During World War 2 Air Raid Shelters were constructed in many schools. The style, and quality of construction differed greatly. Some were simple lean-to buildings built against walls or existing structures, others were more elaborate underground shelters, often built below the playground or in the 'cut and cover' style in a spare piece of land. The two shelters at St. John's School in Redhill are of the 'cut and cover style': the earth was excavated, the concrete structure formed and then covered with earth. One shelter (the larger of the two) was designated for the girls and the smaller shelter was for the boys. Interestingly, the boys shelter was decorated with extensive murals during the war, which were reported on the Pathé newsreels at the time, and still remain to this day.
These tunnels are generally closed to the public, but sometimes opened on Heritage Open Days.
St John's School
Entrance to the Girls' shelter
A typical section of the shelter, with some of the benches
Recess for toilets
Another tunnel section, numbers can be seen on the walls
Sink still remaining
Another section of the tunnel
Entrance to the Boys' Shelter
The only remaining light!
Robin Hood mural
Another tunnel section
Unfinished section, although pencilled squares can be seen
Click below for a Pathé Newsreel of the boys painting their shelter: