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Wartime memories of Chislehurst Caves
Published: Wednesday 28th of May 2008
A woman has recalled the time she spent seeking shelter during the blitz as thousands of other Londoners headed for the Chislehurst Caves.
Writing in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, Ivy Allan Freeman told of how she and other people from the South East of the city sought refuge, with some turning to the cave network, which dates back to the time of the Druids.
Now open to the public, visitors to caves can go on guided tours and learn more about the labyrinth.
Ms Freeman wrote in the paper: "Some of the raids stand out in my memory, one being the night my dad took my hand saying, 'Come outside.' Pointing to the sky he said, 'Look, the city's on fire'."
London was subjected to heavy bombing during the Second World War, with many people also heading to underground train stations in search of shelter.
The Chislehurst Caves network was hand carved from chalk beneath Chislehurst, and can be divided into Saxon, Roman and Druid sections.
The continuous wartime bombings turned the caves into a massive air raid shelter within easy reach for thousands of Londoners.
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