- Contributed by
- Wolverhampton Libraries & Archives
- People in story:
- Jean Davis
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 16 March 2005
I remember the first bomb that they dropped. It was one Sunday. It was just before the war had been declared. Teatime, it was - and all of a sudden there was this racket - a hell of a row. I shot in the pantry. My mother and father stayed in the living room but I was in the pantry with the door shut. I think they dropped it on the racecourse - they were looking for Boulton Pauls. You see they followed the canal. We lived at Bushbury and the canal was about two minutes away. Where I lived was at the bottom of Bushbury Lane. There used to be a row of terraced houses and we lived in the end one - well, the canal's only down South Street, and of course, the racecourse is just across there. I can remember it all very clearly. I think I was dressing up in my mother's long dress and, like I say, I shot into the pantry as if I'd been shot with a gun.
Afterwards they built us air-raid shelters. We didn't have Anderson ones because the water main went down the middle of the garden. Some man who thought a lot of himself - he did - and he got a shelter full of water. We had brick ones - brick with a re-inforced concrete roof - and an escape hatch. You made your own door and it was plonked right by the house. If anything had fell on it we'd have been squished flat. Of course it was double brick and the escape hatch was this cast-iron square, bolted through. So you'd got to make sure that the bolt was regularly oiled or you'd be stuck.
Next door was a grocery and post office shop. A lady and her daughter owned it, and her sister lived with them. Well, they hadn't got a shelter - they were supposed to go in the cellar but they didn't like the idea of that.
Their yard was lower than ours, so my dad cut part of the wall away and he built some steps up and over to our side, and they used to pop over and into the shelter. We thoroughly encouraged it because, owning a grocery shop, they always brought a flask of coffee and some biscuits...
[This story was submitted to the People's War site by Wolverhampton Libraries on behalf of Jean Davis and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions]
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