Second World War air-raid shelter recreated at James Herriot museum

Gazette & Herald: Phillip Sidebotham, ten, in the recreation of a Second World War air raid shelter at the World Of James Herriot. Picture: Richard Doughty Phillip Sidebotham, ten, in the recreation of a Second World War air raid shelter at the World Of James Herriot. Picture: Richard Doughty

THE sounds and smells of a Second World War air-raid shelter will be recreated for visitors to a museum dedicated to the world’s most famous vet.

The World of James Herriot, in Thirsk, has opened the cellar of author Alf Wight’s former home and practice to demonstrate life during 1940s wartime Britain, a period in which many of the stories are set.

The attraction’s managing director, Ian Ashton, said: “The air-raid shelter has an authentic atmosphere that gives visitors an experience that is, for older visitors, a reminder of that frightening past and for younger ones an educational experience.”

The museum has also added a model railway featuring scenes of the rural rail network during the era in which the books were set.

Visitors will be able to operate the railway, which has been created by the attraction’s maintenance manager, Clive Thompson.

The additions follow the museum in Kirkgate unveiling the largest individual collection of Herriot memorabilia, which it secured from a private collector.

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