Town’s Second World War building is granted Grade-II listed status

A relic building in Horbury left over from the Second World War has been granted listed status.

The civilian gas decontamination centre on Westfield Road has been described by Historic England is one of the best preserved purpose-built centre of its kind in the country.

Gas decontamination centres, also known as cleansing stations, were built in both civilian and military areas to provide reassurance and protection in the event of a gas attack.

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Regulated by Air Raid Precaution Wardens and civil police, they provided an area where casualties could be decontaminated and receive first aid treatment.

Thanks to local historian, Christine Cudworth, it now has been protected as a Grade II-listed building.

She said: “Having lived in Horbury since 1958, I have been aware of the decontamination unit for a long time.

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“But I only found out what it actually was in the 1990s, when I started interviewing people about their experiences during the Second World War and recording their memories. It was built in 1939, prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, as it was widely thought that the Germans would use gas.

“I think some older members of the community know about it but most of the general public probably don’t.”

The Horbury unit, would likely have had an undressing area, shower and eye douche area, drying space and dressing room with benches and clothes lockers.