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Anderson corrugated iron air raid shelter. Before the outbreak of World War II, the government encouraged Londoners to install an Anderson air raid shelter in their back garden. Named after the Home Secretary, Sir John Anderson, the shelters comprised six curved sheets of iron bolted together at the top. Half-buried in the garden with earth heaped on top, they offered protection from blast and shrapnel but not from a direct hit. Inside, there was room for six people. For the poorest Londoners the shelters were issued free, but others had to pay £7 for theirs. By the outbreak of war, over two million families had an Anderson shelter in their garden. The shelters were dark, damp and tended to flood, and many people were reluctant to spend the night in them. This shelter was designed by David Anderson, B. L. Hurst and Sir Henry Jupp based on the 1938 prototype created by William Paterson and Oscar Carl Kerrison; Paterson was later knighted.
© Museum of London