Monday, 6 December 2010
Mappy Monday - Air raid precautions
This map is a bit of an oddity, and not the sort of thing I usually collect; I'm not usually interested in anything less than a century old, but the street names caught my eye. The area shown is only a few hundred yards from where I used to live.
It dates from the Second World War, and it shows the homes of the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) Wardens and the fire hydrants, and there are other markings that I can't identify (cue historian's chant 'Sorry, not my period').
Kenton is part of Harrow, which used to be surrounded by Middlesex countryside, but by the 1930s was an outer London suburb. As far as I know most of the houses and shops featured in the map were built in the 1920s and 1930s, and survived the bombing raids. It's part of the area immortalised by John Betjeman as Metroland. The house I lived is was built in 1936, and during the war years was occupied by a builder. He didn't think much of the government-issue Anderson shelters, so he got his men in to put a proper brick and concrete shelter under the garden. I know this because his daughter, a young child during the war, told me. Presumably it's still there, but it would need Time Team with their geo-phys and helicopters to pinpoint it. I made sure that the new owners knew about it when we sold the house.