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Dora Barlow's War

by Lancshomeguard

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Dora Barlow
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24 June 2005

This story has been submitted to the People's War website by Liz Andrew of the Lancshomeguard on behalf of Dora Barlow and added to the site with her permission.

My marriage banns were declared on the same Day that war broke out and I was married three weeks after — the material for my wedding dress never came from France! We had our honeymoon in Blackpool — we were in an attic room and just before we went to bed I remember the landlady complaining about the light that was coming through the rafters!

I worked at the Mill — it was called Rosebank Fabrics during the War — Sandersons took it over after the War. We started on £1.10.00 and went up to £2.10.00. It was a forty eight hour week and we had to work Saturday mornings. I used to look after two looms and one of them had three or four shuttles but I still managed to knit Fair Isle patterns in between.

I lived with my mother in law and I remember when they went round collecting money for Spitfires she said, “ Where are they going to keep it, Holcombe Hill??”

There were American soldiers billeted at Cuba Mills in Stubbins and all the girls would head over there in the evenings. Two of the Wallbank girls married Americans. I remember at work , above the noise of the looms, we’d sing The Stars and Stripes and God Bless America. It was Annie White that got us started. You could hear it above the noise.

My husband, Arthur was in the Navy — he was a petty officer in a mine sweeper. It was lonely — I didn’t have a child at that point and I just hoped and prayed that they would be ok. It was great when anyone came home on leave. Whoever was home would have to take half a dozen of us to the Palais de Dansing in Bury.

There were train excursions to Blackpool and I remember six of us went to Blackpool for a holiday . The trains would be crammed and friends of mine used to tip the porter to make sure they got on the train. Blackpool was full of troops — mainly Air Force.

VE day was great — we all congregated in the Market Place in Ramsbottom — people were dancing in the street and there were street parties.

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