Engineers find WWII air raid shelter during sewer upgrade for Thames
Engineers planning a sewer upgrade in Tottenham, north London, have discovered a mystery WWII air raid shelter. Measuring 10m long, 2.5m wide and 2m high, it is believed to have been built around 1940, and has laid unnoticed under Tariff Road until last month when plans were being drawn-up for the sewer upgrade scheme.
Buried less than a metre below what is now the driveway for an industrial area, the shelter can only be accessed via manholes and does not show up on any mapping so the new sewer pipes had been due to pass directly through it. They’ve now been changed to preserve the important piece of history.
Mike Lang Hall, archaeological adviser to Thames Water contractor Optimise, said: “Our project must go ahead to protect nearby properties from flooding but now we’re doing it in a way so as not to disturb such a precious piece of our heritage. There’s no record of ownership but we suspect it was built to serve the local community and possibly workers at the nearby Triumph factory.
“It would be great to find out if there’s anyone around who has any memories of it.”
The flood alleviation scheme is being carried out to reduce the risk of flooding in Tariff Road by separating rain drainage from wastewater sewers. This will mean that during heavy rainfall the sewers will not get overwhelmed with rain water and will still effectively remove waste from homes and businesses.
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