Tyne and Wear HER(16444): South Shields, Market Place, air raid shelters - Details
South Shields, Market Place, air raid shelters
Civil Defence Site
Air Raid Shelter
Two underground air raid shelters were built in the Market Place during the Second World War. Their precise location is not known, but they are thought to lie east of the town hall. South Shields suffered numerous Luftwaffe bombing raids during the war. The Market Place was directly hit on 2nd October 1941. Many buildings were entirely destroyed. A direct hit on Dunn's Paint Store propelled tins of paint and oil across to other properties, causing more damage. The air raid shelters were hit. 68 people were killed, 117 seriously injured, 91 slightly injured and 2000 made homeless. 240 shops, houses and offices were destroyed or had to be demolished later. The Old Town Hall and the Church of St. Hilda suffered minor damage, but the rest of the Market Place was destroyed or seriously damaged.
Brian Pears, NE Diary, http://ne-diary.bpears.org.uk/Inc/Iseq_24.htlm; Prospect Archaeology, 2014, Market Place, New Central Library & Digital Media Centre, South Shields - Archaeological Assessment