St John's School in Pendleton Road, Redhill, has stood opposite the church of the same name for 160 years, a period equivalent to six generations.

Thousands of local children have been taught there by hundreds of teachers during those years. Many pupils and teachers saw action in various military campaigns. The most notable of these have been the two world wars and St John's has relics of the latter of those in the shape of its air raid shelters, built in 1939.

The most notable is the boys' shelter. It came to the notice of the media when murals depicting well known stories painted on its walls were filmed by Path News in 1941 and shown in cinemas around the country.

The shelters were closed after the war and the presence of the murals not rediscovered until research for a book on the history of the school revealed their existence. The shelter was re-opened in 2003 and the murals were seen again for the first time for many years. Showing scenes from well-known children's stories they are in excellent condition and have required no conservation. The shelter has been cleared of debris and made safe for the public to view on special occasions such as school open days.

The other shelter at St John's was for the Infants' and Girls' School. Larger than the boys' shelter it is sadly bare of decoration but, also like the boys' shelter, its interior has not been seen for many years. It too has now been re-opened and was seen by members of the public for the first time this month.

The 160 years of St John's School's history is the subject of a new book by Alan Moore. The price is £10, with all the proceeds from sales going directly to the school. It is available at the office at St John's School during normal school hours. To have a copy posted send a cheque for £10 plus £2 P&P in the UK (£4 elsewhere) including full name and address to: Gabi Slaughter, c/o St John's School, Pendleton Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 6QG. For questions, information, or in case of difficulty, the author can be contacted on the email address below or by letter via the school.