- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Jean Mace
- Location of story:
- Heaton Park Manchester
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 06 May 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site on behalf of Jean Mace and has been added to the site with her permission….
On D Day Jean was 16 years old and remembers roller skating from chapel. Her father was a builder and was building some houses, one of them for the family. But they never got it as building industry was de-regulised, materials being needed for the war effort.
The family lived in Manchester and RAF men from Heaton Park stayed with them. Mum looked after them and always fed them well. She kept in touch with their parents and sadly one or two of them were killed.
Father was in the Home Guard and she remembers how he used to collect shrapnel.
She recalls rationing and how they kept hens in the garden. There was quite a bit of bartering went on and if there was an occasion, like a wedding, everyone would contribute something. Peg rugs were made out of scraps of wool. Coats made out of blankets, often garments would be ‘turned’ and re-made, so that the good side would be on the outside. Jean had a blouse made out of parachute silk, with a map of France on it, but she never had a dance dress, there weren’t enough coupons. But Mum did her best and made things for them.
They lived in a large Victorian house that was always cold, they would burn anything they could get their hands on to keep it warm. Carts came and collected all the railings to be used for the war effort. There was a large barrage balloon in the sky nearby, it had silver streamers attached to it to block the signals and confuse the enemy.
All in all Jean enjoyed the war and as a young girl found it very exciting.
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