September 1939 Finishing the new public air raid shelter in Market Place, Reading. This A.R.P. shelter in Market Place, Reading is probably the one of those visited by a Berkshire Chronicle reporter in October 1939. An existing cellar was strengthened for use as a public shelter. At this time the capacity of shelters in Reading town centre was around 1,600 but this was confidently expected to double when the building works in progress were completed.