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Your local history needs you! Volunteers sought to help remember forgotten air raid shelter

Volunteers are being sought for an academic and community project to bring a forgotten wartime air raid shelter back to life and help schoolchildren learn about its history.

Shelter.jpg
Picture credit: Rushcliffe Borough Council
Gill Wilson, teacher at Lady Bay Primary School (bottom left), pupils from Lady Bay Primary School, Cllr Roger Upton, Prof Chris Reynolds

Your local history needs you! Volunteers sought to help remember forgotten air raid shelter

Volunteers are being sought for an academic and community project to bring a forgotten wartime air raid shelter back to life and help schoolchildren learn about its history.

Professor Chris Reynolds, of Nottingham Trent University, is working with Rushcliffe Borough Council to enhance the site of the disused concrete shelter which is located in Lady Bay, Notts, at the junction of Rutland Road and Lady Bay Road.

The university and the council have launched an appeal for members of the public to come forward with any information they have about its history, including oral histories, old photographs, and testimonies.

Professor Reynolds, a professor of History and Memory Studies at the School of Art and Humanities, said: “This air raid shelter is unknown to many people as it’s barely viewable from the street and has long been overgrown with weeds and shrubbery.

“But I am convinced that, like many air raid shelters, it holds a fascinating history that will be amazing to uncover with the help of the local community.

“It has the potential to provide schools and academics with a live, intergenerational learning opportunity, with older people coming forwards to talk to children about their memories of the site, that will enrich people’s knowledge of the local area and its heritage.”

air raid.jpg
The air raid shelter at the junction of Rutland Road and Lady Bay Road

The project – which currently involves Lady Bay and St. Edmund Campion primary schools but will hopefully be expanded to other local education providers – will also include the development of another, uncovered shelter nearby in Abbey Circus.

Discussions are taking place about the erection of information signs, restoration of perimeter fencing, and inviting schools onsite within the gated boundary which is otherwise locked.

The project will involve the Lady Bay Community Association and West Bridgford Historical Association. Plans are being considered for talks to take place at the Heron Well Being Music Café at the Poppy and Pint public house.

Lady Bay Cllrs Sue and Richard Mallender have also been supportive of the project and have explained that: “As well as enhancing the site's local history potential we also want to improve this sheltered spot to be a more biodiverse environment.”

Cllr Roger Upton from Rushcliffe Borough Council said: “This is a wonderful project that has the potential to bring an important part of West Bridgford’s and Rushcliffe’s history to life.

“Sadly, West Bridgford was sandwiched between the city’s extensive railway sidings and RAF Tollerton and a target from enemy planes during World War Two so the shelters played a vital role in protecting and reassuring the local community.

“Now, Chris, the team at NTU and the Council would love to unearth more information on those who may have a memory or connection to the sites.”

To get involved, email chris.reynolds@ntu.ac.uk or telephone 0115 848 3298.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Chris Birkle, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2310, or via email.

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards). It was the University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with over 33,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 4,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries.

    In the past 15 years, NTU has invested £450 million in tools, technology and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2019 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is 4th globally (and 3rd in the UK) for sustainability in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Your local history needs you! Volunteers sought to help remember forgotten air raid shelter

Published on 21 June 2022
  • Category: Press office; School of Arts and Humanities

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