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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

town hall air raid shelter poster


With the Japanese bombing of Darwin and submarine attack in Sydney Harbour, the perceived threat of war in Australia was at its highest in 1942. In readiness, the NSW State government provided air raid shelters for the travelling public in places like railway stations. In early 2014, a rare poster directing the way to one such air raid shelter was discovered by workers carrying out refurbishment works at Town Hall Station.    


Printed on paper and glued to a painted metal beam, the poster was in poor condition upon discovery. It had been overpainted numerous times across its 75 year history, and there were various losses in the paper as well as the paint surrounding it. 


ICS was commissioned by Sydney Trains to treat and stabilise the sign, as well as provide a solution for its display and interpretation. Surface dirt and paint stripper residue was removed from the sign and the surrounding area. A Perspex case was then installed around the sign to protect it and an interpretive panel displayed alongside it. These measures should ensure that the sign is preserved into the future and acts as an important reminder of this period of Australia's wartime history.  

For more information


Sydney Trains  


Paper Conservation / Exhibitions and Displays 









    Town Hall Air Raid Shelter Poster - BT       
               Before Treatment

    Town Hall Air Raid Shelter Poster - DT 1

               During Treatment

  Town Hall Air Raid Shelter Poster - DT 2        
               During Treatment              

  Town Hall Air Raid Shelter Poster - AT      
                 After Treatment