Sunday, 24 November 2013

As grim as it looks

This is the sign for the men’s toilets in the Stockport Air Raid Shelters. Opened in 1939, at the start of World War Two, they were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the country, providing cover for 6,500 people. Nearly a mile long, they were cut into red sandstone cliffs and boasted facilities including electric light, sick bays, bunk beds and, yes, toilets – 16-seater toilets.

You can see the shelters – and their toilets – at 61 Chestergate Street, Stockport. Nicknamed the Chestergate Hotel, it became a familiar haunt for families during the Blitz. It’s open to visitors, and recently refurbished. Hot and moist, you can see the toilets, their cheek-by-cheek seats, flimsy modesty curtains and open flushing system. Thankfully the council stopped short of providing authentic smells, offering instead a rather fab audio tour.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what number shelter this sign belonged to, number 10 from Sheffield here.