- Contributed by
- People in story:
- MARY MOGRIDGE
- Location of story:
- TRYMSIDE SEA MILLS
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 30 September 2005
When the War started we had an air raid shelter in the garden. Everyone had.. Galvanized corrugated steel, always running with water. To get a large family into it was a nightmare. We had bunk beds both sides made of steel; army blankets for mattresses, there were steps down into the shelter and a piece of sacking across the doorway, to keep wind, rain and snow out. If the siren went in the night our mum and dad would get us all out of bed and sit us on the stairs. We had no nigh ties or pyjamas, only pants and vest, and we had to put our coats back on top. Then my dad would carry each one of us down to the shelter where mum waited and sat us on those prickly blankets. One night I must have got tired of waiting to be carried down to the shelter so I went to bed. I don’t remember, but my parents told me. My dad counted others to find me missing, he came back ,yanked me out of bed, ran down to the shelter when a tremendous bang was heard, he threw me into the shelter: a bomb had dropped less then 200 yards away. In the morning there was a great big crater in the road.
We were so excited who was going to get the biggest piece of shrapnel- my brothers always did! I remember at school we had to go into shelters, which were above ground, where we would sing songs.
Clothing and shoes were rationed, so if you used up all your coupons, easily done with a lively growing family, that was too bad. Many a time we’ve had cardboard inside our shoes. One day the teacher said she was going to measure all our feet, and if they were over a certain size we could get extra coupons, so we tried stretching our feet, but mine were big enough anyway.
We had to make up our own games to play. At the bottom of our garden was a large oak tree. Rodney, my brother, put huge nails in this tree so we could climb it, and many times we had scrapes on our legs from slipping: but best of all he tied a long rope from the branches, which he then tied a loop in. As this tree was at the bottom of the slope, we would put our foot into the loop and push off from the bank. It was great, until the rope snapped, but that didn’t stop us!
My sister and I would pretend we had a shop, we would go to the tip, (the tip was a lane that ran from Trym Side across the river Trym over to Sea Mills Lane) rubbish was tipped here to make a road, amongst the rubbish we would find broken crockery and we would display it, with bottles and all sorts of things. How we survived I’ll never know, poking around other people’s rubbish and coal trash.
The fire Brigade used to come to the Trym to test their pumps and to train firemen, it was great when they let us hold the hosepipe with all the water pulsating through. These were wonderful days.
It was not so wonderful when mum made us walk up to the golf links for a picnic of bread, marge and jam sandwiches. It seemed such a long walk, and we were tired when we got back home. Perhaps that was her intention!
Place: the road going across the River Trym at the bottom of Failand Crescent.
The Fire Brigade in those days were the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) with trailer pumps. Beresford Stoke and Coventry Climax trailer Pumps. The river Trym was deepened at the bridge, with planks let into concrete slots. The suction hose had a basket on the end to stop any weeds or tiddlers etc going up the suction pipe.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.