Homeowner stunned when hole in his driveway reveals a WW2 air raid shelter

A MAN investigating a hole in his driveway was stunned to find his home was built over a World War II air raid shelter.

Simon Marks thought he has driven on to a flowerbed when the wheel of his car had caved in.

 Simon Marks with the entrance to the air raid shelter in his driveway

But on closer inspection he found that part of the driveway of his £400,000 house was covering a two-roomed shelter.

 Simon and his dad, Gerald, are gradually clearing the mud from the shelter, and have removed about half so far

The 37-year-old computer support worker said: “This massive hole appeared. I thought it was a sinkhole or a badly constructed garden.

 He thought he had driven into a flowerbed at first but then found the hole, and what lies beneath

“I was just terrified the whole house was going to vanish. I took some pictures and sent them to my dad.

“When I moved a few of the slabs out of the way I found a ladder. I got my selfie stick and put it down the hole where I saw two rooms.

“My dad saw it and instantly said it’s an air raid shelter.

“We googled it and found there are quite a few in this area. It is made from concrete lintels and is in immaculate condition.”

Simon, from Luton, Beds., thinks the shelter may have been built after a German bomb landed close to the house in the war.

He found it on Saturday afternoon and thinks it is 10ft deep.

The house was bought from an elderly couple, who built it in the 1970s.

Simon said: “The previous owner must have known it was there and when he built the house and put a garden in he must have filled it in.

“He clearly wasn’t very worried about it and it just sat there until the hatch fell through. I think it’s great and I want to clear it out and preserve it if it’s structurally sound.

“It’s incredible to think it has all been made by hand. It’s part of our history so it should be kept.”

 Old bottles from when the air raid shelter was built were found amongst the mud and dirt

The shelter was nearly full to the top with mud, and still had various other items including glass bottles and old newspapers inside.

 The building is still standing, despite being covered and walked over for years

Since Saturday Simon and his father Gerald, 67, have been excavating the shelter with buckets.

 Old relics of the time just after the war fill the shelter still, preserved after it was paved over by a previous owner

They’re around half way down and have filled Simon’s front garden with all the mud.

Simon said: “Since Saturday it’s been a case of dig, dig dig. We’re about 5ft down at the moment so it’s just another 5ft to go until it’s finished.

 Simon wants to preserve it as a part of history and said it was "incredible" to think it had been built by hand

“I think we’re going to have to get a skip in because there’s so much rubbish to get rid of.

“One of the walls has been bricked up. I’m 90 per cent sure we won’t find out any more rooms but we don’t know.

“They might have bricked up one of the walls when the house was built to make way for the foundations. If that’s the case we’ll just have to leave it.”Play Video

A secret fire station – untouched for over 60 years – was pictured for the first time after it was discovered in the cellar of a factory earlier this month.

Remarkable photos show uniforms hanging on walls and equipment littering the floors of the previously hidden space at a West Midlands shopfitting firm.

 

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