#deepshelters photos & videos

last month

Last week I went on a pleasant run around the Common and stopped to photograph the intriguing drum-shaped structures that I have seen in the twenty years I have been living/ frequenting Clapham. The drums are entrances to two of eight deep level air raid shelters that were built in the lead-up to WW2, which were designed to provide safety to the local residents when Germany started its bombing campaign of the UK. Each shelter was capable of housing 8,000 people (! ) and had two entrances. You can read extensive history about these shelters on the internet but one can find it difficult to imagine what the prospect of daily life must have been like if survival meant dashing to one of these in the darkness of night amidst the sound of planes humming over, bombs dropping and terror all around. How different this is to the Clapham we know and love today. This is a great reminder of the sacrifices generations before us made. Map 1 (red lines ) A bombing intensity map, which highlights how vulnerable the residents of Clapham were. Map 2 (Clapham South ) The locations of the two entrances that can be seen today (see the first two photographs ). The Northern entrance is still located on Clapham Common opposite Tescos. The second can be seen as a 'drum' next door to Majestic on Balham Hill. Map 3 (Clapham Common ) If you've ever wandered out of Bellevue Pub on a Friday night over to Bodeans you will have walked past one of the entrances. The second can be found on Clapham High Street just up from Sainsburys (photographs 3 and 4 ). The maps are also colour coded: if a house was hit and destroyed it was coloured in black with varying shades of blue etc through to green. Today you can see a distinct change in the architecture at the badly damaged sites, which was all made possible through the press of a button that unloaded sticks of high explosive bombs as the planes flew over Clapham. #claphamcommon #claphamsouth #ww2 #blitz #londonblitzbombs #bombdamage #localhistorian #theblitz #deepshelters #northernline #history #raf #antiaircraft #antiaircraftguns #underground

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Aug 2020

More deep shelters, loving exploring these at the moment. #ww2 #defenceuk #urbex #deepshelters

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