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WW2 - People's War

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Village Life

by luckybruce

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Ruth Abel
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Contributed on: 
27 November 2003

When the war started I was 13 and when it finished I turned 19 - all my teenage years where spent doing nothing and because I lived in the country there really was NOTHING to do. The only thing was to go to the cinema.

At grammer school nearly every day the sirens used to go off and off we'd trudge to the cellars and doing work from the shelter books. These were excersise books which where meant to keep us occupied while the raids were going off but half the time we just messed about, trying to fill our time up.

One Monday morning when we arrived back at school there had been a boomb which had fallen in the playing fields near the classroom, blowing a few windows out but because it had fallen over the weekend nobody had got killed. It did cuase quiet a bit of excitment for a week or so.

My father had built in the garden a huge shelter and it seemed that the whole street was in there. My mother was always serving tea and coffee to everyone. We all slept there for two years and then we got a curved metal shelter which myself and my brother slept in for safety. Years later when it was taken up we discovered that the floor boards had dry rot in them from the condensation.

One Sunday during the middle years of the war a family of four ar five caught the train from Birmingham and knocked on all the doors in the village. 'Have you any place we can live?' they where asking everyone.
My father said no but I do have this old chicken shed. 'We'll live there' they said. And for two years they lived in this old chicken shed at the bottom of the garden. They were so affraid of living in the centre of Birmingham they would 've rather have lived in a old shed at the bottom of the garden!
Later on their daughter came to stay and lived in another shed further down the garden. They all weashed their pots in a bowl of cold water then themselves in the same water, nobody thuohght anything of it in those days!

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