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Young memories of a North Londoner.

by CSV Actiondesk at BBC Oxford

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
CSV Actiondesk at BBC Oxford
People in story: 
Mrs. J. Pearson
Location of story: 
North London
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4464128
Contributed on: 
15 July 2005

“This story was submitted to the BBC People's War site by a volunteer from CSV Oxford, on behalf of Mrs. J. Pearson and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.”

I was four years old and living in North London when War broke out.

One of my most vivid memories is of being carried out to our front drive by my father, who had wrapped me in a tartan rug. We saw this massive sunset in the sky, even though it was night- time. I was told that it was the London Docks burning. Whenever I see a really red sunset, I remember that night.
Another memory is of being carried out in the same blanket and seeing my school on fire. Even when I left school, the desks still had scorch marks on the lids.

My father was an air raid warden and I remember him being teased for emptying a bucket of sand over an incendiary bomb. He was only supposed to use a spade full!

On our way to school, we used to collect shrapnel and see who found the biggest pieces.

Food and clothing was scarce- we had to use what we could obtain.
We had Offal…. I personally think it should have been called Awful!
My mother made my slips and dresses from Parachute silk because her job involved making parachutes.

The whine of a bomb is another memory; especially when a blast blew out all of the glass in our front door and blew open and broke the French doors.
The end of our Road was flattened, all of the shops disappeared and the trolley bus wires overhead caught fire. My friend was burnt by them and unfortunately lost a leg.
I remember North Middlesex Hospital being bombed and everyone having to go out in the open air to get to the operating theatre.
A German Plane was shot down nearby and it was put on display on a large lawn.

Finally, V.E. Day was a day where everybody was celebrating. Long tables were put up all the way down the road, for a real street party.

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