This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Exeter Blitz of 1942. To commemorate these events, Exeter’s Underground Passages have planned an exciting series of events running from Monday 1st May until Sunday 7th May 2017.
Containing an expanded and interactive exhibition, the interpretation centre will also feature a unique film composed of a series of living memory interviews conducted with survivors of the Exeter Blitz, talking about their experiences of wartime Exeter and the traumatic events of the Baedeker Blitz.
During WWII, Exeter’s Underground Passages were rated as an ARP refuge, and used by local residents to shelter during air raids. Hourly Blitz tours will run throughout the entire event to allow visitors the rare chance to experience the realities of sheltering from the Luftwaffe.
Entrance to the interpretation centre and exhibition will be free for the duration of the event. Normal admission prices apply to the Blitz guided tours.
About: Exeter’s Underground Passages
Exeter’s Underground Passages were built in the 14th & 15th centuries to bring a supply of fresh drinking water into the city. Exeter is the only city in the UK to have underground passages of this type and guided tours have taken place here since the 1930s. Today the passages are lit throughout, but still hold a fascination for all who enter. Before taking a guided tour underground, visitors pass through an exciting interpretation centre packed full of interactive displays, including a talking figure of a medieval man, a high-speed video fly-through the Passages, a full size model of a section of the Passages and artefacts from the Princesshay archaeological dig. A visit to Exeter’s Underground Passages includes a 10 minute film presentation, a 25 minute tour underground and an opportunity to explore the exhibition.
Opening hours for the event will be Monday-Saturday 9:30-5:30 (last tour 4:30) & Sunday 10:30-4pm (last tour 3pm).
About: Baedeker Raids
A series of attacks made by the Luftwaffe on culturally and/or historically significant cities during World War II in direct response to the devastating bombing of Lubeck and Rostock. They were given the name Baedeker Raids when Baron Gustav Braun von Stumm, a spokesman for the German Foreign Office, said on 24 April 1942, “We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide”, a reference to the popular German travel guides of that name. Exeter was the first city to be hit by the Baedeker raids, but not the last; York, Norwich, Canterbury, Colchester, Ipswich, Kings Lynn and Bath were all also targeted.