Ever play in a "Pillbox"??

'Eee bah gum, when I wurr a lad. What I mean is did you ever discover a big concrete structure in which you played as a kid?
Cast your minds back to them days - there were several "Pillboxes", and "Anti-Invasion" Tank obstacles dotted around the
area of the East Yorkshire coast where I grew up....I suppose they will have all fallen into the sea due to coastal erosion
now, but I had a good time larking about in them wiv' me mates! If you do have a recollection - see if you can find it/them -
Fill in the blanks:-


There was a brick air raid shelter at the end of a row of houses near where I used to live as a kid.

I often wondered why if a bomb landed on a neighbouring brick house, it would flatten it, yet you could be perfectly safe in a brick air raid shelter.

One of life's mysteries.
BBD that looks like the bunker near Cayton Bay Scarborough.Theres loads of pillboxes around east Anglia,god knows why some were placed where they are,its not like a Jerry Ship is going to sail up the Middle Level Drain!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
The sort of air-raid shelter I think Streaky is referring to was never designed to survive a direct hit, but it would and did protect against flying bricks and slates and other garbage resulting from a nearby hit. Only the 'deep' shelters like the one at Goodge Street tube station would have given complete protection.

The Anderson shelter dug into the garden was meant to do the same thing as that brick one and keep the family safe if their house collapsed. Alternatively there was the Morrison shelter indoors (basically a steel cage) whose structure would protect against falling joists etc. and was for people with nowhere to set up an Anderson.

Public shelters had to be improvised rather rapidly. The one my mother used in London got a direct hit and everyone in it was killed - the night she decided to give it a miss. It helps to be lucky.

Me, I spent a fair old while sleeping under a stout oak dining table - but it was never tested. I was lucky too.

P.S. Thank you BBD for the lead on pillboxes. There are several near where I live, it's good to see someone is keeping a count, particularly now our ignorant council has knocked down a wall that still had SWS painted on it in (much faded) big yellow letters, pointing to a long gone Static Water Supply. I have just tried to intervene to save some damaged kerbstones that were going to be dug up - same ignorant council didn't know the damage was done by the tracks of tanks on their way to embarkation for War in 1944.


Lantern Swinger
There's a pillbox in the front garden of a house on the A590 (M6 to Barrow-in-Furness) near High Newton - looks in pretty good nick, too!

We used to play in and around one (when it was boarded up!) in the park in Allerton, Liverpool - Clark's Gardens, I think... No reason to think its not still there - will check on the next visit to my Mam's if you're THAT interested!
Spent most of my formative years in shelters of one sort or another.
Primary school, St.Saviours Herne Hill, we used to form a disorderly queue to hide in a well covered trench under the vicarage garden when the siren sounded. At home we had an Anderson, and I can remember being woken and taken outside to see the red sky and the black rain when the docks were taking a packet in 1940. Later, in another house, we had a Morrison. The girls slept in it, I had a mattress on top, and just had to dive in when the sirens wailed. It came in handy when a V1 hit the house opposite and half a wall and a bay window tried to join us.
After the war we kids found means to get into the (locked) public shelters in Ruskin Park (through the ventilation shafts), and many a frantic grope was enjoyed in the eerie darkness below ground. We had no television, few toys, but lots of invented games and FUN. "Our Gang" of snotty nosed youngsters frequented a bomb site in Brixton, where, with the rubble, we built a "village" protected by a stout wall, which we defended against the other local "gang" using broken bricks as ammo. No one ever seemed to get seriously hurt, and it kept us occupied throughout the school holidays in the late forties. Today's H&S brigade would have a fit, but we just regarded it as part of "growing up".
Much later, in the late 70's, my sons and I demolished a brick garden shelter at a house I had just bought. Bloody hard work - triple thickness brick walls with a six inch reinforced concrete roof, and mortar that would have withstood a siege. Would have been well able to stand under a collapsing house.
Happy memories!

Happy memories. There's one at the bottom of my road currently being used to support a large sign for a firm of certified surveyors at the bottom of my road. At least it has been preserved!

I also remember many happy days on exercise in one of these (but it was a bit tidier!) and one of these. They were freezing cold, got flooded and the ventilation was so poor you sometimes had to evacuate them when everyone on duty developed severe headaches (CO2 build-up).

CND used to claim they were the size of a football pitch.... what you you think? :lol:

I have a brick air raid shelter in my driveway, well it was my neighbours & for 20 years or so has had British, German & Japanese vehicles 'flying' very low over its remains!
There are a fair number throughout the Isle of Wight, I used to spend some time as a nipper in the buildings up at Ventnor Radar Station (see film Battle of Britain).
A schoolfriend of mine had one at the bottom of his garden!! It was on top of a Southern Region (One for you Andy :thumright: :w00t: ) embankment, the house was just off Kilburn High Road, North London, so must have been part of the Inner Defense Ring.
Must of been at least a 50ft drop to the railway line (Permant way[Another one for Andy]), poor old Home Guard toddling out for a pee at 00dark and dirty not being able to break blackout..no wonder the thing stank of piss, although that was probably my mates younger brother, who we used to lock up in it, for at least a couple of hours every weekend, pure dead evil.
I had a wonderful time with a young lady over a period of time in a gun emplacement on Hilsea Ramparts, Portsmouth. :sign12:
During the war my cousin and I used to be put under the stairs during air-raids.
For quite a few years after the war there were two brick built shelters in the playground of our Primary School, one for boys and one for the girls. It didn't mean a thing then I only thought it was for peeing out of :tp:
There are several around Shoreham Airport in Sussex, and a lot more around the railway junctions near Littlehampton.
In fact they seem to be pretty common and have stood the test of time well.
This is the one overlooking the beach north of Lowestoft where I usually stop for a quick look about and to do press-ups when out running with my mate's Springers. They think it's fun to lick my ears as I'm doing them :)


Book Reviewer
Just to make sure I've got it right Harry, one licks yer ears while you are doing the other one. Do you need maskers or don't they split as easily at hampsters?
As I was saying, before we got on to the subject of sex with canines....
The pill-boxes that fell off the cliffs around N. Humberside were always
bloody good hunting grounds for massive "Eating Crabs"....took loads
home for the old man to boil up. Last visited this one when I was about
10/11yrs of age.



Lantern Swinger
In a similar vein, for pompey ratings google......portsdown-tunnels
An interesting site about the wartime and after underground bits in the area.
Remember the one overlooking the beach at Lossiemouth. I pity anybody storming that beach I thought when viewing the vast sandy beach. It made a good photo of the beach framed by the slits.

In the old town the local marshes had anti glider poles erected basically concrete poles. These where removed to make way for the expansion of the ash lagoons for the power station.

Spotted one at Turton Tower when I lead a walk round Jumbles Reservoir and up into the hills. Fascinating when you point out these things and peoples are gobsmacked at what they actually are!!
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