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Although no bombs actually fell on Stroud during World War II, many may remember the Air Raid shelter built on the forecourt of the Subscription rooms, which could hold up to 70 people.


As a preventative measure from air raid attacks, wardens were appointed to ensure that all lights were blacked out during night time so as not to attract the attention of any enemy planes flying overhead.

Well, I can remember my grandmother had  black material sheets which she used to fit on to the roller at the top of the curtains, and just roll it down in the front of the cottage  and that used to happen quite often because although if it wasn't a recognised air raid there also used to be practice runs... 

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Well, I went in early in the morning into my place of work to feed the cat and I was on my way to church, the early morning service you see and I was in rather a hurry and I dashed out, went to church and we had double summer time then, so it was light - dark in the mornings you see and light in the evenings.  So of course, going out quickly, I forgot to switch the light off. So about midnight that night there was a bang, bang, bang on the door.  My father got up in a bit of a temper - well, who was banging on? - it was the air raid warden, because you had to register who was in charge of each business in Stroud you see in case anyone was injured in an air raid. It was the air raid warden come for me cause I'd left the light on.  So I went all the way back into town, switched the light off, patted the cat  walked home, and he let me walk home on my own after midnight [yeh] And then of course I...there was a court case, you see. I was summoned and [erm] I was fined two pounds, which was more than a week's wages. So it was pretty strict.
MRS X (Interviewee prefers not to be identified)

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From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

SM_1995 Air Raid Shelter by kind permission of Peckhams (copyright)