Air raid shelter is latest exhibit at Barnstaple museum

THE Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon has got its own air raid shelter - 64 years after the end of the Second World War.   Members of the Workshop of 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, based at RMB Chivenor, built an Anderson Shelter at the museum s Dig f

THE Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon has got its own air raid shelter - 64 years after the end of the Second World War.

Members of the Workshop of 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, based at RMB Chivenor, built an Anderson Shelter at the museum's Dig for Victory garden.

Councillor Dick Jones, Lead Member for Community and Leisure, sasid: "We are delighted that our friends at Chivenor have helped us repair and rebuild this Anderson Shelter. Not only will it give visitors a real visual image of these shelters, but we hope it will also help them appreciate the conditions that families faced inside while the sirens and bombs were going off around them."

The shelter and the garden are part of a project called North Devon at War, which stems from the 'Their Past, Your Future' programme. This is managed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The aim is to inspire people of all ages to discover the impact of conflict over the last 100 years, and discover why it is relevant now and for the future.


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Julian Vayne, the museum's Heritage Access Officer, says: "As well as the shelter, vegetables such as cabbages, runner beans and marrows have been planted in the garden using tools from the 1940s. We hope this will help encourage schools, community groups and other visitors to think about food production during the war - and maybe even try growing their own produce back at home."

Museum staff will now begin kitting out the shelter with items that would have been inside during the Second world War, before officially opening the garden to the public at a later date.

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