Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ladywell Shelter

This 'Shelter for 700' sign is on the road bridge on Ladywell Road, opposite Ladywell station. It's mentioned in a few places online where it is described as a World War 2 bomb shelter sign. But is it? These were usually painted on a white background with a big 'S' for Shelter (see New Cross example here).

I wondered whether it might be more recent, e.g. a homeless shelter from Crisis at Christmas or similar. Does anybody know for sure? And where was the shelter? Presumably somewhere towards Lewisham High Street.


Dolores William said...

no but I am going to do some investigating

Anonymous said...

The graffitti is well known locally & according to the information gleaned when preparing walking guide to Ladywell ( due soon!) was recorded as Air Raid shelter under one of the railway arches in WW2.. for a more detailed overview of bombing of the borough in both wars ( remember Zeppelin raids in the 'first blitz') you might consult the Zetica guide( UXB study in 2008) ..which provides location of major bombing incidents in L/ham 2 UXB in Ladywell Cemetery!!

Mike Guilfoyle
Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery-Foblc)

Anonymous said...

I am certain this is a 1939-45 War sign, I remember others of similar style around London growing up in the 70s - i think this was one of them. Most of them have now disappeared.

Maybe different councils adopted different styles?

I expect somewhere within Lewisham Council's archives are details of all public air raid shelters.

As a guess, maybe a shelter dug in Ladywell Fields?

Anonymous said...

It was definitely an air raid shelter during WW2. I lived in Eastern Road, about 3 minutes walk from Ladywell village, from December 1951 til 1979. I clearly remember the Shelter sign on Ladywell bridge. I also remember the trees in Adelaide Avenue still having white rings painted on them to aid night drivers during the blackout.