- Contributed by
- Stockport Libraries
- People in story:
- Bill Birch
- Location of story:
- Adswood, Stockport
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 09 July 2004
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Elizabeth Perez of Stockport Libraries on behalf of Bill Birch and has been added to the site with his permission. He fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
I was in Stockport with my Mother, when the Air Raid Siren sounded. My Mother took me into the shelter on Chestergate. The warden put me on the top bunk of the tier of bunks. For those who do not know, these shelters were tunnels cut out of the sandstone. Whilst lying there with my eyes open, grit from the roof got into my eyes, my Mother had to take me to the First Aid station to have my eyes washed out. I was about five years old at this time.
Walking home one evening with the lad from next door and his mother, he was frightened because he was wearing his clogs. His clogs had metal irons (sparking clogs), and his concern was that during the blackout he would be seen by the Germans if they were flying overhead. This happened on the Bakery Bridge in Adswood (now demolished).
I lived in Adswood and remember an aircraft of the USAAF making a forced landing on Clutha Road playing field. It was a small light aircraft, probably a spotter plane. All the children, who were playing on the fields and around gathered round. After a while a very large truck came, it was a US Army vehicle. We were asking the soldiers on the truck "Have you got any gum, chum?!" Presumably after they had either fixed the problem or re-fuelled it, the plane taxied and flew off.
We lived on the Adswood estate that bordered on Davenport Golf Club. The house that received the direct hit from a "Doodle Bug" was on Garners Lane which also bordered the Golf Club.
My Mother woke me when the siren sounded, but before we got to the shelter, we heard the throb of an engine, this was followed by silence. We sheltered under the stairs. A tremendous bang was heard followed by the blast. We were lucky being some distance away from the explosion.
The next day we went to look at the damage. I remember seeing the rescue services going through the rubble of the houses that were hit. The entire rows of houses both sides of the road had no doors or windows. As far as I can remember some of the rescue services were US Army troops as well as our own ARP, AFS and policemen.
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