- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Eric Wright, Sydney Evershed
- Location of story:
- Marston's Brewery
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 10 August 2005
Digging air raid shelters at Marston's Brewery. Taken the day the war was declared. September 3rd 1939. My father is in the front row, second from the left (facing the camera)
This story was submitted by Alison Tebbutt, Derby CSV Action Desk, on behalf of Eric Wright. The author has given his permission and fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
I remember my sister and myself had taken my father's dinner (in a wicker basket) up to Marston's and in Crossmann Street they were digging air raid shelters.
Mr Sydney Evershed had just arrived in his Cream Rolls Bentley and had arranged for the men to have an allowance of beer. All stopped work to have their dinner and a drink. Mr Evershed put the car radio on (which as a youngster was something to marvel at) and Mr Chamberlin announced that war had been declared against Germany on September 3rd 1939,
I was fourteen years old when I started at the Brewery in 1944 and I remember most mornings the German prisoners of war from Marchington would come to the brewery in a lorry with armed guards to work in the ale stores. (Brwon battle dress with a big orange circle on the back) My father worked with them in the ale stores and said what good workers they were. One or two stayed in England after the war.
The fields at the back of the brewery were covered with beer barrels with scaffold poles in them, to stop German gliders landing in them.
At the top of the Brewery there was a look out post and each night it was manned by fire watchers who would sound the sirens if an enemy aircraft approached.
Most weekends you would see in the streets the Home Guard practising with blank ammunition. Before the Home Guard it was known as the L.D.V (Land Defence Volunteers.) As lads we used to say it stood for Look, Duck and Vanish.
My father was in the First World War and joined the A.R.P. in the second. When the sirens went he would get us out of bed and put us under the stairs.
One night I stood outside in the street with my father when a Spitfire came over chasing a German plane. It dropped it's bombs in Calais Road.
Both of my brothers were abroad for six years. Frank was in the 8th Army in North Africa, Dennis was in the R.A.F. in North Africa.
Life was so different to life today, we knew who the enemy were and we pulled together to defeat them. Today we do not know the enemy.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.