Sunday, 9 February 2014

My Nan's Air Raid Shelter - Harlow

Hi Guys, it's been a while!!!

Ventured out with  Skeleton Key, Lara and Laird Tam

We had got a tip off abut a shaft under Harlow but we didn't have a clue what it was, it had us stumped for a couple of weeks and I even emailed Subbrit

I knew I should have just asked my Nan!!!

Not only did my wise old Nan know about it, she's been in it several times!!!

It turns out that the owner of Netteswell House was a Mr Lauritzen, he was the owner of Lauritzen Water Treatment, I knew my Nan worked for him when I was a kid but I only remember her working in building that was in Old Harlow 

Well it turns out that during the war years Mr Lauritzen had some outbuildings at the rear of Netteswell House that his staff worked in

The Bunker was his private Air Raid Shelter, my Nan said that when the siren sounded then all the workers along with Mr Lauritzen and the staff of the house would go into the shelter, apparently it had lighting and benches and they would stay in there until the all clear was given and then they would return to work

They would go in through the main door from the apple orchard and the shaft that we entered by was the emergency exit.

When I told my Nan that we got about 60 foot into it she said that was about it, so it appears that behind the bricks would be a bit of mud and then the wall that joins the car park at the top of a newer housing estate

It's amazing to think I was unknowingly mooching about where my 91 year old Nan had sheltered from the German bombers 70 years earlier!!

The basic layout is like this. At the bottom of the shaft there was a small drop, about 2 foot and then you were in the main area, this was about 20 metres long and then you reached a doorway this led to the 2nd chamber which was only about 6 foot square and then the bricked up doorway. The door with the rusty reinforced bars was in this 2nd chamber so I'm guessing that it came from the bricked up doorway

There is a short movie of it here.........