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Police dig new Anderson Shelter at Museum (24th October 2011)

Earlier this year the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford took delivery of an original Anderson Shelter donated to the Museum by Etruria Industrial Museum, Stoke-On-Trent. The 8ft long by 6ft high shelter will be constructed by officers from Longbridge Police Station assisted by a group of teenagers as part of their community outreach work. It will then be placed in the Museum’s World War II garden enhancing the WWII workshops, used by thousands of school groups each year.

The Anderson Shelter has spent the last 15 years at the Etruria Industrial Museum, having previously lived in a back garden in Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent since WWII.  The shelter, originally built to protect families of up to ten people, from day time bombing raids during World War II, will be seen by thousands of school children each year as part of the WWII: Evacuee Experience aimed at Key Stage 2, children aged 7-11.

Made from sheets of galvanised corrugated steel and held together with nuts and bolts, the shelter is in surprisingly good condition considering its age.  The shelter will be constructed in just one day and lowered into the ground, as they would have been during the war after tediously digging out three trenches to create enough space. Weather permitting!

Education officer, Philip Clayton says:
“I would like to thank the Officers from Longbridge Police Station who have been instrumental in the planning and development of this project.  Sixteen learners from the Birmingham area under the supervision of the Police Officers will transform our WWII garden for the use of schools.  This is a unique opportunity to see an actual Anderson Shelter, so children can see where people had to shelter during the Blitz.  We would also welcome any memories people have of these shelters during the war”.

Also taking pace on Tuesday 25th October, Officers from Wrens Nest Police Station, Dudley will be bringing a team of teenagers as part of their community outreach to take part in a glider challenge.  The children, assisted by the Officers will have to build a glider from willow canes as part of the fun team building experience.

For more information on the Museums Access & Learning programme, please call 01902 376241 or visit: www.rafmuseum.org.  The Museum is open daily from 10am, entry is FREE.