Delay on the way for homes after moves to protect shelters lodged

Skipp’s Patsy Link, Mark Sharp and Sheena Walker outside the Ekco site

Skipp’s Patsy Link, Mark Sharp and Sheena Walker outside the Ekco site

First published in South Essex by

SECRET air raid tunnels under a former Southend factory site could be listed as protected by English Heritage.

The three air raid shelters were built below the old Ekco site off Priory Crescent, to protect the factory's 3,000 staff during the Second World War.

English Heritage is considering listing the shelters after an application by the Skipp campaign group.

It could hold up plans by Bellway Homes to build 231 homes on the brownfield site.

Skipp wants the shelters preserved and opened as a tourist attraction.

Mark Sharp, from Skipp, said: “The shelters are unique and we feel they are a massive piece of heritage that needs to be preserved.

“The developers have been trying to pretend they aren’t there. But from our view, the modifications would only have to be minor to accommodate the shelters.

“As long as they are maintained and secured, they could be opened as a tourist attraction.”

If they are listed, the shelters could be deemed Grade I or Grade II buildings, giving them planning protection, but it is thought just an entrance to the shelters would interfere with the planned housing estate.

Brian Ayling, Independent councillor for St. Luke’s, said: “I will fully support English Heritage if listing is recommended.

It will preserve structures of great importance to Southend and, indeed, the history of the defence of our realm.” English Heritage will now speak to the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport – with the Department having the final say on listings.

A spokesman for English Heritage said: “There is no specific time-frame for this process, but we are aware the site is the subject of a planning application.

“Currently, we are unable to say whether the ground above the site would be included within any listing.”

The wait for a listing decision could mean the planning application is deferred, or that a condition is attached to protect the land.

Some local historians believe the Ekco shelters are part of a network of wartime tunnels that lead to the airport, with even a “hospital” for shrapnel victims below Priory Park. But council officers say there is no evidence for this.

Comments (24)

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5:11pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Tbh the way the front of the Ecko building was demolished was all wrong. That lovely art-deco frontage now lost and gone forever.
Tbh the way the front of the Ecko building was demolished was all wrong. That lovely art-deco frontage now lost and gone forever. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 30

6:10pm Thu 28 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Two words...FILL FORGET
Two words...FILL FORGET sesibollox
  • Score: -24

6:17pm Thu 28 Aug 14

jolllyboy says...

Typical council to allow that iconic building to be demolished and built on since it would have made a superb museum etc.
Typical developers trying to hide the shelters and further history of the site.
One has to wonder what else they have hidden/ignored/destr
oyed considering the area is around an ancient saxon site.
Typical council to allow that iconic building to be demolished and built on since it would have made a superb museum etc. Typical developers trying to hide the shelters and further history of the site. One has to wonder what else they have hidden/ignored/destr oyed considering the area is around an ancient saxon site. jolllyboy
  • Score: 18

6:40pm Thu 28 Aug 14

jayman says...

sesibollox wrote:
Two words...FILL FORGET
Two Words... Provocative, oddball.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Two words...FILL FORGET[/p][/quote]Two Words... Provocative, oddball. jayman
  • Score: 11

7:16pm Thu 28 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

jayman wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
Two words...FILL FORGET
Two Words... Provocative, oddball.
Two Words FCUK OFF
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Two words...FILL FORGET[/p][/quote]Two Words... Provocative, oddball.[/p][/quote]Two Words FCUK OFF sesibollox
  • Score: -16

8:07pm Thu 28 Aug 14

abd123 says...

The chances of these being listed grade 1 alongside such heritage as York Minster and the likes must be as close to zero as you can get.
The chances of these being listed grade 1 alongside such heritage as York Minster and the likes must be as close to zero as you can get. abd123
  • Score: -1

9:03pm Thu 28 Aug 14

LoopyLou88 says...

they should be protected. what if theres another world war and we need them ?????? the way things are going i wouldnt be surprised if there is another world war soon..
they should be protected. what if theres another world war and we need them ?????? the way things are going i wouldnt be surprised if there is another world war soon.. LoopyLou88
  • Score: 3

11:26pm Thu 28 Aug 14

geriatric says...

Do they link up with the unfinished extension to the Central Line that runs under Princes Avenue?
Do they link up with the unfinished extension to the Central Line that runs under Princes Avenue? geriatric
  • Score: 6

11:32pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Southchurch75 says...

Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!!
Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!! Southchurch75
  • Score: 6

8:12am Fri 29 Aug 14

Bosniavet says...

As other have already said - why was the EKCO building allowed to be demolished i the first place? Previous reports in the Echo reference these shelters have had people stating that they were possibly cellars which EKCO decided to use as shelters, whilst others have espoused the view that there is a whole network of tunnels running from this location to the former RAF Rochford (Southend Airport) & under Priory Park. I am aware that many schemes during WW2 were kept secret for obvious reasons, but the thought that such a large network of tunnels etc could be kept secret for so long in a densely populated area is a bit unbelievable. SBC have already stated that no such subterranean structures exist under Priory Park, however I am sure that some will dispute this & cry cover up. The only thing to do is to get English Heritage to commission a full survey of the area & once & for all prove or disprove the tunnel network/underground hospital theory. Surely, there are people still alive who know if we had underground hospitals being used here during the last war. Investigate it fully & then decide.
As other have already said - why was the EKCO building allowed to be demolished i the first place? Previous reports in the Echo reference these shelters have had people stating that they were possibly cellars which EKCO decided to use as shelters, whilst others have espoused the view that there is a whole network of tunnels running from this location to the former RAF Rochford (Southend Airport) & under Priory Park. I am aware that many schemes during WW2 were kept secret for obvious reasons, but the thought that such a large network of tunnels etc could be kept secret for so long in a densely populated area is a bit unbelievable. SBC have already stated that no such subterranean structures exist under Priory Park, however I am sure that some will dispute this & cry cover up. The only thing to do is to get English Heritage to commission a full survey of the area & once & for all prove or disprove the tunnel network/underground hospital theory. Surely, there are people still alive who know if we had underground hospitals being used here during the last war. Investigate it fully & then decide. Bosniavet
  • Score: 10

8:35am Fri 29 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

sesibollox wrote:
Two words...FILL FORGET
preferably with you inside.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Two words...FILL FORGET[/p][/quote]preferably with you inside. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

8:38am Fri 29 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

jayman wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
Two words...FILL FORGET
Two Words... Provocative, oddball.
and sicko... he was threatening to kidnap and tie me to a tree the other day.

This oddball's real name is ALAN BALL and he still won't admit on here whether he is the Councillor Alan Ball.

I think it's time he owned up because if he is, UKIP need to get rid. Mind you, with a few exceptions UKIP is full of oddballs which is why I let my membership lapse.

Yes, lapse. NOT ejected as some of the a-holes on here would have you believe.

Mind you, you're a leftie too aren't you so you'd be OK around this one who is so obviously one of the more rabid variety of Leftie..
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Two words...FILL FORGET[/p][/quote]Two Words... Provocative, oddball.[/p][/quote]and sicko... he was threatening to kidnap and tie me to a tree the other day. This oddball's real name is ALAN BALL and he still won't admit on here whether he is the Councillor Alan Ball. I think it's time he owned up because if he is, UKIP need to get rid. Mind you, with a few exceptions UKIP is full of oddballs which is why I let my membership lapse. Yes, lapse. NOT ejected as some of the a-holes on here would have you believe. Mind you, you're a leftie too aren't you so you'd be OK around this one who is so obviously one of the more rabid variety of Leftie.. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -8

8:39am Fri 29 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

LoopyLou88 wrote:
they should be protected. what if theres another world war and we need them ?????? the way things are going i wouldnt be surprised if there is another world war soon..
Why the thumbs downs?

The woman speaks the truth. But then I forgot, some of you idiots can't see what's staring you in the face can you?
[quote][p][bold]LoopyLou88[/bold] wrote: they should be protected. what if theres another world war and we need them ?????? the way things are going i wouldnt be surprised if there is another world war soon..[/p][/quote]Why the thumbs downs? The woman speaks the truth. But then I forgot, some of you idiots can't see what's staring you in the face can you? Kim Gandy
  • Score: -13

8:41am Fri 29 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

sesibollox wrote:
jayman wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
Two words...FILL FORGET
Two Words... Provocative, oddball.
Two Words FCUK OFF
Take your own advice moron.

There are people here who don't like me, you included, because I tell the truth but there are others who appreciate what I say.

NOBODY , except other oddballs like you ALAN BALL, likes you hanging around like a bad smell.

Go and get your medication changed - and preferably your personality with it.

Now take your own advice and do one eh.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Two words...FILL FORGET[/p][/quote]Two Words... Provocative, oddball.[/p][/quote]Two Words FCUK OFF[/p][/quote]Take your own advice moron. There are people here who don't like me, you included, because I tell the truth but there are others who appreciate what I say. NOBODY , except other oddballs like you ALAN BALL, likes you hanging around like a bad smell. Go and get your medication changed - and preferably your personality with it. Now take your own advice and do one eh. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -10

8:45am Fri 29 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

Southchurch75 wrote:
Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!!
I disagree.

We need to preserve our heritage

After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have.

And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians.

OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly?

That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority".

Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.
[quote][p][bold]Southchurch75[/bold] wrote: Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!![/p][/quote]I disagree. We need to preserve our heritage After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have. And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians. OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly? That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority". Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -9

11:08am Fri 29 Aug 14

ThisYear says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Southchurch75 wrote:
Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!!
I disagree.

We need to preserve our heritage

After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have.

And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians.

OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly?

That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority".

Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.
Communities living along side each other in harmony is something you and your like are fundamentally against...you are a 'dimasaur' and nature will eventually eradicate such from the herd.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Southchurch75[/bold] wrote: Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!![/p][/quote]I disagree. We need to preserve our heritage After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have. And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians. OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly? That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority". Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.[/p][/quote]Communities living along side each other in harmony is something you and your like are fundamentally against...you are a 'dimasaur' and nature will eventually eradicate such from the herd. ThisYear
  • Score: 2

1:05pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Alan Robbo says...

"SECRET air raid tunnels "
Do me a favour, most people who worked there knew about them, they were used to store junk.
And as for a Tourist attraction, how much will it COST ME?
and how many will want to see it?
"SECRET air raid tunnels " Do me a favour, most people who worked there knew about them, they were used to store junk. And as for a Tourist attraction, how much will it COST ME? and how many will want to see it? Alan Robbo
  • Score: 2

2:14pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Hawthorne says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
LoopyLou88 wrote:
they should be protected. what if theres another world war and we need them ?????? the way things are going i wouldnt be surprised if there is another world war soon..
Why the thumbs downs?

The woman speaks the truth. But then I forgot, some of you idiots can't see what's staring you in the face can you?
Why the thumbs down? Because it's a stupid comment.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LoopyLou88[/bold] wrote: they should be protected. what if theres another world war and we need them ?????? the way things are going i wouldnt be surprised if there is another world war soon..[/p][/quote]Why the thumbs downs? The woman speaks the truth. But then I forgot, some of you idiots can't see what's staring you in the face can you?[/p][/quote]Why the thumbs down? Because it's a stupid comment. Hawthorne
  • Score: 3

2:22pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Hawthorne says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Southchurch75 wrote:
Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!!
I disagree.

We need to preserve our heritage

After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have.

And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians.

OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly?

That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority".

Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.
Ignoring the usual end-of-comment ranting... I just don't see that these tunnels are in any way worth keeping. "Hey kids, jump in the car... we are off to see some holes in the ground under an old factory. Come on, it's our heritage!" Wow I hope they allow enough room for all the car parking.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Southchurch75[/bold] wrote: Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!![/p][/quote]I disagree. We need to preserve our heritage After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have. And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians. OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly? That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority". Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.[/p][/quote]Ignoring the usual end-of-comment ranting... I just don't see that these tunnels are in any way worth keeping. "Hey kids, jump in the car... we are off to see some holes in the ground under an old factory. Come on, it's our heritage!" Wow I hope they allow enough room for all the car parking. Hawthorne
  • Score: 3

3:18pm Fri 29 Aug 14

ekcoanarak says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
Two words...FILL FORGET
preferably with you inside.
That's annoying, you beat me to it.

Pathetic foul mouthed trash like this are unable to appreciate any culture or heritage.

I totally agree with other posts regarding the demolition of the stunning original art deco frontage, as stated, now lost for ever.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Two words...FILL FORGET[/p][/quote]preferably with you inside.[/p][/quote]That's annoying, you beat me to it. Pathetic foul mouthed trash like this are unable to appreciate any culture or heritage. I totally agree with other posts regarding the demolition of the stunning original art deco frontage, as stated, now lost for ever. ekcoanarak
  • Score: 3

8:22pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Now listen for I have something to say says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Southchurch75 wrote:
Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!!
I disagree.

We need to preserve our heritage

After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have.

And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians.

OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly?

That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority".

Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.
Gandy, queen of the popular posts, LoL
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Southchurch75[/bold] wrote: Tourist attraction? Get real...these are not the Cabinet War Rooms. What will we do next? Seek to preserve shelters that people had in their back gardens, some of which are still used as sheds? We are losing a fortune on the pier, so yes, let's just stand in the way of progress and add to the already high level of local taxation and huge debts already accumulated by the Council. Nice one!![/p][/quote]I disagree. We need to preserve our heritage After 13 years of Labour and their obsession still with smashing our heritage and swamping this country with oddball ideologies, terrorists and alien religions, we need to hold on to every last vestige of our own culture we have. And if English Heritage are listing it, they will presumably be custodians. OK EH is a quango and paid for out of public funds but what the hell? I'd rather have my money going to that rather than some of the crackpot "minority" schemes set up by the Lefties, like the "Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service" that costs £440,000 for "achieving" what exactly? That's right.... whatever it is they "achieve" it is not benefiting anybody except a "minority". Our heritage is for everybody who loves this country. And those who don't, be they black, white or pink with yellow spots, shouldn't be here anyway.[/p][/quote]Gandy, queen of the popular posts, LoL Now listen for I have something to say
  • Score: 4

10:12pm Fri 29 Aug 14

LoopyLou88 says...

Those who are saying my comment is stupid - I take it you havent seen the news that this country now has a 'severe terrorist attack'' warning placed on it ?
Those who are saying my comment is stupid - I take it you havent seen the news that this country now has a 'severe terrorist attack'' warning placed on it ? LoopyLou88
  • Score: 1

11:57pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Southchurch75 says...

LoopyLou88 wrote:
Those who are saying my comment is stupid - I take it you havent seen the news that this country now has a 'severe terrorist attack'' warning placed on it ?
Better get yourself up to London and be prepared to live in the tube stations when the air raid sirens sound!
[quote][p][bold]LoopyLou88[/bold] wrote: Those who are saying my comment is stupid - I take it you havent seen the news that this country now has a 'severe terrorist attack'' warning placed on it ?[/p][/quote]Better get yourself up to London and be prepared to live in the tube stations when the air raid sirens sound! Southchurch75
  • Score: 0

10:59am Sun 31 Aug 14

DepartmentOfMinistries says...

Heaven forbid there should ever be, a piece of stone or pile of leaves moved without SKIPP calling for a public consultation, with their arms in the air screaming the words "Heritage!" and "Tourism!". There was me thinking the pub would keep them sufficiently occupied. But there they go. Finding something to protest about, around 150 meters away.
Heaven forbid there should ever be, a piece of stone or pile of leaves moved without SKIPP calling for a public consultation, with their arms in the air screaming the words "Heritage!" and "Tourism!". There was me thinking the pub would keep them sufficiently occupied. But there they go. Finding something to protest about, around 150 meters away. DepartmentOfMinistries
  • Score: 1
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