Air raid equipment, old newspapers and an escape tunnel will help give people an insight into the vital role played by a Finchley landmark in both world wars.

The Avenue House at War exhibition opened at Stephens House and Gardens, in East End Road, Finchley last week.

Visitors will learn how the building, formerly known as Avenue House, was turned into an RAF hospital in the First World War and an air raid control centre in the Second World War.

Artefacts from the Finchley Society adorn the basement walls, and people can have a glimpse at the escape tunnel designed for bombing raids.

Events coordinator Fiona Harcus said: “The house played an important role in both world wars. It is very atmospheric, we have done as much as possible to make it an interactive experience. We have been working on it since last summer.

“There is the smell of TCP, the radio and more. It is not just a dry set of cases, it is meant to give you a feeling of how it was.

“We want to let people know more about the history of the house, and the role it played during the wars.”

Avenue House at War runs until September 30. Admission is free.

Opening hours are 2pm to 4.30pm Tuesday to Thursday, and 12pm until 4.30pm at weekends.

General manager Malcolm Godfrey also spoke to the Times Series about the exhibition.