The two world wars changed the whole way of life in Britain; not just in the town and cities, but also rural life.
The Anderson shelter was designed in 1938 by William Paterson and Oscar Carl Kerrison at the request of the Home Office. It was named after Sir John Anderson, who then initiated the development of the shelter. People earning up to £5 a week were given the shelters free by the government; others paid £7 for them.
Anderson shelters were issued nationwide to families as protection from enemy air raids. It is estimated that 3.6 million shelters were erected. After the war many of them were used as garden sheds.
They were designed to accommodate up to six people. The main principle of protection was based on curved and straight galvanised corrugated steel panels. They held up well to bombing raids, able to absorb ground shocks.
It was later realised that Anderson Shelters were very cold and damp in winter months and were uncomfortable for families during long night raids.
This led to the development of the Morrison Shelter which can be seen in the Wartime room.
Our Wartime Room is in the courtyard near the Forge.
This room is an interesting insight into rural life during the WWII. Many people will remember the familiar objects, including the imposing Morrison Shelter.
The caged Morrison Shelter was designed by John Baker and is approximately the size of a double bed. It was designed to sleep a family indoors through night bombings, and could be used as a table during the day.
The shelter was introduced at the end of March 1941 and was named after the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison. It was provided free to those households earning less than £400 a year. Many people using this shelter survived bomb strikes that reduced the house around them to rubble, leaving the Morrison Shelter (and its occupants) intact.
The Horse Ambulance
The Horse Ambulance was used during WWI for bringing injured horses from the battlefield. Note that the axle is over the top of the cart. Shafts could be fitted at either end so that the horse could be loaded or unloaded through either ramp. To help support the horse in transit, a sling was suspended from the curved axle. The Horse Ambulance was itself horse-drawn.