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Rare Second World War bunker unearthed in Hampshire by sewage workers
IT is a reminder of the days when the south was in the front line of defending the country from the Nazis.
Thought to be one of just two in the country a rare Second World War bunker has been uncovered in Hampshire by sewage workers after being buried for half a century.
But after just a few days of it being unveiled, it has been covered up once more.
Contractors had been digging a new sewage route to pump wastewater between School Lane, Hamble and the Bursledon Wastewater Treatment Works, run by Southern Water, when they came across the red brick bunker with concrete roof.
Archaeologists from Archaeology South-East say the site at Hamble Airfield, off Hamble Lane, is an airfield battle headquarters and of both local and national significance.
They did not go inside because it’s thought to be unsafe, but they believe it had a messenger’s and runner’s room, a defence officer’s room, an observation room and toilet.
Neil Griffin, project manager for Archaeology South East, said: “We’ve come to believe that this is one of two in this country that have survived. These things would have been common on airfields across the country.
“We’ve fully recorded what we’ve found and taken photos of everything. “We know where it is and it has been plotted for future reference.”
But residents and history enthusiasts will not be able to see the bunker as Southern Water have covered it over.
Project manager, Jon Kenrick, said: “Unfortunately, we weren’t sure if the bunker was safe to enter so we couldn’t actually go inside but were able to stand at the doorway. “For safety reasons, the bunker was carefully covered over again once the archaeologists had got what they needed but it’s nice to know it has been left in-situ and plotted for future reference. It will hopefully provide content for some interesting local history lessons in years to come.”
Historian and director of Solent Sky Museum, Alan Jones, said: “It would have been incredibly important. There is so little left of that period.
“If the structure was reasonably sound it is a really important building to preserve. “I would like to see anything from that period preserved unless there is a very good reason for not doing so.
“It would be a tribute to those who used those bunkers in our darkest hour.”
Terry Smith, 69, a retired painter and decorator, has lived in Hamble Lane for 43 years. He said: “It was amazing to hear what they found and it was more exciting because we’ve only just found out that our son who’s now in his 40s used to play there. “He said he had to go in through the bushes. I’ve walked this airfield hundreds of times and never seen it. I couldn’t understand why they filled it back in.”
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