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A Civilian's Story: Hair Raising Memory.

by ateamwar

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mrs Thelma Bradshaw.
Location of story: 
Liverpool, Merseyside
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
01 August 2005

I remember the bombing had stopped for awhile about 1941 so my eleven year old sister and I at 15 persuaded Mother to take us to the Swan Cinema at the top of Edge Lane opposite the Glass House Pub, first house of course which finished at 8:30 which would enable us to be home early as we lived opposite the Automatic Telephone factory which seemed to be a target with other factories in Edge Lane and Binns Rd, we saw the adverts and the short film then at the interval a roaring sound came from above and people were screaming so we looked around and above the middle aisle by the Entrance a huge ball of spinning fire was slowly moving down from the ceiling showering sparks everywhere, people were trying to scramble to the outer end of the seats, Mother shouted to me "Make for the side door" so i grabbed my gas mask and managed to get to the double side doors the same time as a young usherette, I shouted to Mother to hurry as she was collecting my sister and gas masks and bag and i remember yelling "The Bar ,The Bar" and kept hitting the bar across the door at the back of me which opened the locking device that went up the middle of the doors, suddenly a loud noise and looking up we saw another fire ball above our heads and i remember frantically banging my elbows on the bars again, I dont remember the next bit as i came to my senses and I was laying across the Road against some hoardings opposite the doors which had closed, I looked down to see if i had my pyjamas's on as I could see no smoke or people, suddenly people were running from everywhere and an Air Warden was standing over me saying " Are you alright love" and I replied "I think so but my head hurts and i dont know were my Mother and sister are" then i heard Mother's voice shouting " i have another daughter" and she came running down from the top Entrance with a man behind her carrying my sister which was such a relief for me, the Warden helped me up and we went to the Corporation Yard at the corner of Edge Lane and Rathbone Rd were some one poured iodine into the three gashes in my head , an hour later we went home.

At home Mother advised me to brush my hair gently as it was covered in dust and then I discovered that most of my hair came out as it had been singed , I cried a lot but later on blessed those that had introduced the turban style of wearing a scarf, my hair eventually grew back but I was told later that the usherette had been killed.

'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

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