Stanton air-raid shelters were manufactured by the Stanton Ironworks Co Ltd in Derbyshire (better known for sewage pipes & manhole covers). They could be built in any length but usually consisted of 18 sections of pre-cast concrete arched-shaped sides, bolted together to form a standard Air Ministry shelter for 50 men. The entrance could be brick-lined and with concrete steps (if required) with an emergency escape hatch at the rear. They were often above ground or semi-sunk, but for added protection and concealment purposes, further blast walls were added and all covered with soil and turf. Built by several different companies such as Geo, Wimpey, Mowlem and Tarmac.
Its not known how many were built or survived, but many were located near airfields most of which have reverted back to private farmland and many shelters demolished, so the South Midlands Area of the MVT were pleased to save another from demolition.
Just a few miles from here was RAF Honeybourne, a Class A Bomber Base just south of the town of Honeybourne and adjacent to the village of Weston Subedge. The base was operational from 1941 to 1946 and was home to the No. 24 Operations Training Unit, flying Whitleys and Wellington Bombers.
Several Stantons still survive there today but others have been demolished. According to a local villager this one was built in 1940 next to the RAF washrooms. Rescued by Bob James in May 2008 from a farm in Weston Subedge bordering the airfield, it took a team of five people a whole day to dismantle, with the removal of several tons of soil and parts of the original blast walls, and the shelter itself weighs in at around 20 tons and couldn’t have been done without Bob’s JCB and jack hammer.
For an aerial view of where it was please click on the link below, and if you look to the right of those washrooms you can see the hatch & mound.
Then if you zoom out and go North West for about a 1/2 a mile you will see where the airfield was.
To complete the visitor experience sound and lighting effects of an air-raid have been added so if you would like to arrange a group visit then please contact.
Found buried under tons of earth Still dry after 68 years, except for cow muck Anthony starts to unbolt
Note blast walls either side as Harry loosens seal Each 1/2 ton rib lifted by JCB Scraping out more muck
Anthony cuts a few stubborn bolts Awkward to lift last pieces Only end wall to take down
Ready for collection
Numbered & delivered Tricky starting off Diggers push to help line them up
Neil inside bolts sections together Hatch sections re-located to middle Taking shape, just over half-way
Just two more pieces to go Escape hatch fitted Completed
Start to bury again until track came off digger Baskets added to prevent movement Entrance with new door