these were not confined to central districts where there were no gardens. If a bomb dropped on a house, people could be trapped in the shelter. and burn to death if a fire started.
Tom Morris, of Westley Road, interviewed in 1977
We had a shelter, which was built out of steel girders, and a steel top, and a spring mattress underneath, till we got fed up with it, and my wife got claustrophobia and she said: "If we are going to be killed, we'll be killed in our own bed". So we went upstairs, and defied them.
These were brick built for the most part, and there were quite a few around Acocks Green, including on Shirley Road near Oakhurst Road, in front of where Lidl is now on Olton Boulevard East, at the junction of Botteville Road and Victoria Road, at the Gospel Lane end of Fox Hollies Park, at Douglas Road, and at Dudley Park Road. There was a scandal about the quality of construction. See Frank Lockwood's diary.
Bernard Rainbow, who still lives in the house he grew up in on Olton Boulevard East, recalls the shelter constructed near his home:
They dug a big hole at the junction of Botteville Road and Old Victoria Road to build the shelter. There were steps down into it. Inside there were lines of two - tier bunks along the walls. It was damp and a bit smelly but it had electric lighting. When the war was over the roof was smashed in and covered over. It is still there under the ground. (From The War Years, used with permission)
Some shelters also survive in the grounds of Stone Hall they were largely underground, with a domed entrance at the top, like the one above. Alexander Hook recalls the Stone Hall shelters.
The worst of the bombing occurred between 1940 and 1942 and many times during this period Barry and I were lifted from our beds and taken to the Anderson Shelter in our back garden. Sometimes we joined a neighbour, Mrs Cook and her family in their shelter and sometimes we slept downstairs in our own front room, where for a short time we had a Morrison table-shelter. Our favourite shelter was a cupboard, which was built in an alcove in the back living room. The cupboard had two doors, above which were two deep drawers side by side. With one door open I could look out from my place on the bottom shelf. Barry’s usual place was on the shelf above me. (From The War Years, used with permission)
Shelters were also built on school premises. Below is a diagram of the proposed shelters at Dolphin Lane school: some of the structures survive, and have been put to other uses.
I recall the long brick-built shelters in the school playgrounds where we were encouraged to sing songs like “Ten Green Bottles” as loud as possible so we could not hear the throb of the enemy aircraft. Other songs we sang were “Cockles and Mussels” or “Molly Malone”. During one raid I started to cry and my teacher asked another member of staff “Has her father been killed?” I heard the reply, “Oh! no. She’s much too sensitive.” I didn’t know what was meant! (From The War Years, used with permission)
Doreen Hodges (nee Pendle)
Dolphin Lane Schools hadn’t got its shelters during my last few months there. But there were some shelters at Hartfield Crescent Schools. I can remember going across from the school into the playing fields where we went down into a shelter. It was awkward to descend down the straight ladder and it seemed to take a long time. However when we did get down eventually the teacher that came down with us started a whispering game, which was to help us pass the time away whilst down there. It started like this ‘Three little sausages sizzling in the frying pan’. By the time it had gone all the way round it ended up as a giggle. (From The War Years, used with permission)
Unlike Dolphin Lane, neighbouring Lakey Lane School had ample open ground within its boundaries so it was provided with the half buried type concrete shelters.
Brian Henderson, a pupil at that school during the war years, recalls using the part buried shelters:
If the air-raid sirens sounded a warning while we were at school we were led by our teachers to the school shelter, which were in the front grounds. There were about eight of these, which were half buried in the ground. They were made of concrete and covered with soil and grass except for the entrances and the emergency exits. Inside each shelter were long wooden benches, which we sat on while our teachers lit paraffin storm lanterns, and then led us in singing songs such as ‘Ten Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall’. hen the ‘All Clear’ sounded we walked back to our classrooms just as we had walked to the shelters – in twos, holding hands, with our gas masks boxes hanging from a string that went over our shoulders.
At home everyone got used to ‘going without’ and the domestic battlefield was littered with the munitions of a new kind of war – air-raid shelters, blackout curtains, ration books, gas masks and stirrup pumps – so that when the time came and the sirens sounded their whining rise and fall, people could head for shelter.
Preparing for war
Preparations for an air bombardment of Britain had been made before war began in the expectation that ‘total war’ would target civilians as well as those armed to fight. Everyone (even babies) was issued with a rubber gas mask to combat the expected use of poisoned gas, employed to deadly effect against troops in the First World War. Air-raid shelters were distributed free to poor families. Sirens would give people warning of approaching bombers and, later, sound the ‘all clear’. Night-time blackout was ordered in cities from 1 September 1939, the day on which mass evacuation began.
At first people were bombarded by the Ministry of Information: told how to dig trenches how to place sandbags to shield windows how to douse fires with a stirrup pump how to dispose of incendiary bombs with a scoop and sand-bucket. Shelter-trenches in public spaces were for use only by ‘people passing through the streets’. Those who could, should go home – provided they could do so within five minutes. Others should shelter at their workplace.
For months nothing much happened. This was the ‘Phoney War’: no bombs fell, cinemas reopened and life went on more or less as usual. In the spring and summer of 1940, however, war became real: the Nazis overran Norway, Denmark and the Low Countries after Dunkirk came the fall of France, the threat of invasion, the Battle of Britain and the start of the Blitz. Air raids on Britain’s cities began in September 1940. In London at the peak of the Blitz about 150,000 people sheltered nightly in Underground stations. Night after night cities across the country became targets.
The Anderson shelter
The most widely used home shelter was the Anderson. Officially called the ‘sectional steel shelter’, it was universally referred to as ‘the Anderson’, after Sir John Anderson, the architect of air-raid protection before the war and the first wartime Home Secretary. Over two million Anderson shelters were issued to households they cost £7, but were supplied free of charge to people earning less than £5 a week in danger areas.
As the official name implied, this shelter was delivered in sections and had to be put up by the householder. Measuring 6 ½by 4 ½ feet (2 x 1.4m), the corrugated-steel arched shelter was partly buried in a hole up to 4 feet (1.2m) deep, then covered with soil. It was remarkably bomb-proof (unless suffering a direct hit) but was incredibly cramped, draughty and tended to flood after rain, which made sheltering a chilly experience – even with flasks of tea, blankets and hot-water bottles.
Andersons were the perfect shelter for the suburbs: they needed a back garden, which many inter-city dwellers did not possess, and the standard shelter could hold four people, six at a pinch, easily accommodating the average suburban family. Delivery of the Anderson shelters began in February 1939 and by mid-1940 almost 2.5 million had been supplied. Later a larger version was designed that could hold up to 12 people.
In September 1940 the Dig for Victory campaign encouraged civilians to grow their own food in times of harsh rationing and in October the Minister of Agriculture urged every householder to convert part of his or her garden to vegetable growing.
By this point many wartime gardens now featured an Anderson shelter, an area ripe for horticulture. Although some recommended it be turned into a rockery, it most popularly used for growing marrows. Despite being not so comfortable
for people, the dark, damp atmosphere inside the shelter was ideal for mushrooms and rhubarb.
Fearing enemy planes would drop poison gas as well as high explosive, the government advised people to turn one room into a gas-proof ‘refuge room’, and issued 38 million gas masks. Women’s League of Health and Beauty members cavorted in gas masks to encourage their use, but most people hated wearing them. The masks had to be kept cool and dry, so shops tried to sell containers ‘to protect your gas mask against bad weather’. As the fear as gas attack receded, many masks were left at home to become post-war mementos.
The Morrison shelter
The Morrison shelter for indoor use appeared in 1941. It was basically a steel cage, holding four people at a squeeze. Its flat top was good for table tennis and it made a fine den for children’s games, but it was a lifesaver too. Officially called the ‘table shelter’ it was soon nicknamed after Herbert Morrison, the Minister of Home Defence.
A low, steel cage, 6 feet 6 inches by 4 feet and 2 feet 9 inches high, its top was of sheet metal and its sides covered with wire mesh. It was designed to hold two adults and one child (or two very small children), although a double-decker version was introduced later. When not in use, the mesh sides could be swung inwards and, covered by a cloth, it would
double up as a table.
As with the Anderson, Morrison shelters were free to anyone earning less than £350 per annum, or could be bought for £7 by
anyone else, and were delivered in pieces to be assembled by the householder. People who were not able to construct the shelter for themselves – those who were frail or sick – could contact youth groups like the Scouts or Boys’ Brigade to help. One of the first Morrisons was installed at No. 10 Downing Street.
Morrisons were not used exclusively by those who had no garden – many in the suburbs bought, or were provided with, them. Some even had both, a Morrison and an Anderson shelter.
In spite of all these variations, many people never had their own shelters, choosing either to use the public shelters, or to
take refuge in the cupboard under the stairs or even under a table. Although cellars were the next safest place at home, many people feared being buried under rubble if the house was hit.
Pop art clock, MCHS collections.
The Weyerhaeuser Museum is open for public visitation. Following CDC guidelines, those who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will be required to wear a mask when visiting the museum.
The museum will be closed Saturday, July 3, 2021, in observance of Independence Day.
Wednesday: By appointment
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Researchers & group tours of 10 or more, please call ahead so staff can arrange for your visit. Call 320-632-4007.
Open year-round, except for major holidays, off-site events, bad weather, significant building repairs & upgrades, and pandemics. Watch website for info on closings.
The Morrison Hotel originally housed the Arctic Club, a social organization for veterans of the Klondike Gold Rush. The September 14, 1912 issue of Pacific Builder and Engineer described the building as the “richest and most commodious home of any social organization west of Chicago.”
In 2004, while renovating both the interior and exterior of the building, Morrison Hotel LLC gave Historic Seattle an exterior preservation easement of the facade for the purpose of preserving the building’s exterior appearance and materials. The property is a also contributing building to the Pioneer Square Preservation District.
Morrison Shelter saves lives in WhitstableThe Morrison shelter was an indoor cage that was designed to protect the occupants from the debris if the house was hit by a bomb.
It is often assumed that the first phase of ‘The Blitz’ came to an end in May, with the last of the major attacks on London. Whilst the greater part of the Luftwaffe had been diverted to the Eastern Front there were still plenty of bombers left mounting ‘nuisance raids’ at seemingly random locations around Britain.
The Whitstable Times reported on one incident on the 11th:
A South-east coast town was the scene on Saturday night of an attack by a single German raider which was flying so low that several people declare they actually saw it.
Some cannon fire was heard, which leads to the theory that the raider was being chased by a night fighter and possibly unloaded his bombs to get rid of them. In any case one of these heavy calibre bombs fell and dropped near the junction of two streets in the most densely populated part of the town, where most of the surrounding streets comprise working class dwellings.
The blast rendered inhabitable many houses. Among buildings which received damage were a Methodist Chapel and a large hotel, while churches and business premises also suffered. The damage to the other houses came chiefly from flying chunks of debris which came crashing through roofs, and from the shattering of glass, some of the streets being thick with the splinters.
Unhappily three people lost their lives – Miss. Tilley, Mr. Day, and a soldier named Shepherd of the Royal Engineers, who happened to be in the town on leave. All were in, or just outside a fried fish shop, from which were also rescued about seven of the sixteen people who were taken to hospital.
Mrs. Doris Dunn, whose husband was away on active service with the Navy, had taken shelter in the relatively new indoor Morrison shelter, which probably saved her life:
We were sitting in the kitchen and heard the plane coming over. ‘I don’t like the sound of that’ I said, and we dived into the table shelter. Almost immediately the whole house seemed to crash on top of us. We were choked with dust and in pitch darkness, but we found that we were not hurt. I groped round and managed to find the torch. We started to push away the rubbish round the shelter. We then heard voices and my father, who was out when the bomb fell, called to us. We shouted back and the rescue men dug down to us and got us out. We owe our lives to that shelter. It was really splendid.
8 thoughts on &ldquoThe Morrison Shelter is introduced&rdquo
I remember sleeping in an Anderson Shelter in our garden.and watching a large spider spinning a w be across the entrance.
We slept in there while expecting to hear the buzz bombs falling and the eexplosions that followed immediately after. They were very frightening times.
Born in 1937. We lived in Exeter I remember the Morrison shelter we had one in our front room. Mum would throw a sheet over it and we would climb out and have breakfast on the top. When the next air raid started our family of six would climb inside and settle down as best we could, it was very tight for our parents but they always made enough room for us children.
My friend across the road had the Anderson shelter, which his father had built. The biggest problem was if it rained, the water would come in from the front run down the steps and pool inside. It would get very cold, there was no light, it was hard to be cheerful in there. It was roomier than our Morrison but very miserable. The buzz bombs were frightening, we would lie listening for the sound of the rocket to stop, there would be a long moment of silence when we all counted, then the explosion and the vibration through the house. Then we would all sing in defiance that we were still alive. I think the worst part was the no light anywhere and no heat to warm us.
When it was announced that Hitler was dead, everyone cheered.
Morrison shelters superior to Anderson . As children we didn’t have to be dragged into the garden and thrust into a cold and possibly wet shelter. After heavy rain they could be flooded. Though Morrison shelters were low and cramped they were warmer, snug and an adventure for us kids. We were often in them all night from the time we went to bed until getting up in the morning. Some air raids had come and gone during the night and we knew nothing about them. Try doing that in a garden Anderson shelter. We were brought up all through the war in Weymouth, Dorset.
Next door to Portland naval base.
I shared one with my younger brother and older sister Joy in Worthing while dad was on Home Guard duties. Sometimes the overhead droning was deafening – but the doodlebugs were the scariest. I remember in later years using the steel top as a roof for my pigeon loft.
I could not avoid muttering “Morrison Shelter” at Johnny Ball’s television recollection of hiding under the ‘kitchen table’ (sic), in Bristol during air-raids. My wife looked at me rather oddly, but she is somewhat younger than I am and was spared living through those bad old days. I was born fairly early on in WW2 in Cardiff. We had no garden, thus no Anderson Shelter. Dad had been discharged from the army and spent his nights as, first a Fire Warden (incendiary bombs) and then, driving a fire engine. I recall him donning a helmet and rushing out at night whenever raids were on, whilst mam and, I in our siren suits, burrowed under that Morrison table to the tune of the air-raid sirens.
On March 1941 Scarborough was heavily bombed which resulted in substantial damage and deaths.On that evening my mother and I took shelter in a Morrison cage in my Grandmothers house which was attached to our own house which took a direct hit and completely destroyed.There I no doubt that the shelter saved the lives of myself and mother.
Born in 1940, I remember using our Morrison shelter in 1944 in Twickenham. Dad was 6ft 4in, and I remember him in a bad temper because he could not straighten his legs and so could not sleep. It was in the corner of our front downstairs room and when I looked up a picture of it was shocked by how low it was. My brother was newly born, Mum was only short, and I don’t know how we all packed in so tightly. Later on we evacuated to an Anderson shelter in the backgarden of a neighbour. They talked about Buzz-bombs all the time, but would never let me see one. This shelter was cold and wet and we had to sit on benches until the all clear….