History of Air Raid Shelters At School, Loose Lane, Sompting



12th June 1940

Visit by Mr Vaughan from the County Architect’s Department to investigate the arrangements for the safety of the children during an Air Raid.  He agreed that the Barn offered by Mr Wadman was too far now that fewer warnings are given.   He was also shown the huts.



23rd July 1940

Bombs were dropped near the School this morning.  No one was injured the children took cover in the school building, calmly going to the places previous assigned to them in Air Raid practise.  .  One of these did not explode but was exploded by Army engineers five days later.



26th August 1940

Miss Honeywill and Mr Brooks representing the Managers, Mr Houghton a Representative from the County Architect Department and the Contractor met at the School with the Head Teacher concerning Air Raid Shelters.   It was decided to build three surface shelters at once – two in the playground and one in the Recreation Ground with access to the latter through the wall in front of the Head Teacher’s house.



28th August 1940

Work commenced on shelters.



17th May 1941

Saturday, at about 12.30 a.m. 3 HE bombs were dropped, one in the Recreation Ground a few yards from the School House Garden Wall, a second in the garden of No. 12 Orchard Cottages and a third a few yards West of The Reading Room.  The shelter in the Recreation Ground was badly damaged.  The walls stood but for some reason the reinforced concrete roof was holed in part, cracked and damaged generally.   New concrete roof required.   Part of walls to be taken down and rebuilt where cracked.



12th November 1942

Drainage work in playground to remedy flooding near shelters.


9th February 1943

About 2.30 p.m. the children sheltered under desks when enemy aircraft flew overhead dropping bombs when passing over Worthing.  When alert sounded later took shelter in school shelters



3rd January 1944

Workmen commence to cut three doorways to allow of easy access to shelters.



10th November 1966

Discussion concerning the demolition of the playground shelters



7th April 1971

During the Easter holidays the two air raid shelters which had stood in the playground since the 1940s were demolished



pic1This is a picture of the remaining air raid at the Centre. This shelter is open during the Sompting Festivals and is used by the children from Sompting schools for history lessons “as it was”. The shelter can be opened for viewing if requested – requests to either the Parish Clerk, Assistant Parish Clerk or the Centre Manager.


The Parish Council is working with Lancing and Sompting Pastfinders on making the viewing of the shelter more interesting with artifacts and photographs and a leaflet. We shall be seeking grants for this work. If you want to pass on information, photographs etc then please email the Parish Clerk on clerk@sompting.org.uk