Vickers-Armstrong Deep shelter, Brooklands, Surrey

The United Kingdoms aviation roots can be traced back to the Brooklands when a number of high profile aviation pioneers setup their businesses there.  The Bristoal Airplane Company, Roe Vickers and Sopwith all used the Countries first Aerodrome as a base for their flying schools.  These schools closed in 1914 and in 1915 Vickers set up a manufacturing operation on the site; by 1918 the site was the largest aviation manufacturing site in the country.  In the interwar periods the schools reopened alongside the manufacturing activities.

During the run up to the Second World War the Vickers company where manufacturing Bombers for the RAF under the aircraft division of The Vickers-Armstrong Company.  The Vickers Wellington Bomber took its first flight in 1936 from Brooklands Aerodrome. The Germans realised that to achieve domination in the skies over the UK they would have to bomb RAF airfields and manufacturing plants in order to reduce the capacity of the Royal Air Force.

In anticipation of this and to protect their workforce, Vickers constructed number of interconnected air raid shelters opposite the factory in a disused sand quarry to form one  large shelter. The shelter comprised of 17 individual passages joined together with cross passages. The Passages where 180 feet long and had a 50 foot doglegged entrance tunnel complete with blast doors to protect against nearby bomb bursts. Little is known about the use of the site after the war but evidence exists in the tunnels that indicates some for of storage/light production work. after the war, Vickers-Armstong was amalgamated with other companies to form BAC.

Vickers Shelter Plan

The tunnels are in solid good condition, square in shape and made from concrete. There is ventilation equipment and electrical equipment still in situ from the War Era. The latter is in poor condition. The bunker is dry and surprisingly many WW2 era signs and paper notices remain in readable condition. The site is now used as a secure wine storage depot.

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Modified: 6th Nov 2017