The Anderson Shelter was a low cost air-raid shelter that was developed in Great Britain. It was named after Sir John Anderson, who had overall responsibility for preparing air-raid precautions in the eventuality of war. The first Anderson Shelter was constructed in Islington, London.
The Anderson Shelter was designed in 1938 by William Paterson and Oscar Carl (Karl) Kerrison. It was one of a series of Civil Defence measures taken as precautions as appeasement entered its final phases. With no guarantee of future peace in Europe, it made sense to begin preparing. Other measures included trenches in public places, allocating tunnels, deep cellars and the Underground as shelters and the distribution of gas masks and public safety information.
The image above shows an Anderson Shelter intact after the Norwich Blitz. The shelter was made from a series of corrugated steel panels. 6 curved sheets were bolted together to form the roof and flat panels were used as the side walls. The Anderson Shelters were dug partly into the ground with displaced earth being used to cover the sides and roof. This helped to absorb shockwaves from bombs landing nearby and protected those inside from flying debris. Such Shelters would not, however, stand any chance in the event of a direct hit.
Anderson Shelter’s were made available to those on lower wages. They cost £5, roughly the equivalent of £310 today. 2.1 million shelters were made and distributed during the war.