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15 October 2014
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Mrs Nellie Young
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Contributed on: 
01 June 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on behalf of Mrs Nellie Young and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Young fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.]

I remember going into the Anderson Shelter with my husband. My daughter was only a baby and hadn’t even been Christened by then.

My husband and I moved to Akeman Street but he left me with the children. I think he joined up and was at Colchester for a bit. I don’t know where he was after that. I had very hard time in the war. We had Social Security money. They wouldn’t give me any at first because my husband was alive but when I showed them the letter he had sent me…he’d gone off with a woman.

We used to go to Sainsbury’s in Sidney Street and everything used to come in quarters with the rationing — a quarter-pound of butter, or marge, or cheese.

Clothing… well it was really bad then but a lady up the road often said, “If there’s anything you would like” — a coat that was outgrown. Things for the children. We had some marvellous neighbours in Akeman Street. They used to come in to see Mum. We used to be able to leave the doors undone — there was no stealing going on. The Muffin Man came round with a tray on his head…

We had a nice party on VE day in Akeman Street… all the neighbours and that.

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