1938 – The War

airaidzoomAt the beginning of September 1938 the Home Office instructed the borough council to dig exploratory trenches for shelters for the 12,000 people the police estimate as likely to be caught in the borough’s streets during an air raid.

Ours is one of the gardens chosen for a trench shelter. The plans show the location and design of the shelter which takes up about a quarter to one third of the east lawn, It is to accommodate 153 people. The trenches are 5’7″ wide and 6’10” deep, with bench seating, which seems to be on one side only. The entrance is by a ramp, somewhere near the middle of the East Lawn, and it appears from post war correspondence with the council, the Kensington Park Road gate is always left open. There are two emergency exits at the Kensington Park Road end and one opposite 17 Ladbroke Gardens.