Recycled Anderson Shelters

The corrugated iron roofs of most of the shelters were collected by the authorities at the end of the war. Other shelters which were no longer needed were sold to the householders for £1 each (the equivalent of around £35 in 2015). These were often dug up and re-erected above ground, fitted with wooden doors and used as workshops or garden sheds. Much of the corrugated iron was also re-used by farmers.

Not all the sheds, animal shelters etc. that survive until today were once Anderson shelters but you can look at the following photos and decide whether your structure might have once been an Anderson shelter, or alternatively built with new metal after the war.

Here is a photo of an post-war 'prefab' estate showing a re-erected shelter to the left of the picture, and another at the back of the estate. The photo on the right is a close-up of such a shelter:

Amazingly, many of these re-positioned shelters are still in good condition today. Here is a representative sample of the photos that have been sent to me:

These photos are of a shelter in Kentish Town ...

And here are shelters in Whetstone (North London) and Manchester.

And here is one in Edinburgh, before it was dismantled and then rebuilt by Joe McGuigan.

The photo below is of half (or more accurately two-thirds) of a shelter in Sheffield.  It is still in its original position dug into a hillside (there was a tree growing on top of it) but instead of being 3 x panels in length it’s only 2 x panels.  The owner thinks it was cut to make room for a shed.  The original entrance section may also have been cut in two to make some doors as in this photo.....

I am grateful to Phil Hall for telling me about this structure which he found in a wood south of Westerham in Kent. It is about 4 metres long and has 7 sheets of corrugated iron on each side, all set into a concrete base. It was presumably once used for agricultural purposes but is still in amazing condition given its age - and the fact that it is now supporting a rather heavy tree! Even the Trademark Staley maker's marks are still very clear. (The photo was taken in 2015. The Ordnance Survey grid reference (according to my GPS) is TQ 4534 5296.)

Not to be outdone, Dean Miles sent me this photo of this structure, well over 10 metres long.  It was also in Kent, this time near West Malling.

Neil Hannant uses recycled sheets of corrugated iron to provide covers under which his pheasants can lay their eggs:

Here are two photos of a rather smart shelter, now on rather than in the ground, but still in its original garden in Bristol.

This structure, on the left, is in Hastings. It is very similar to the one on the right, advertised as a pig pen on eBay in 2017. Note the lifting handle in each corner and the short flat roof section, with no central bolts. The ends are flat sheet & there is what looks like a riveted angle trim all round between the ends & the curved sides/roof. 

Here are two very smart re-builds. The shelter-turned-shed in Thornton Heath, South London, has a very nice wooden door. And the one on the right - in allotments in Crookes, Sheffield - has bullseye glass windows as well as brick walls.

And here is a very nicely re-purposed shelter in Walthamstow.  Note how well the steel has survived over 80 years.


Martin Stanley