Shed Aesthetics – the real tin lizzy

I’ll tell you what you don’t see often these days; the old Anderson Shelters that used to be found on allotments (and being used as pigpens) right up until, I suppose, the late seventies.

An Anderson Shelter was made from six curved sheets bolted together at the top, with steel plates at either end – they were half buried in the ground with earth heaped on top. The entrance was protected by a steel shield and an earthen blast wall. Why? To protect the great British Public from Hitler’s dastardly air raids, of course

Anderson Shelters were given free to people receiving the dole while men who earned more than £5.00 (ah, inflation!) a week could buy one for £7.00. By the end of 1939, around two million families had shelters in their gardens.

In March 1941 the government began issuing Morrison Shelters, which were named after the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison (grandfather of Peter Mandelson, but you knew that didn’t you?) the shelters were made of very heavy steel and could be put in the living room and used as a table. One wire side lifted up for people to crawl underneath and get inside. Morrison shelters were fairly large and provided sleeping space for two or three people but you couldn’t use them on an allotment as a shed!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Sunday, August 26, 2007

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