11 / 10 / 2018
Historic air-raid shelter open for Halloween
An underground air-raid shelter from World War Two is being opened to the public at Wild Place Project especially for Halloween.
It was built in the early years of the 1939-45 war in what is now the sanctuary garden at the wildlife park on the outskirts of Bristol.
The shelter will be open to visitors from 2-3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for two weeks from October 22*.
Visitors will be shown down the narrow flight of stone steps into the shelter which is more than 3 metres below ground.
They will be able to experience being in the shelter for themselves with its two train carriage shaped rooms with wooden benches along each wall where people sheltered during enemy raids.
Nigel Simpson, head of operations at Wild Place Project, said: “To walk down the narrow steps is literally to follow in the footsteps of people from those days. It really is quite spooky so it’s ideal place to visit for Halloween.”
The shelter was built as part of the Hollywood Estate which was owned by the White family, founders of the Bristol Aircraft Company. And it may have helped safeguard some very distinguished guests.
Wartime documents have revealed that Winston Churchill visited the White family as did Queen Mary and Sir Robert Menzies. So it is possible that the man voted as the greatest ever Briton could have sought shelter in them.
*The air raid shelter will be closed and inaccessible outside of these times.
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