Plans to restore air-raid shelter in CrowthorneBy Hugh Fort
August 01, 2012
A rare air-raid shelter in Crowthorne which was earmarked for demolition could now be restored after its history was uncovered.
Members of the village’s heritage project discovered the shelter, which has been used as a storage area by Wokingham Without Parish Council, is an extremely rare type of which there are only a few left scattered around the country.
The public air-raid shelter at the Pinewood Centre in Crowthorne is like those found in London, as opposed to the more common Anderson shelters people had in their gardens during the air raids of the Second World War.
The parish council had discussed knocking down the shelter but the heritage group’s discovery has prompted a change of heart.
Councillor Seona Turtle, deputy chairman of the parish council, said: “The shelter has a very interesting history.
“So rather than just knocking it down as we first thought, we’ve decided to look at whether we can restore it and provide a ‘Blitz experience’ for schoolchildren.
“We know that there was no Blitz in Crowthorne, but we have an ideal facility to help children learn about what it was like to be in an air raid.”
The future of the shelter in Old Wokingham Road, which has a thick concrete roof and walls three bricks thick, is now due to discussed by parish councillors, who will decide whether it should be restored. During the war, the Pinewood site was a tuberculosis treatment hospital and where it looked after troops from Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand.
The shelter was between the wards and would have been used if the hospital was attacked by German bombers. However, the hospital was never attacked and the shelter has stood empty ever since.
The heritage project is being carried out around Crowthorne to detail the village’s history.
Anyone interested can call Sue Hester on (01344) 775 938.