'Time capsule' of 1940 air raid warnings found under stairs

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Image source, Twitter: @andreasgwood
Image caption, The photo of the handwritten list has received nearly 20,000 likes since it was posted on Twitter

The wall of an under-stair cupboard containing a register of World War Two air raids gives an interesting insight into the experience, experts have said.

The "time capsule" of times and dates of air raid warnings during September 1940 over Epsom, Surrey, was recently rediscovered at a house in the town.

Andreas Wood said it was "an heirloom" inherited when his family bought the property 35 years ago.

The Imperial War Museum said it was keen to try to preserve the wall.

Senior curator Ian Kikuchi said it showed what life would have been like under the constant threat of aerial bombardments during The Blitz, and the "physical discomfort and disruption they caused".

"It is easy to imagine the writer taking shelter in this cramped space as the air raid sirens sounded, not knowing whether bombs might soon be falling on their home, or on those of their neighbours," he said.

It is not known who wrote it.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mr Wood told BBC Surrey: "When were growing up as kids we used to go down there and pretend we were hiding out from an air raid because we had this thing on the wall... it was so evocative."

Since then the list had been buried behind "a load of junk" and was only recently rediscovered when it all got cleared, he said.

A photo of the wall has received nearly 20,000 likes, and has been shared more than 5,000 times, since Mr Wood posted it on Twitter just over a week ago.

"It's real history, not in a museum, in someone's house.

"People can really relate to it. People are really interested in local history... it's so specific in date and time.

"It's a beautiful time capsule," Mr Wood said.

Mr Kikuchi said the Imperial War Museum was "interested to explore the ways in which this tangible piece of history might be preserved".

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