We'll start with the large building that we had failed at a few years ago. Today, the site wasn't alarmed. Whether they are still on, we couldn't tell because there were workers sealing the building up, so they might have been turned off for that.
Below ground level is the main attraction we had came to see. Everything went fairly smoothly until leaving when we almost dislodged a large rock that would have fallen and crushed one of our legs whilst slipping out. A close one but good to laugh about once you're in open air.
Merseyside was the second most heavily bombed part of Britain after London, and its air raid shelters would have seen a great deal of use during alerts and raids. The Littlewoods shelter is approximately 300m long, aligned on a northerly axis parallel to the Littlewoods building. In plan it resembles a chain of rectangles (with pairs of shelter chambers roughly 12m and 9m long along the four sides) joined by 9m long corridor galleries. It had 13 entrances evenly disposed along its length to facilitate filling from the west side of the factory - these sloping entrance passages joined the connecting corridor galleries at right angles giving excellent blast protection. The shelter was semi-buried using a cut and fill method with earth banked on top of it for bomb splinter protection, and may have begun as a Munich crisis trench rapidly dug during a few tense weeks in September 1938. Many of these were then lined with precast concrete wall and roof panels which were slotted together to give a degree of dryness and an illusion of permanence. Littlewoods’s shelter though is built with much stronger reinforced concrete and the clean timber board marks indicate higher quality and more expensive construction than normal.
Here's the link to our documentary styled video of this exploration. We cover the building and the shelter's past, present and future through cinematics and narration: