Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fragments of history: Manchester air raid shelters in abandoned mine shafts

My mother was a girl in Manchester England during WW II. Today, after my usual stories of what the children were up to, she mentioned that as a child, early in WW II, she enjoyed the family time in the backyard bomb shelter. These were hand dug pits with concrete bottoms, metal siding and roofs, and dirt on top. It's not clear to me how much protection these things provided, but I imagine the psychological benefit was significant.

We spoke a bit of general WW II shelter design, and she mentioned that among the Manchester shelters were abandoned mine shafts. Coal mine shafts in particular. These were group shelters, a step below subways and the like.

It seems to me there ought to be some stories about taking shelter in an abandoned coal mine. Pleasant no, memorable yes. The search terms should be specific enough to find something.

Alas manchester "air raid" shelter coal "mine shaft" didn't come up with much today, though it did catch another story of a lost world.

In a day or two, of course, the search will find this post.

Sheila Cox says hello.

1940 was 67 years ago. Getting on half way to the American Civil War.

Imagine someone, or something, searching on this topic 70 years from now. It's rather hard for me to imagine what they might be like.

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