Going a bomb — that’s the viewings at the femininely-titled home called Avril, a Cork city pad complete with its very own air raid or bomb shelter in the back garden.
We sometimes use the work ‘bombproof’ to describe something that’s incredibly well-built, but the late Cork house builder John Hornibrook was taking no chances with his own family at home, as WW2 war clouds scudded across the British Isles. Ireland might have been neutral, but after all, a few stray bombs did fall in Dublin, Campile and Dundalk in 1940/41, so, better to take no chances with Mr Hitler and the Luftwaffe in the Rebel City.
Now a peculiar reminder of those Emergency years is the four-bed semi-d bungalow onDoyle Road, Turners Cross. Open a metal trapdoor in Avril’s back garden (ironically enough near a subsequently added glasshouse that certainly wouldn’t stand up to a soccer ball, not to mind bomb shrapnel) and this well-ensconced bomb shelter opens up its benign secrets. It’s a room well sheltered underground, reached by a short, straight flight of metal steps with the word ’National’ stamped on them. It measures about 8’ by 7’, and is a 56 sq ft space not counted for in the auctioneer’s sales brochure for this 1,100 sq ft house.
Selling agent is John Hornibrook of Smart Properties, a grandson of the John Hornibrook who put his family’s safety on a high priority list, and did dig deep for peace of mind.
It’s a quirk that is striking a chord with early viewers, but the house’s convenient old suburban location is higher up on their priority list, as well as the now-dormer roofed house’s accommodation with four bedrooms, and front and back gardens with off-street parking, plus an attached garage with electric roller door, and kitchen access.
Overall condition is good, and Avril has been well-maintained and the heating has recently been replaced. The house has two reception rooms, and one has a safe in it — another case of taking all precautions — and kitchen/diner, four bedrooms and an outside loo.
VERDICT: A bit of a blast, from the past.