- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Daniel, Isabel and Danny Mangan
- Location of story:
- Greenock, Scotland
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 11 November 2003
My mother often speaks of the growing up on the banks of the Clyde during the war. With the shipyards and sugar refineries being major targets, they suffered terribly but still speak of cameraderie and kindness towards each other in those frightening times.
As a child in the war my mother and her brother made their fun where they could in the midst of the chaos. 7yrs old and Rollerskating one day along The Esplanade with her younger brother in tow, she was horrified to hear the screaming of the sirens and frantically tried to skate faster pulling her little brother behind her to get to safety. With rising panic, she could hear the thrum of the approaching aircraft. They had grown very accustomed to differentiating the sounds of aircraft and the whistling bombs but the silence before the strike was the scariest moment.
Nearing the end of The Esplanade she glanced up to see her father running towards her. "Let's play a game" he said. "I'll carry Danny and pull you along on your skates". He began to run as the explosions ripped through the air. Realising, he needed to get under cover he knocked on the door of a shelter asking for help. "We can take the children but we have no room for you" was the reply. My mother kicked and screamed as she was dragged into safety. She wanted very much to stay with her daddy even if she was outside. My grandfather found a doorway and huddled there whilst his children cried in the shelter unsure if they would ever see him again.
When all went quiet, the shelter door opened to reveal that my grandfather had survived and was waiting outside the door to take them home - a happy outcome.
She can recount many memories that don't have a happy outcome....losing loved ones, picking through belongings in the rubble of a house blown to smithereens; women and children dying in machine gun fire as they ran towards to the hills for safety; ordinary working people who had no shelters of their own.
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