Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A bomb shelter on Telegraph Hill


This fading sign is painted on the reservoir wall in Jerningham Road, SE14. It dates, I believe from the Second World War, when a big painted S with an arrow showed the direction and distance to the nearest air raid shelter. SE8ker has photographed lots of examples in Deptford and elsewhere.
But where was the shelter signposted in this example? The distance information is faded, but the arrow is pointing to the top of the road -was the shelter in St Catherine's Church or Aske's school, or somewhere else?

14 comments:

skitster said...

There's a really clear one on the bridge in Ladywell, I do keep meaning to photograph it and shall consider this post a prod!

Anonymous said...

I've spied another very clear sign off Deptford High Street on Hales Street and another on the railway bridge on Tanners Hill on your left as you go down the hill.

I've also wondered where the Jerningham shelter would have been...

Anonymous said...

I always thought it was very close by - in through the gate in the wall??

Myrtle Mount said...

i've always assumed it was the church (which has an undercroft). The church was actually hit - interesting local letter from the time here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/09/a8794209.shtml

Transpontine said...

I would have thought having a bomb shelter in a prominent landmark like a church on a hill was not too clever, but then again it may have been the only building in the area with a large suitable basement. There were other shelters in churches, notably at St Peters Walworth where more than 60 people died in a 1940 bomb raid while they slept in the crypt.

fabhat said...

There was definitely a bomb shelter in the girls school at the bottom of the hill - we were told about it when we were at school in the 80's. I think that's what the bricked in doorway in the wall on New Cross Rd was for. but I don't know if there was one at the boys school as well.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Boys school in the 70s and I never saw or heard about anything that could have beena bomb shelter. But having said that there was a 60s brick built block (music and cadet force) whihc was sort of semi-basement.

Ian

Anonymous said...

see their was a nuc alert in nunhead last week near pecham rye (Fire men stated radioactive material.......??????

tkerry said...

This Shelter was on the corner of 171 Jerningham and Vesta road; I lived at 171. It was demolished about 1948. My family chose not to use it and sheltered in the coal cellar under the house. Several local properties were bombed; our windows were blown in.

Transpontine said...

Thanks, that's that mystery solved. The house (171 Jerningham) has had several structures added i the garden in recent years, presumably they will have come across any remains of the bomb shelter.

THE RUINIST said...

I spotted a S for Shelter sign on the top of Lewisham Way last week. Never seen it before in all my years of passing by on the bus. It points down Lewisham Way towards the old Deptford Library. It says the shelter was 200 yards away. Have picture if you want it

Ben said...

The shelter in New Cross Gate/ Telegraph hill is sadly no longer their, the school, or headmaster didn't use the and that was left as recreational ground then sold it for houses, sad really, bit of history demolished to line some ignorant greedy pockets.

When it was being demolished you should have seen how huge it was, about has deep as a 3 story house, if not more. trying to find some more history on it if anyone has any.

thanks

Anonymous said...

Here is a picture of the one Ruinist mentions - sadly it doesn't look like it will be around for much longer.

Anonymous said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14346023@N02/1462513673/