- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Joyce Pickett
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- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 11 January 2006
My Father threw me in a porch, they came right over the pavement, firing. Lone ones used to do all that sort thing. I was going to work one morning about seven, and I could hear this plane, you knew what the German plane was like, and all of a sudden he dropped his bombs and of course I was hysterical. I went to someone’s door and I was banging, and a gentleman came up and took me in. Incidents like that. When my daughter was born, that was 1944, the nurse said "You won't get out of bed will you?", no I won't get out of bed, but we could hear them going over and then the sirens went off so I came all the way down to the air raid shelter, step by step because I had stitches in and I came all the way back up the same and the nurses said "You didn't get out of bed did you?", No! It was incidents more than anything else.
We had a few Polish Prisoners Of War in Swindon, it was full of Prisoners Of War, but it was just incidents. We thought the Germans were so and so's but I guess the Germans thought we were so and so's. Still as I say we live to fight another day.
A neighbour and I, we organised this street party at the end of the war and I can't remember who it was - that if you had so many things they would give you coupons for money. So we organised this and we had enough that we were able to hire a pub, a room in a pub, and we had all the children, it was a children's party, we had a sort of magic lantern, I’m sure the kids today wouldn't look at because of television, but I remember the kids being very happy. I suppose every street had a party, at the end of the war, with the flags out, it was wonderful.
People were much different during the war, like with this party, every body mucked in with everything. The spirit during the War was wonderful, everybody helped everybody.
We had an awful lot of children evacuated from London to Swindon. I can remember them getting off the train with their little gas masks. Lots of people in Swindon had these little kids, their gas masks was almost as big as them actually. They stayed right to the end of the war, unless they were troublesome. The war weren't all bad, I can't speak for all people's experiences, but people were so nice. Unless you lived through it like others did, it was horrible but we didn't have it like other's had it. It was just a different attitude, people were nice, which you can't say now.
It went on for hours and hours when they bombed Coventry, they did it two nights following. You could tell the difference between a German plane. We were not prepared for War, not a bit, how we ever got out of it I do not know. I suppose the Americans won the War, they always said they did so I guess they did. We had loads of Americans on the camp outside Swindon. We used to go to these dance halls and we had fun with the Americans, I never found one that was rotten, some say that they're big headed. We had this Six Pence Three Farthings dance every Monday and Wednesday and of course when they came their dancing was entirely different to ours, they were doing the jitter bug and we used to say "damned Americans", we didn't have room to dance a proper waltz, they were throwing the girls backwards and forwards you know. We used to walk home in the black out and that was black. You would hear about all these girls getting molested by the Yanks but nobody ever bothered us, we might have been a bit drunk and a bit daft but that’s all.
The sugar I can remember, we use to fill a little jar of sugar and that was it, that was the rations for the four of us. Now you'd use it in one go I suppose. If you wanted something someone was there to give it to you or loan it to you, marvellous atmosphere.
This story was submitted to the People's War by Carlie Swain of the BBC Radio Shropshire CSV Action Desk on behalf of Joyce Pickett and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Pickett fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
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