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Become a Member of the Environment Trust.
Make a donation to the Environment Trust - to support the Trust's team for the Great River Race, please go to My Donate, https://mydonate.bt.com/events/greatriverrace2012/88990
Donate while shopping! Register with Easyfundraising.org.uk at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/environmenttrustrut. This is a free and efficient way to raise funds. Go to their web site for more information. Put simply, you open an account with them [free]. Then, when you want to do some online shopping, you logon to easyfundraising first and click ‘Go Shopping’ . Find you retailer [about 2500 are listed] and do your shopping. The retailer then donates a few percent to us. This will not make us millions, but every little helps. The trick is in fact to remember to logon to easyfundraising first.
Do you like to spend time outside? Why not take part in our regular practical work mornings. You can help us to maintain and improve valuable public sites and local landmarks for the benefit of the whole community. You too can help to promote and enhance the diversity of plants, insects, and aquatic life. Volunteer some time to your environment.
|St Leonard's Air Raid Shelter, East Sheen|
AIR RAID SHELTER at St Leonard's Court, Palmers Road, East Sheen, SW14
Beneath the pepperpot entrance building, narrow steps lead down to separate male and female day rooms, fitted with bench seats and chemical toilets, and two sleeping areas with triple-tiered bunks, each with its individual lamp holder, hooks and hand -painted numerals.
Heating was basic, in the form of a cast-iron boiler, and metal rungs on the end walls provided the only route for escape.
In 2008 plans to develop the shelter to provide two subterranean homes were defeated at appeal thanks to the efforts of residents and members of local societies led by their ward councillor Virginia Morris.
Subsequently the Environment Trust, advised by Paul Velluet, applied to English Heritage for listed status for the shelter.
In October 2010 it was designated at Grade 2, for the following reasons:
In April 2011, a meeting of St Leonard's Court Residents confirmed that the majority would be happy for a project to restore the air raid shelter to be set up, for the purposes of bringing visitors and school groups to see it by appointment.
Permission of the freeholder has been obtained, and a Steering Group has been set up, consisting of local residents, members of local history and amenity societies, mentored by the Environment Trust. We have started by researching other examples of communal shelters, and are currently commissioning a structural survey of the building, before investigating potential funds for its restoration and for an education programme to be run within it.
A meeting with the Imperial War Museum's Education Officer has confirmed our belief that it would make a wonderful resource for schools exploring the Home Front as part of World War 2 studies, and two local primary schools and one secondary school have already expressed enthusiasm for the idea.
English Heritage and the Borough's Conservation Officer visited the site in autumn 2011 to offer their advice. Placing the building on the Heritage At Risk Register was agreed to be an important first step, opening wider possibilities of funding for its repair and future use.
The Steering group are:
Eleanor Stanier, Barnes and Mortlake History Society
Nicky Gill, Mortlake with East Sheen Society
Anne Reeves, St Leonard's Court Residents' Association
Mireille Stanton, Chair of Mortlake with East Sheen Society
Darren Thornton, Co-ordinator Mortlake Community Association
Shaun Lamplough, Barnes and Mortlake History Society
Cllr Virginia Morris, Cabinet Member for Environment, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Angela Kidner, Projects Manager Environment Trust
How you can help!
A resident aged 103, who can remember using the shelter during air raids, has already given a filmed interview to Tom Stanier. If you know anyone who can remember and describe war-time life in this area, or if you have memories you would like to share, we would love to hear from you!
For a great collection of images of the air raid shelter, go to the website of Subterranea Britannica