Stunned Lisa Marie Camps has discovered a secret Second World War underground bunker – in her back garden.
The mum-of-four only moved into the house a few weeks ago, and decided to lift a concrete manhole cover in the lawn.
She thought it was probably just drains – but what she uncovered has amazed everyone.
It has also sparked a mystery because nobody is entirely sure why it was there in the first place.
“We’ve started trying to dig it out,” says Lisa. “And we’ve asked local history buffs for advice.
“They’ve been more than happy to volunteer their time to help unearth the shelter.
“It would be amazing to show the local kids this. I really want it to be a community thing and help teach our children about the Second World War.
“It’s very exciting to find this in our garden. I love history and my mission now is to find out exactly why it’s here.”
The house had previously belonged to an elderly couple who had lived there since it was built in the 1950s.
But the bunker pre-dates the house and neighbours have told Lisa it was originally a two-storey shelter with the upper storey visible above ground.
The elderly couple have since died but their daughter-in-law informed Lisa that when her husband was a small boy in the early 1950s, he ventured down there.
He and his pals discovered a bayonet and other remnants from the Second World War.
They found shelves filled with mugs and utensils – and even bits of ribbon and fabric that may have been used to repair clothes. Current thinking is that the bunker was intended as a Home Guard base to be used in the event of a Nazi invasion.
It would have been manned by brave Dad’s Army volunteers, possibly to protect a vital factory that once backed on to the garden.
British Acoustic Films – known as BAF – moved to the site in Mitcheldean, Gloucester, in 1941 after the Government encouraged companies to leave London to avoid the Blitz.
BAF played a significant role in the war effort because the firm manufactured important equipment such as aircraft plotting tables, searchlights and anti-aircraft devices. Such work would have made the factory a target for German bombing raids.
“It looks as though the house was built after the air-raid shelter was put in for the British Acoustic Films factory,” says the county council’s archeology department.
“We are guessing that the shelter was built for the factory workers and was too much hassle to remove when they built the houses. Given this, there is a distinct possibility that it will be larger than a domestic shelter and may, therefore, be more extensive than it looks.”
Local historian Gerald Cooke says: “I don’t think we have absolute clarity about its use and purpose. It seems that it was possibly used by the Home Guard.
“But the many decades that have passed since the shelter was in service have left few clues as to its precise purpose.”