Real Taste of Blitz History opened to the Public in London
On December 29th 2015 at 6:05pm precisely, air raid sirens sounded across London to commemorate the 75th anniversary of The Blitz. This date was chosen as it became known as ‘the second fire of London’ in 1940, when 24,000 explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on the city by Nazi war planes.
More than 160 people were killed in this one attack, but the number could have been much worse, had it not been for well built air raid shelters, which protected families against the nightly onslaughts.
Now, 70 years after the Second World War ended, air raid shelters which kept 8,000 Londoners safe during the bombings will be opened to the public. Transport for London (TFL) secured planning permission to conduct tours of the shelters, as well as transforming the above ground rotunda into a restaurant.
The eight grade II listed bunkers are located 180 steps below ground under the Northern line tunnels, opposite Clapham South Tube Station in central London. They were built in 1942 and used extensively throughout 1944, when the Nazis intensified their attacks on the capital.
The bunkers were ‘state of the art’ at their time, including bunk beds, canteens, medical aid, lavatories and hand painted signs – many of which are still handing on the walls today. TFL are hoping that these original features will help tourists get a real taste for ‘Blitz Britain’, and what it meant for the occupants of London in the 1940s.
Once opened, the shelters will form part of TFL’s ‘Hidden London Tours’. If you’re planning a staycation, just remember to invest in quality UK travel insurance.
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