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Growing up in Matlock Bath during the war.

by derbycsv

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Patricia Doxey (nee Burn)
Location of story: 
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
05 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War website by Louise Angell of the CSV Action Desk at BBC Radio Derby on behalf of Patricia Doxey. The author fully understands the sites terms and conditions.

I had 4 sisters and a brother. We lived on the A6 opposite masson Mills, in Matlock Bath. I was born in 1933 and was about 7/8 when the war started. I remember my brother buying a kind of wind up gramophone and buying records by Vera Lynn and all the other stars.

my grandparents wanted to go back to Dublin in Ireland. There was a big rush to get back as they were closing all the ports. They took my sister who was 12, with them. We thought the war would only last a year or so and so she would be back soon but I didn't see her again until she was 18!

Troops were billited at Cromford Court and used to march to the pavillion at Matlock bath for their breakfast. Officers were at the Temple Hotel. We lived on Temple Walk. Dad made a shelter in the garden out of a natural rock hole. He covered the door with sacks so we could light a candle.

We were house number 1, Mrs.Woolley was at 2, Mrs. Rider and her 4 children at number 5, The Langleys at 6 and the Seedhouses at 7.

Once we heard the planes and saw the searchlights dad would get us up and we would huddle behind him in the shelter. german planes would make a different sound and sometimes we would stand at the gate and and watch after they'd passed.

There would be ENSA concerts at various venues including the canteen at Masson Mill. We would see the soldiers doing exercises with tanks at Cromford Meadows nearby. We used to go and play aroundthere eventhough we weren't supposed to and hang onto the back of the lorries as they were moving. We were lucky we didn't get hurt. The soldiers were lovely. one of them used to call me 'freckles'and used to make sure we had lots of sweets and chocolate. I learned to dance on his boots at the dances.

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