Beneath Clapham South Tube station lie a warren of tunnels which provided shelter for thousands of people during World War Two.
Watch the video and answer the questions below about it.
1. How deep are the tunnels?
2. How many people would the tunnels house?
3. How did London residents know which tunnel they should go?
4. Why did people in London protest at the beginning of the war?
5. What use were the tunnels put to after the war?
6. Why has the London Transport Museum opened the tunnels to the public now?
Above ground it’s a tube station like any other, but underground Clapham South hides a warren of life-saving tunnels preserved since the 1940’s.
So how deep underground are we going?
We’re going (1) 120 feet down. This is about 178 steps if we were taking… them.
This deep-level shelter was designed to take in (2) 8,000 people as bombs were dropped over South London during the Second World War.
(3) You would’ve been given an air-raid ticket which would’ve told you where to come, which particular shelter to come to, and which particular bed.
And these are the bed? These are the original beds?
These are the original beds, yes. They’ve been down here for over 70 years now, you know, they’re in pretty good condition really considering.
The tunnels would’ve been meant for people across London to come to. There was a public outcry at the beginning of the war (4) because there was not enough adequate deep sheltering for people.
So they had to build these?
They had to build them and then and they were all hand-dug during the war.
The original signs pointing the way to the various dormitories are still here, dormitories which protected those escaping bombs but, unbelievably, dormitories which (5) became temporary homes for the immigrants invited to Britain after the war.
These sheltered, also served as accommodation for the people getting off the Empire Windrush in 1948 from Jamaica. This is a picture of some of the new arrivals who were registering here at the Labour Exchange.
TFL along with the London Transport Museum have now opened up this piece of history for public visits. They say it’s a good way (6) to generate much needed income and that the area will benefit from a café and gallery space. They may have been kept hidden for decades but soon Londoners can rediscover what went on in these historic tunnels.
Alice Bhandhukravi, BBC London News.