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- 07 May 2005
This story is submitted by a volunteer on behalf of Radio Bristol Action Desk at City of Bristol College.
I lived in Stoked Croft when the war started. I remember being in a shelter for 5 hours and when we emerged the road and surrounding buildings were on fire, there were smashed windows everywhere. We also stayed in Westmoreland House, which was a rubber factory at the time, which we used as a shelter. It didn’t take long for us to have to move because Westmoreland caught fire. We then moved on to another shelter that was near Cotton Green. As we arrived there my grandma discovered that she had lost her dentures, my father went back out in the middle of it all and found them for her. Sitting in there you could hear the planes flying over us and the sound of bomb.
We then moved to Weston-Super-mare where we went thought more bombing, there were about 3 to 4 raids. My sister worked for Britain or seas airways by the spa hotel and we sheltered there for several nights, you felt safe there because it was underground.
My mum let some American soldiers sleep in the attic; they used to lie on straw which mum had placed there for them. We couldn’t afford much but mum managed to feed them water and watercress sandwiches. One of the soldiers that we put up used to send us a Christmas hamper; it had food like spam in it. The same soldier that used to send the hamper invited us to his wedding, but we couldn’t go because there wasn’t a plane that went there and we weren’t allowed to use the ferries.
Me and my friends used to go to the shop every week and the shop keeper would keep some fags under the counter for us, they used to cost 9p, which is nothing compared to the price of them now. Our clothes were never new they were always hand me downs.
There was one good part to the war I got engaged, I’ll never forget him, he was a lovely man. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be he had to join the air force. I didn’t see him till many years later and by that time I was married and so was he.
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