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15 October 2014
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Each classroom had its own shelter

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Beryl Tucknott
Location of story: 
Brighton, East Sussex
Article ID: 
A4689084
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

While I was at Finsbury Road school (7-11 years old), St Luke’s School was bombed, so we had to share our school with them until theirs was repaired. We only went to school on a half-day basis — alternately, one week mornings, one week afternoons.

Our shelters there were built by the road side at the kerb edge. Each classroom had its own shelter. A doorway was constructed in the outside wall of each classroom, a bridge/walkway was erected over the gap which existed between the outer wall of the building and the surrounding wall. Another doorway then had to be put into this wall. The classroom teacher held the keys for these doors. When the siren sounded, we were led to the shelters, where we stayed until the ‘all clear’ sounded.

The next streets up the hill from us were Cambridge Street and Dinapore Street, which were both badly bombed. I remember the black smoke from the fires caused by the oil bombs which were dropped on one occasion.

The bomb sites were our playgrounds, once the remains of the buildings were removed. The ground wasn’t leveled so we had ‘crevices’ in the chalk in which to hide ‘treasures’.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by volunteer Sue Craig on behalf of Beryl Tucknott, and has been added to the site with her permission. Beryl fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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