In 1938 the town council were planning ahead for a possible second world war. When Mill road was being constructed they included air raid shelters under the houses. Here is an article from 1939 that describes the air raid shelter and how it worked!

Tenants of the majority of houses being erected by Hamilton Town Council at Fairhill Housing Scheme will not require to be provided with the Home Office corrugated steel air raid shelters.

They will have a splendid shelter of their own, provided by the Council, which is erecting over 800 houses at the site. Each block of four houses will have a shelter, built at an estimated cost of £40, and situated underneath the block.

The shelter, a square room about seven feet high, is whitewashed, and round one side is a form, for seating accommodation.

Mr Gavin Patterson the architect explained that “The shelter is 170 square feet, and the concrete ceiling has been further reinforced by Steele beams running both ways so as to prevent falling debris destroying the whole ceiling.”

There are two entrances to the shelter, each of which has two doors and an air-locked lobby. The door frames are bedded with felt and doors have felt checks with fixtures for securely fitting a felt blanket for to prevent the entry of gas.

The brick walls have been thoroughly pointed and rendered air proof. In the event to interruption to the lighting system, emergency lighting is provided by a battery with a trickle charger.

Mr Patters on further explained that an air intake is provided with an air duct from a position above the height of the house, and provision is made for fitting a home office filter.

The intake air is circulated by a small fan, operated by the battery. If the electrical supply fails then the fan can be worked by a hand pump. There is also ample space for beds and chairs and accommodation is provided for 16 adults for about 12 hours.

Numerous A.R.P officials including superintendent Thomas Renfrew, chief officer for Lanarkshire, have visited the shelters, and have expressed as delighted with them.

In recent years the council have filled in a lot of the air raid shelters! Do you live in one of the houses at Mill Road? If you do let us know if the shelter is still here and in use, or has the council filled it in! Or even better can you remember having to uses an air raid shelter?

Cooncil’ PAP”

Cooncil’ PAP”
Here’s a wee tip fur ye, ir’ ye feeling a bit homesick ?
Jist’ log on’ tae Historic Hamilton”, it only a wee click,
Yil’ find oot how things used tae be, n’whit tae know,
Go on then, found it?, well ‘click’ and away ye go,,,,

There’s a medieval village been found jist’ off the M74,
Keep looking doon the pages, n’ learn much much more,
Aln Scullino seen a plaque, i realy hope he writes a book,
Half of Hamilton n’ Janette Mc Callum, awe went tae look,,

Margaret Caddens showed photos by hur da’ Tom Kinsella,
Carol Boyd, Isobel Mc Taggart, both said what a lovely fella,,
Someone wants a 1975, year book for the Holy Cross High?
We’d like tae see these photographs of all the times gone by,

Jackie Bendoris Hills, sent a photo” disco’in the town hall,
A kin remember earlier, in the 60’s when we all had a ball,
Look fur a poem by Wilma Bolton, about St Annes School.
Margaret Duffy, Nancy Skelton, and me, say it’s realy cool,,

Every post thats bin’ sent in, fae Lanark tae East Kilbride,,
Ye kin feel the pride “oozing” out it makes you warm inside,,
Next time ye hear ‘propaganda’ n’ awe the “council” crap,,
Remember it’s the people,who put “Strathclyde” on the Map,,

The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton by Hugh Hainey. Hugh, This brought a smile to my face.