IT’S AMAZING the unexpected effects the coronavirus lockdown is having. It has given people more time to explore their immediate surroundings, especially with the largely good weather we’ve been having.
“Since having a little more time on my hands, I’ve discovered some sort of bunker in my garden buried 300mm underground,” writes Farnham Rants founder Lee Moran, of Cobbett’s Way, Wrecclesham, on a local Facebook group.
“We’ve started digging it and found a WW1 Royal Artillery cap badge and WW2 NFS (National Fire Service) button from between 1941-48 as well as 1960s oil lanterns so far!”
Lee then sent me some photographs of his discoveries along with a little bit more information.
“My wife was brought up here from the age of three and my in-laws lived here for a total of 23 years until we did a council swap about 14 years ago. There was always a rumour of an old bunker full of old motorbikes etc but nobody could confirm this.
“Since buying the property two years ago, we have looked into the deeds with no mention of it and no living memories could be found.
“I started metal detecting the garden a few years ago with a number of notable items being discovered, mainly an original WW1 Royal Artillery Ubique cap badge, a huge silver keeper’s ring and many toy cars from the distant past.
“My daughter Kyrah decided one early evening to take on the challenge of finding said bunker, which she did within five minutes of stabbing the ground with a shovel. She found what seemed to be a board covering a concrete structure. She and her friends dug away for hours until uncovering the top step.
“Over the past few weeks we have been digging away to expose the exterior of the roof and stairs just to confirm the condition of the structure before trying to dig into the first room.
“The bunker appears to have been filled in with an old tool shed around the mid-1960s from the items found.
“We have found a threepence coin (1944) and a National Fire Service button (1941-1948) and many a tool of which you don’t see today! We haven’t quite made it through the front door yet and have many mysteries to answer.”
Since writing that, Lee tells me they have now got inside and found it is, indeed, an air-raid shelter.
You may recall one was also found a few years ago in a garden on Shortheath Road, and at first glance Lee’s seemed similar. However, the Shortheath one was built using Anderson shelter corrugated iron panels as shuttering for the concrete whereas Mr Moran’s has flat interior walls and roof.
I wonder how many more still lie buried around the town? Have you found something unexpected around your home during the lockdown?
If so, please let us know – it could be part of the area’s unrecorded history.