Tyne and Wear HER(15688): Newcastle, Percy Street, Nos. 113-115, firewatchers' post - Details
Newcastle, Percy Street, Nos. 113-115, firewatchers' post
Civil Defence Site
A factory firewatchers' post with what looks their shelter below it. Recorded by The Archaeological Practice in 2013. Single storey flat-roofed block of brick contemporary with the rear yard wall. A cylindrical conical-capped metal look-out shelter sits on top. Inside, a shaft drops into the basement of the building. The structure blocks up the lower part of a window in the ground floor rear wall. The doorway into the room was fitted with a heavy outward-opening door, the hinges survive. The six-pane sash window is covered by a pair of heavy steel shutters. In the south wall of the room is a steel door with a painted inscription 'DANGER AIR SHAFT' opening onto the shaft which drops into the basement. An iron ladder is fixed to its west wall. This ascends from the basement to a hatch in the concrete roof under the metal shelter. At basement level, the passage seems to have been extended south. At ground floor level the shaft has a small vent in its south wall. The roof-top shelter is a cylindrical structure made of sheet steel, circa 1.1m in diameter and 1.76m high. The conical cap is topped by a metal loop. The shelter is secured to the concrete roof by four L-shaped metal brackets. On the east side there is a door 1.36m high and 0.58m wide, which opens outwards. To the north-west and south-west are small horizontal slits. Inside the structure there is an unidentified electrical device (a fan?) fixed to the side of the cylinder. The hatch occupies most of the floor space so presumably a board or plate would have been placed across the aperture when someone was in post. The metal shelter is similar to one advertised by Aleens of Tipton (Staffordshire). The shelter would not have had wide views - just the rear yard. The room on the ground floor had been blast-proofed and was intended as a strong room, presumbaly for company records. The basement would have offered refuge for brewery staff during an air raid.
http://pillboxstudygroup.freeforums.org/steel-fire-watchers-post-t521.html; http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?2873-Consol-Portable-Shelters; www.bbc.co.uk/cumbria/features/photos/military_buildings/048.shtml; The Archaeological Practice Ltd, 2013, The Bruce Building, Nos. 113-115 and Nos. 101-111 Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne - Historic Buildings Recording;