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- People in story:
- Michael Hollier
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- Contributed on:
- 10 July 2005
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I was born in 1936 and lived in Belvoir Road, St Andrews, Bristol. I left that area by the time I was 4 and half and the enemy was trying to destroy the link line that linked the great western railway and the LMS railway which allowed an interchange of troops and munitions between the two railways and if they could knock that line out they could separate two railway systems.
They tried time and time again to knock the line out - they never did but they did take out Montpelier station which has the scars to this day. I lived nearby in Belvoir Road and enemy action there had hit almost every house on our side of the road. One house there had the rear wall taken out and my parents told me when I was younger that the couple in the house were in bed — they wouldn’t go to a shelter as many didn’t but the floor had dropped when the back wall went and they glided out together into the back garden in their bed unscathed!
I was there when an aircraft came down into St Andrew’s Park and I’m not sure whether it was one of ours or a German — I’ve got a feeling that it was one of ours.
At that time at the age of no more than four and a half I used to walk myself to school — you wouldn’t even dream of it today — you wouldn’t allow your kids outside the front gate but that’s how safe things were in that period. I used to walk through St Andrew’s Park to school despite the threat of bombs — we just got on with it.
After night time raids — because most of them seemed to be night time — I would often go out the following day to collect shrapnel from underneath the front garden hedges up and down the road in Montpelier. We moved to Patchway — after I was four and a half that shrapnel collection was with us for many, many years!
My father, during this period, he was working for the Ministry of Fuel and Power and they were operating from the Central Hall in Old Market Street and they were responsible for issuing petrol coupons to those who deserved them — doctors and other essential people — and I think there were a few coupons given out to the general public for use on holiday or whatever. That was his daytime job, but in the evenings he was often out on the roof doing fire watching.
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