Norfolk

WW2 air raid shelter beneath Bignold School pothole

Air raid shelter in school playground
Image caption Rails have been placed around the shelter which is in the middle of the playground

Workmen repairing potholes in a school playground got more than they bargained for when they uncovered a World War Two air raid shelter.

"We appear to have found Raiders of the Lost Ark in your playground" was how they broke the news to staff at Bignold Primary School, Norwich, on Wednesday.

The children have since had a special assembly explaining shelters' wartime role.

The school is now discussing with the council how to cover the bunker.

Head teacher Clare Jones said she was aware there were three shelters in the grounds but never knew exactly where. They had been built for pupils and staff at the school that previously stood on the site in Wessex Street.

Image caption The shelter was empty except for one light bulb

Children and teachers have been "desperate" to see inside. However, safety railings have been erected while the school waits for a structural engineer to survey the new hole in the playground.

"The children have been very excited about it, because it's living history on our doorstep really," Mrs Jones said.

"However much you try to teach about things there's nothing quite like having it there for the children to see."

Image caption The school is discussing with its governors and the local authority the best way to cover the shelter

The children were shown pictures of Norwich during wartime air raids and the sound of an air raid siren was played to them during assembly.

Mrs Jones is now asking people who remember using the shelters to get in touch with the school and share their memories.

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