Stockport Air Raid Shelters

We only visited 4 museums during our 5 days in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

However, these visits had proved too much for our host, who was quickly turning into a jelly.

We visited Stockport Air Raid Shelters. Stepping back in time to 1940s wartime Britain was quite surreal. Inside the shelters, I was amazed at such an orderly community, and a world of volunteering. The instructions given, in modern terms, were equivalent to “every little helps” (food rationing; making tea), health and safety and team building.

Inside Air Raid Shelters with Tilly

Inside Air Raid Shelters with Tilly

As we had a heated debate as to how to make the perfect tea a few days ago, I’m going to show you in the war time, how people ‘put the kettle on’.  From the poster:

Tip for making the most of your tea ration at home…
You can save that ‘extra one for the pot’ if you get the best out of your tea.

  • As soon as the kettle is boiling, you should be ready with the well-warmed teapot.
  • The teapot should come to the kettle, not the kettle to the teapot.
  • You should give enough time to brew and stir it just before pouring.
  • If you do all this your ration will go further.

War Museum 13

I was also very surprised by the toilet facility. Some of the toilets in the shelters were actually connected to the main supply. In my house in the south of Malaysia, we lived in a small compound that our toilets were only connected to the main supply in late 70s.

Here are some pictures to share with you; some were taken while we were out walking the most delightful dogs in the UK.

Just imagine that you’re visiting the shelters with Tilly next to you.

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33 thoughts on “Stockport Air Raid Shelters

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  2. Ruby

    Stockport probably had mains water and drainage in the shelters because it was a major town, but lots of rural places didn’t (and where they did, it might have been only to standpipes, and not connected to individual houses). The village where my mum grew up had mains water put in during the war – the labour was done by Italian POWs. But as my mum’s house was outside the village, they didn’t get mains until the 1960s.

    I’ve got a DVD somewhere of life in rural Britain in the 1940s, which you might find interesting to borrow.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thanks for this explanation, Ruby. It makes a lot of sense.
      Thanks for the DVD in advance. I’m very interested in the development of towns in various parts of Britain.

  3. Vivinfrance's Blog

    I lived through those years as a child in London. It was intriguing coming home on the underground train from Gran’s to see the people settling in for the night on the racks of benches on the station platforms. Most homes in towns and cities had mains water, drainage electricity and gas then and nearly everyone had a proper bathroom. I was astonished when we came house hunting in France in the 1980’s to find few homes with “indoor” facilities, and kitchens mainly consisted of a sink with a cold tap, a fireplace and a wood-burning stove. My War Memoir is on my blog and there are several chapters.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thank you so much Vivin. I had read your war memoir before and I enjoy reading them. Thank you for mentioning it here. I hope you continue writing your war memoir and everyone should read it.

      The Air Raid Shelters will be interesting for you to see — they just felt so real. On entering the door, we listened to ‘live’ news report and the declaration of war. We then followed the instructions and entered the fascinating shelters. I can see how our modern society is mirrored in the life in the shelters.

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