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Macclesfield Memories

by Congleton_Library

Contributed by 
People in story: 
George Clowes, Olive Boardman, Olive Green
Location of story: 
Macclesfield, Cheshire
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
07 December 2004

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by B. Jelf of Congleton Museum on behalf of George Clowes and has been added to the site with his/her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was a boy in the War, aged 7 in 1939. I remember pulling a trick on the Army lads at the camp in Tytherington, where me and my mates had gone. They wanted to know if I knew any girls so I said I had 5 sisters. (I actually only had 1 sister). I then fixed 5 of the men up with these 5 fictional girls for dates to go to the 5 cinemas (‘Picture Houses’ then) in Macclesfield. They were thrilled and loaded up with chocolates and gifts which we took home in an old pram.

We had evacuees at our school and I particularly remember Olive Green and Olive Boardman, one was from London and one from Manchester — it broke my heart when they left.

My dad was in the Army, in the Pioneer Corps as he was an older man. He didn’t leave the country but was moved around, once being based at the P.O.W. camp which was on the Aintree Racecourse. The prisoners used to have P.E. on the course. My dad had been a miner in Stoke-on-Trent, met and married my mother, and moved with her to Macclesfield. He also worked in a quarry.

Life was hard in the war, with little food, but there was lots of work in the mills. My mother was a silk worker at Peter Davenports and Smiths. Father was all around the country and once fell ill in Carlisle, so my mother had to travel up to see him.

I remember hiding under the kitchen table or under the stairs in the coal hole when the sirens went off. There were public air-raid shelters in Park Green and near the Canal. There are some bomb craters near the current site of the rubbish Tip, where a plane jettisoned its load.

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