Photos: Visitors get to see inside a wartime bunker in Harborough - and help the Poppy Appeal

“This shelter is iconic, it’s earned its place in our recent heritage and has a massive legacy"

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:24 am
Mick Crook, top, during the open Anderson Shelter day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Scores of people defied terrible weather at the weekend to explore a wartime bunker in Market Harborough and boost the Royal British Legion’s traditional poppy appeal.

They went along to the 90-acre Showground site on Gallow Field Road on the edge of Market Harborough on Sunday (October 31) to delve inside the hallowed Anderson Shelter dating back to the Second World War.

Mick Crook, 54, who staged the open day to get behind the town’s branch of the RBL, said: “It went very well – especially considering the high winds and heavy rain we had on Sunday morning.

Neil Hunt demonstrates one of his weapons during the open day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“I publicised the special event on social media and I was delighted by how many people came along.

“The Anderson Shelter was brilliant – it saved tens of thousands of lives in the Second World War.

“It was so critical because householders and families could install it in their back gardens reasonably easily,” said Mick, of Market Harborough.

“The Anderson Shelter helped to keep men, women and children safe as German warplanes flew overhead dropping bombs on this country.

Gary Ward and Charlie Taylor Burt with a Lewis machine gun. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“This shelter is iconic, it’s earned its place in our recent heritage and has a massive legacy.

“And in the years when we faced the most dangerous threat in our history this shelter embodies the magnificent spirit of the times.

“People united and stood together side by side back during the war years in 1939-45.

“And our community in Harborough and across the UK has rallied around and supported each other once more over the last 18 months or so as we’ve fought a totally different war against Covid,” said Mick.

The Royal British Legion motorcycle branch. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“People gave very generously when they came along on Sunday.

“And every penny donated will help the Royal British Legion continue to do the fantastic work they do supporting armed forces veterans and their families.”

Invented in 1938 as war with Nazi Germany loomed over the horizon, Anderson shelters could accommodate up to six people and were made of galvanised corrugated steel panels.

The ubiquitous structures were issued free to all householders in Britain who earned less than £5 a week.

One of the displays during the Anderson Shelter Open Day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
After the heavy downpour on Sunday morning, planks of wood helped visitors during the open day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Alan Drury, Neil Hunt and John Drake during the open day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER