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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Gone with the Wind

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
David Bell
Location of story: 
Canterbury
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4686159
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

My mother must have found her life in war-time Canterbury demanding, sometimes alarming and, at other times, monotonous or even deadly dull. She was an attractive young woman of 37 and could never, at the time of her marriage in 1930, have anticipated living under the constraints that war brought with it. She never had a holiday or a change of routine, she lived in a sparsely inhabited city, with little or no entertainment and few people of her own age, except a husband, who was often absent or pre-occupied, and a small son, to whom she was tied. There was no interesting food or drink and no worthwhile restaurants in provincial Canterbury - even the diet was a bore!

Her one escape was the cinema. She became an addict of Hollywood films and fan of many of the stars and often whisked me off to the cinema as soon as I returned home from school. During the air raid of July 1942, the Regal cinema in St. George's Place, which I visited frequently with my mother, received a direct hit from a high explosive bomb, which blew away half the foyer, although the auditorium was not damaged. Luckily no-one was injured
but the irony, which everyone found to be highly amusing at the time, was that the film then showing at the Regal was the epic, "Gone with the wind".

This story was added by a volunteer to the site on behalf of David Bell. David fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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