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Safety under the stairs by "Betty M"

by Stockport Libraries

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Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
Stockport Libraries
People in story: 
"Betty M"
Location of story: 
Reddish, Stockport
Article ID: 
A2372924
Contributed on: 
02 March 2004

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Elizabeth Perez of Stockport Libraries on behalf of "Betty M" and has been added to the site with her permission. She fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

"I was born in December 1939, three months after the start of the Second World War. I can remember going under the stairs when I was about 4-5 years old, sitting on a winter stock of coal that my father stored under the stairs, in a terraced house in Reddish. As we were in direct route to Manchester I can remember the noise of "doodlebugs" and asking my Mother what the noise was and what they did. Whilst we were under the stairs, my Father was on fire-watch, he was too old for army service, but he served in the Royal Engineers in the 1914-1918 war, bridge-building, he served on the Somme and Ypes, luckily he came home.

I have personal proof that "under the stairs" was one of the safest places to be when a bombing raid was on. My Father's brother and sister-in-law lived with their two daughters in Haydock, not far from Liverpool, in a terraced house. My Aunt was a seamstress and was making bridesmaid dresses for a local wedding. There was an air-raid siren, my Aunt put the two daughters under the stairs, and my Uncle stayed in the living-room with my Aunt, as she was concerned about finishing the dresses. The house had a direct bomb hit, my Aunt and Uncle were killed, the two girls were injured but alive - the staircase and under was the only thing still standing!

My Father's day job was at Fairy Aviation making the aeroplanes for the defence."

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