WW2 Air raid shelters discovered at Ashburys railway yards Manchester

Oxford Archaeology North are under taking the archaeological evaluation of the former railway yards and associated buildings to the east of manchester centre. Volunteers have also been helping from Tameside Archaeological society and Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society

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Figure 1 Aerial view of air raid shelter wall remains

Four air raid shelters from World war two were discovered by OA. They are approximately 2m wide by 10 meters long perhaps allowing up 60 to 80 workers in  each shelter. They have been partially cut into the ground with up to a meter above the original ground surface. They are constructed of corrugated metal sheets covered with concreted. Each appears to be of the same design with a stepped entrance way at one corner. Interestingly two of these were inside a massive Worksop with many stone bases for  heavy machine tools.

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Figure 2 Entrance cuts through original workshop walls giving access to the air raid shelter with remnants of blast door rebates.

August 1940, saw the start of German bombing in Manchester. The days before xmas resulted in an estimated 684 people killed  and 2,364 injured. Railway yards would have been a high priority target to disturb communications.

Follow this link to see  a film following the bombing raids: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/8208926/Unseen-images-of-Manchester-Christmas-Blitz.html

The bomb census indicates no damage to the site but several bombs landed locally : http://enriqueta.man.ac.uk/luna/servlet/detail/maps2~1~1~342661~123261?qvq=q:bombs;sort:Reference_Number,Reference_Number,Reference_Number,Page;lc:maps2~1~1&mi=2&trs=49


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