Whilst exploring the site of Rochford Airfield, extending around the current London-Southend Airport, we came across what appeared to be an overgrown Anderson shelter used as a shed – seemingly abandoned. Thanks to guest Jack Swestun for spotting the structure. The curved corrugated iron sections looked old enough to make it an Anderson, but the fact it was not buried into the ground made us wonder, as this would have been essential for structural resilience as a bomb shelter. It has sine been confirmed to be an Anderson shelter, probably raised by the local landowner/farmer for use as a shed sometime after wartime which was not uncommon.
The Anderson shelter was designed to accommodate six people in case of an air-raid during the Second World War. They were issued free to all civilians who earned less than £5 a week (equivalent £280 by modern standards). Those with higher income would pay £7 (roughly £360 today). The shelters often came with instructions as a DIY project, and would have to be sunken into the ground and covered in at least 15″ of soil over the roof. The corrugation of the iron and its curved roof helped to distribute the force of explosion and debris falling on the shelter if a bomb hit nearby.