Air raid shelters, Balmain

Sunlight Oil and Soapworks (later Unilever) Balmain, c1928

Betty Sparnon grew up in Balmain and writes “we often played in the old air raid shelter near Unilever and I recently met another child of Balmain who remembers an air raid shelter under a factory opposite the Dry Dock Hotel. How can we find out more about these shelters?”

We searched our collection but haven’t uncovered anything that would assist Betty. If you have any information on air raid shelters around Balmain, contact us at localhistory@lmc.nsw.gov.au and we will pass this information on to Betty.

6 comments to Air raid shelters, Balmain

  • Betty Knight

    Have just received an answer to the Air Raid shelters in Balmain and the one I used to playin. It was in Foy St, near Uniliver at the back of the nurses quarters. Their was another one, which I didnt know about between the Unity Hall and the memorial, there was a cover over it and underneath were rooms. The chap i got the info said the one in Foy St was an unauthorised one.

    • John McLean

      Actually the air raid shelter in Loyalty Square wasn’t between the Unity Hall and the monument. It was just on the eastern side of the monument. Until recently it could be identified by a rectangle of bitumen lines left on the concrete surface when it was covered. Unfortunately I think it has now disappeared due to the monument being moved and the road surface being relaid.

  • bet knight

    Hi there,
    After a conversation on “old Balmain People” page on facebook I now hear there were more than one Air raid Shelter in Balmain.
    This page which was started my Mark Hartland some tinme ago has escalated to an amazing history of Balmain from early 1950’s and now has over 900 members. The stories and photos within this page could write a true history of Balmain by those who grew up there.
    Thanking you
    Bet

  • Paul Cooper

    Just surfing the net for old photos of Balmain and more specifically the White Bay area when I came across this post. At the very end of Datchett Street on the left hand side is a bomb shelter. It has had a second storey addition but the ground floor walls are massively thick. Many years ago I used to manage it for an investor who added the second storey and she purchased it as a ‘bomb shelter’.

  • Marea O'Keefe

    There was an air raid shelter under St Augustine’s Church, with a tunnel under Jane St connecting the Convent to the shelter so that the nuns had easy access especially at night when they may not have been fully dressed in their habits

  • Ray Gerrie

    There was an air raid shelter in Johnston Street,Balmain East that was removed late forties

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