School air raid shelter museum fund hits £1,400

A fundraising page set up to help cover the cost of renovating an old air raid shelter in the grounds of a Sleaford primary school has reached over £1,400 in donations.

The plaque with names of sponsors and supporters of the William Alvey air raid shelter. EMN-210913-175225001

William Alvey School launched the Just Giving page to restore the Second World War shelter to turn it into a historical learning resource and a mini museum visitor attraction about the school’s wartime past.

In the rear corner of the school car park stands the one remaining air raid shelter built in 1940.

During the Second World War, Mary Beavis, headmistress, was awarded the Local Air Raid Precautions silver brooch for her efficiency in evacuating the children to these shelters. Mary’s surviving family have generously given the school her brooch, which is on display alongside her Red Cross First Aid medal which she earned during the First World War.

The old shelter was dark and not particularly comfortable and so the renovations were seen as a memorial for those children from ‘The Alvey’ who went on to fight and tragically fall in the war. The aim is to put in a glass door, special lighting, a sound system and some artefacts that the children would have actually taken into the shelters during an air raid.

For a £5 donation people will get their name engraved onto a permanent memorial in the shelter itself.

So far the school has raised £1,435 towards the costs.

The shelter is also part of this year’s Heritage Open Days, with its official opening on September 13, 18 and 19 - pre-booking essential.