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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Boyhood experiences

by Researcher 233892

Contributed by 
Researcher 233892
People in story: 
Joseph Thompson
Location of story: 
Winlaton Blaydon District
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 July 2003

I was a boy aged 15 living in Winlaton village ub the early days of the war. I had gone to the shops to collect my dear old mother's shopping from the Co-op shop, when suddenly I heard a terrific roar of an aeroplane overhead. Looking up, I was petrified to see a German bomber plane directly overhead (I could plainly see the pilot who wore a black flying helmet). I also picked out the white cross against the black background of the plane. This plane dropped its bombs onto Spillers warehouse, which sat on the banks of the Tyne riverside, East Newcastle.

I ran home and asked my mother if she had seen the plane, and she answered in the negative, having been too busy washing the family clothes in the Poss Tub (that is how washing was done in those days). I then gave her the contents of the shopping bag - a penneth of broken biscuits and a penneth of tinned corned beef. (Penneth was a penny in real money terms; twelve pennies made one pound sterling.) Money was in short supply in those days and every penny spent was planned in advance.

The German bomber was shot down by the RAF over the North Sea, so this was my introduction to WW2.

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