The truth is that any day could always get worse. This was what happened to Simon Marks. One morning, he woke up cranky because he did not get enough sleep the previous night. It had something to do with the noises that he heard suddenly while he was already in bed! When he got out of the house, he went on his knees to see what was going on beneath his car. All of a sudden, he heard a strange sound once more. What exactly was happening below his driveway? It goes without saying that the poor man had no idea what he got into when he bought this house for such a low price.
The New Home
It isn’t easy to know precisely what you are getting when you purchase an old house. But when he saw a house in Luton going for an amazing price, Simon Marks could not resist. The 32-year-old manhandled the paperwork and sent the payment as soon as he could. Back then, it did not even occur to him to wonder why the seller put it on the market for such a low price…
His Very First Night There
A few months after that, he moved into the home. While unpacking his boxes, Simon could not help but be thrilled that he was finally living on his own property. He spent the weekend bringing his stuff to the new place, so he was exhausted by the time he hit the sack. He computed the distance from his house to his office and happily set his alarm for eight o’clock the next morning. Once he was lying down in bed, he heard a strange noise!
It Came From Outside
He tried to hold his breath to listen to the noise better. When he heard the sound again, he figured out that it was coming from outside. The noise was dull and muted, similar to the sound that gravel on metal makes. He was intrigued, so he got up and checked out the garden from his window. To his confusion, he did not see anything out there. Everything fell silent again, so he returned to bed.
Time To Check The Road
The day after that, he got into his car. However, he was surprised when his Vauxhall Zafira did not back out of the driveway. It instead lurched forward! He tried again, but it felt like the wheel of his car got stuck on something. Simon revved his engine until the car jumped backward. Sighing in relief, he exited the car to check out what on earth was going on with his front wheel.
The Driveway Suddenly Gave
He went down on his knees to check it out. To his surprise, the driveway pavers had cracks on it. As you can imagine, he was even more surprised when the driveway was there and there. When he heard the concrete snap and came apart, he managed to jump back just in time. He peered into the crack once the dust had settled. In front of him was a highly unnerving sight.
Checking It Out
From what he knew, the house was built in the ‘70s by an elderly couple. This must not have been in their house plans. He felt confident that the pavers could handle his weight, so he went down on his stomach and began to crawl. There was something in the earth, so he retrieved a trowel and started to dig! He could not help but wonder what was waiting for him down there.
Below The Ground
After digging for some time, he finally hit the dirt. He was surprised to see something metallic coming out of the soil. Using his hands, he dug around until the object was in his hands. He then pulled at it, using all the strength that he could muster. Sadly, it was not enough since this rusty object refused to move no matter how hard he pulled. He dug around it some more until he could finally free it. This let Simon take a better look at the metal piece, which was connected to an even bigger object.
Something Was Down There
The hole was growing bigger as he dug, so he could not help but imagine his car being swallowed up by a sinkhole. Simon also worried if it could even devour his whole house! After digging some more, he saw that there was something human-made deep below the pavement. All of a sudden, it dawned on him how sinister the entire thing seemed. At last, he picked up his phone to ask for help.
There Was An Old Ladder
His father, Gerald, went over right away. The two of them did not have professional tools and equipment, yet they carried on. They were meticulous as they worked to get rid of the concrete around the metal. This was how they uncovered the rectangular hole and found a rusty ladder descending into the dark. The sight of this made them very uneasy. After all, it did not feel right for a secret passageway to exist down there. Where did it even go? Well, they would not learn the answer if they did not check it out…
Going Even Deeper Than That
Simon felt very confused because he did his research before buying the old house. Before you make such a huge decision, the responsible thing to do is learn as much as possible. Ordinance surveys would not be much help to him here. The records claimed that the property had been empty before the house was constructed on top of it. So, what was a secret tunnel doing down there?
The mud had been so dense that the father and son duo needed to use buckets to cart the soil away. It took hours to do this. By the end of it all, they managed to excavate five feet of soil. Even though it was tiring work, they finally had enough space to investigate the secret tunnel. Neither of them knew what they would find in the darkness, but there was only one way for them to find out.
There Were Hidden Rooms
Simon went down the tunnel, feeling strange around halfway through it. All of a sudden, he was struck by the desire to leave the place. It was very dangerous for him to keep going. He decided to go back to the house to grab his selfie stick. He attached it to his phone and went down this hole. This was how he found out that the underground tunnel had two rooms. Gerald proposed a theory, but they decided to confirm it before doing anything else.
A Secret Under The House
The property only set him back by half a million bucks. But before the house was built on that spot, the land was used for something else. It was true that the older man who sold it to him was the original owner of the house. However, it turned out that it was lying on top of a secret the entire time. The truth was that the previous night’s sounds signaled that the soil was giving way under the cement!
Its Strategic Location
Simon and Gerald decided to pause and do more research on the land. They looked up the plot number, which allowed them to figure out what the secret tunnel was. Once again, they confirmed that the plot of land had been empty before the couple built on top of that, but Gerald knew that this was a rather strategic part of town. The time of the construction of the house was a clue in and of itself.
Doing Their Homework
“My dad saw it and instantly said it’s an air raid shelter,” Simon shared, “We googled it and found there are quite a few in this area.” The pair did more research and learned that the tunnel was a shelter created during the Second World War. When he spoke to reporters, he said, “The previous owner must have known it was there, and when he built the house and put a garden in… he must have filled it in.”
Sir John Anderson
When the Second World War broke out in 1938, Sir John Anderson was tasked to prepare the war citizens. There is not a shadow of doubt in our minds that this was a huge responsibility. It was up to him to develop a strategy to keep the citizens safe from the upcoming bombings and onslaught. That was why he created a plan to ensure that the British citizens would be as safe as possible.
He Built Backyard Shelters
To do this, he worked with a team of engineers to help people create a simple underground shelter in the backyard. For one thing, it was important for the bunkers to stay close to the house. After all, you never know when they needed to run out and head down there. A flexible but lightweight metal was used for the structure’s walls, which was better than using concrete. During this period of time, they successfully created over two million bomb shelters across the nation.
A Different Design
When he looked at the chamber, Gerald knew that this was not one of the bomb shelters by Sir John Anderson. It was true, however, that it was created at around the same time. It was quite close to the Luton bombing. Those living in this part of town had been terrified when they learned that their small city was considered a target. That was why they decided to take matters into their own hands!
The Structure Was Better
The whole community worked together to create a community shelter of sorts. Those in the area just wanted to ensure that they would have a safe place if air raids took place. What clued Gerald in was the fact that there were two rooms in this secret tunnel. He knew that this was not common at all for Anderson bunkers! Aside from that, the materials used for its construction were bricks and concrete.
They Found Artifacts
The father and son duo found a newspaper clipping in a room in the tunnel. “Luton Airport is this the end?” asked one of the headlines. It was a copy of the Herald newspaper, which was published during the war. The other articles talked about daily life during the conflict. This gave the two of them a better idea of what was going on in Britain when it was at war. Did they find anything else in the tunnel?
It Was Totally Made By Hand
Aside from the newspaper, they also found proof that the tunnel used to store a lot of food and water. They needed sustenance if they would be holed up down there for days on end. As a matter of fact, it was possible that people had to stay down there for weeks! In an interview, Simon could not help but gush about the shelter. He said, “It’s incredible to think it has all been made by hand.”
The concrete walls of the underground shelter had been reinforced with mortar and brick. Thanks to this, the place had a buffer that kept it safe from air raids. While Simon and Gerald already knew that this was a huge discovery, there was more to it than that. The younger man said, “It’s been a case of the dig, dig, dig. We’re about five feet down at the moment, so it’s just another five feet to go until it’s finished. I think we’re going to have to get a skip in because there’s so much rubbish to get rid of.” They also learned that there was something else waiting for them down there.
There Was More
“One of the walls has been bricked up. I’m 90 percent sure we won’t find any more rooms, but we don’t know. They might have bricked up one of the walls when the house was built to make way for the foundations,” he shared with the reporters. Simon added, “If that’s the case, we’ll just have to leave it.” We are not surprised to hear that this fascinating story caught the attention of netizens!
The Reporters Arrived
As Gerald and Simon continued to dig down there, both neighbors and reporters alike went to their front driveway. They all wanted to check out the discovery for themselves. Simon said that he did not care much for the attention that they received after finding such a fascinating thing on his property. He was not the sort of person who cared about fame and clout; thank you very much.
An Amazing Historical Find
Simon said that he wanted everyone to learn more about this shelter. This was not just so he would be famous, however. He felt like it was his responsibility to inform others about this part of history. It would be awful if members of the generations to come forgot something like this. He hopes to preserve it for the children and their children. What exactly did he plan to do with space after cleaning it up?
The Importance Of Remembering
The father and son duo knew that it would take a lot of work to preserve it. Gerald and Simon also hope that the government would declare it a historical monument. It has been decades since the Second World War, but we should not forget what happened back then. They hope that everyone can visit the shelter and learn as much as they could about such an important period in the United Kingdom’s history.