Weston during the Second World War
Unlike seaside resorts nearer the continent, Weston’s seafront was free from barbed wire and anti-invasion defences during the Second World War.
In part this was also due to the unsuitability of its coast for landing enemy troops.
Instead, the threat to Weston was from air attack and many of the wartime structures seen in the 1940s aerial photographs are concerned with the war in the air. They include air-raid shelters, facilities for the fire brigade, anti-aircraft obstructions, barrage balloons and anti-aircraft batteries. The photographs also show the effects of air raids on the town.
Many of Weston’s air-raid shelters were built before the outbreak of the war and these included shelters in basements or small shelters in private gardens. The wartime RAF aerial photographs show 22 public surface shelters across the town, mainly on the seafront or by the public parks. Most of these were probably built before the outbreak of war, but a few, including two built on bombsites, were clearly constructed after the outbreak of hostilities. These long narrow structures were generally of brick with a flat concrete roof and each designed to shelter 50 people.