Anderson Shelters on the Ross of Mull

clearboxross Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Rusting reminders ... of a resourceful past

Until recently, the Ross of Mull had a remarkable number of Anderson shelters, on crofts, in gardens, at the roadside, storing tools, housing chickens or bicycles. Some have now succumbed to time or been demolished and tidied away. Some are carefully maintained and still in use. But why so many? And where did they come from? Over the last fifteen years I have been asking those questions, while tracking down and photographing these simple functional corrugated-iron structures.

My understanding is that though these were developed, during the second world war, as bomb shelters for families in the cities, the ones on the Ross date back to the post-war austerity period when the government was selling off surplus stocks. Apparently, an entrepreneur from Glasgow bought up a job lot and auctioned them in Bunessan. Never used in war, they found multiple uses in peace-time.

Can you tell us any more about this story, or about one of these local Anderson shelters – now lost, or still being put to good use? We’d like to hear from you. Please use the comments form below.

Jan Sutch Pickard

Here are some pictures to jog your memory.

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The Ross of Mull is an extraordinary microcosm of all that draws visitors to the Hebridean Islands. The scenery, as you travel along the single-track road from the ferry at Craignure is breath-taking. You experience in the many walks in the area a true sense of wilderness; the secret bays with their beaches of silvery sand, the abundance of wildlife and the innumerable marks on the landscape of the lives of past generations and communities long gone. The Ross of Mull is a compelling place for anyone fascinated by history and the ancient way of life of the Gaelic people.

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Tigh na Rois Visitor Centre
Millbrae Cottage
Isle of Mull
Argyll PA67 6DG

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