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Remembering the Night Nottingham was Bombed

by nottinghamcsv

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

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Joan Margaret Hallam (Nee. Gilbert)
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29 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by CSV/BBC Radio Nottingham on behalf of Joan Margaret Hallam with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

I remember the night Nottingham was bombed. I was only 10, living with my parents in the town of Hucknall. I was asleep in bed then mum had to wake me, dad was on the night shift at the local colliery. The sirens were to be heard and mum hurried me downstairs. We made our way to the end house of the row of terraced houses where provision had been made in the cellar of the house for neighbours occupying several houses. It was all a mystery to me!

We hurriedly made our way down into the cellar. There were stairs and boards for sitting and lying down but chiefly people were talking not knowing what was happening above, around, where, when or what.

We stayed all night. People were friendly, considerate, polite, respectful. Although we lived alongside eachother we didnt really know much about our views, attitudes or thoughts about war on life. It seemed a long night!

Noises were to be heard even though Nottingham was miles away. I was alright, mum was near and with me. I had this security. In the morning when the all clear signal sounded, we emerged, tired, stiff and wondering what happened to any nearby places. We soon learned (how, I cant remember)that there was no school - for me anyway, the next morning. There was a time when we only had school either morning or afternoon. We were allocated a nearby house for shelter in case of air-raids whilst at school.

Many practise drills were held to prepare us. Not a happy time for families. May 6th 1942 my brother went into the navy - a sad time to say 'goodbye'. Thankfully he safely returned.

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