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Volunteers rebuild WWII air raid shelter
A Second World War shelter, which was lived in for 56 years by two wartime women, has begun being rebuilt at Shoreham Fort.
A team of hard working volunteers have started work on the Nissen hut which was moved piece by piece from Chichester after it was donated to the Friends of Shoreham Fort (FSF).
The shelter was originally used in wartime as housing for Canadian soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns protected the nearby harbour.
Following the war the hut was owned by Vera Barlow, 87, and Edith Hooper, 92, who lived in the hut until their deaths months apart in 2012.
The three bedroom hut was in need of work but is now being lovingly refurbished to become an education centre for the fort.
Sharon Penfold, secretary of FSF, said the hut was “well on the way” should be completed in the next few days and praised the work of volunteers, saying they were helping “recycle history”.
The hut was designed by Major Peter Norman Nissen of the 29th Company Royal Engineers of the British Army during the First World War.
It proved so successful that the government ordered 100,000 for sites across the UK.
The shelter was designed to be portable enough to be packed into a truck and easy enough to assemble so that six men could build it in four hours.
The world record for erection is 1 hour and 27 minutes.
Gary Baines, chairman and founder of the FSF, said: “We have already had a lot of help and need to say a huge thank you to a number of people, including Tim and Sarah Bird who donated the hut to us, Iron Designs for transporting the hut to Shoreham, and G R Ayling for providing a skip at cost.”
The hut will be officially opened to the public on April 20.
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