- Contributed by
- BBC Scotland
- People in story:
- Mr Taggart
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 07 November 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Mairi Campbell of the BBC on behalf of Mr Taggart and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the sites terms and conditions.
I was Born on the 4th July at Rankin Memorial Hospital (American Independence Day).
In September 1939 Hitler invades Poland and Britain declared was on Germany.
We stayed at 11 Roxburgh Street, close 13 opposite Co-op hardware store. Baffel Wall at close entrance, turnpike stairs, outside toilet, attic flat with dormer windows overlooking the co-op roof, gas lights everywhere no electricity at all, gas lights on mantle piece, swan like in shape with a turnbuckle switch and mantel.
Things I remember about the War, heavy gas masks and the funny rubber smell, green metal helmets and a canvas bag with shoulder strap; hand pump; ration book.
Blitz; sirens, search lights, droaning noise, thunderous boom boom boom noise, fire engines bells, dark paper blinds, glare in dark sky with the town on fire.
Mother pushing me in a buggy over fireman’s hoses and I could see the reflections of the flames from burning houses on wet streets. People were shouting and screaming as we were making our way over to Lauriston Street to visit my grand parents in their top flat. When we arrived we were told not to come up as we were all to go the dunnie (cellar), on the way down I saw the buggy I came in on at the close entrance, everybody stood in a circle in the cellar just staring in silence in semi-darkness.
We would go round with mother to Barclay’s Dairy in Mearns Street to collect small see-through glass, an accumulator battery in a black frame and handle, watching mother connect terminals to LCO Valne Radio for news.
One time I remember looking out of the window and seeing a big ball of flame rise up to the sky, I could feel the heat on my face through the window (bomb delay OSA) and then excitement as mother takes me to see the Wizard of Oz at the La Scala Cinema. I would also watch shuttlers in the Co-op carrying receipts and change, fascinating.
End of the War in 1945 looking through with face pressed against the railing at Shaw Place at people, soldiers, sailors, wrens, dancing on the clockhouse to big band music, church bellsboats, battery park and street parties. Germans POW’s working on Peat Road.
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