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Shire Hall-Nottingham Raid

by derbycsv

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Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
derbycsv
People in story: 
Mr Bill Johnson
Location of story: 
Nottinghamshire
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4398555
Contributed on: 
08 July 2005

I was one of a party usuall about eight of us. We were known as the the Shire Hall Fire Brigade. Our job was to man two roof pill boxes in telephone link with the Air Raid Precaution County Control situated in the cells under the courts. Also two men examined all the council offices and courts on one side of High Pavement to the County Police Station. The others did the same on the opposite side.

Under the County Library there was a shelter in the caves.

On a warm night as I remember we were sitting on the steps of our office on Keyes Walk & whilst sitting we were watching criss cross lines in the skiy - perhaps target planes, then the bombs started to fall.

The first very loud explosion quite near Circus Street, then showers of incediary bombs. Some were in the trees and on tombs in the churchyard. Fires started in all directions.

A young man on our staff, Tim Mears said to me "What Shall We Do!" We teamed up together and Tim went upstairs and came down looking like a Christmas Tree. He has two strirrup pumps and two fire buckets and our axes. After a time most things - with now much water- were left to burn away.

The old Alhambra Therete on St Marys Gate opposite the end of Kayes Walk went up with a bang, raining what appeared to be typewriters aroud. With all the destruction around I think we at the Shire Hall were lucky to get away with so much.

Next day new mains were laid from the Trent to the city & Lace Market along the road surfaces.

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