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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Barnsley Archives and Local Studies
User ID: U725548

Barnsley Archives and Local Studies Department, working together with the BBC World War II People’s War Project, are holding a World War II Reminiscence Days throughout Barnsley Borough. The events will be held
Concert Room
Dodworth Central Social Club
Station Road
6 September 2004
10.30 — 4.00

The Grove
Station Road
24 September 2004
10.00 — 4.00

St Andrews Church Hall
Market Street
7 October 2004
10.30 — 3.30

Thurnscoe Methodist Central Hall
Houghton Road
4 November 2004
10.00 — 4.00

Royal British Legion Club
St Mary’s Street
2 December 2004
10.00 — 4.00

Goldthorpe Library
Doncaster Road
27 January 2005
10.00 — 4.00

Valley Community Centre
Manor Road
15 February 2005
10.00 — 4.00

Community Church
High Street
Worsbrough Bridge
17 March 2005
10.00 — 4.00

The aim of these Reminiscence Days is to capture and Preserve for future generations the story of the Barnsley People during World War Two. Unlike any other war before or since, World War two was fought as much by those working in the factories and living at home, as it was by the Armed Forces of land, air and sea. And, although there are countless biographies of Churchill and Montgomery, the stories of the ordinary heroes remain untold.

We are looking for stories from people who lived through the war and for people to hand down family stories as told t them by the war generation. We want stories from the military and stories from the factories. The men of the Merchant Navy, the Women of the Auxiliary Forces, evacuees, all are welcome to contribute. The story may be a brief anecdote or a six-year odyssey; we welcome all stories whether they may be 100 words or 10,000 words long.

Louise Whitworth, Archives and Local Studies Officer and Co-ordinator of the project says, “Obtaining real-life stories and experiences is what this day is all about. We can read dozens of books concerning the events of the war, but only in this way can we capture how World War Two affected the lives of Barnsley people. The stories collected will be a fantastic resource for local history research in the future”.

The Barnsley Archives and Local Studies Department held a similar event on the 4th of June, in Barnsley Central Library. This was a great success with 46 people attending the event. Stories were collected from a wide variety of backgrounds ranging from full military service, a lady who was conscripted to make munitions at Thorpe Arch and another lady who drove buses throughout the war. Stories were told about surviving on the rations, practicing aid raid drills at school and watching the Sheffield bombing from the streets of Barnsley. All this led to a fantastic day, full of memories and a great sense of community spirit.

Entrance to the events is free and all those who give stories on the day will be given a free typescript copy of their memories. Refreshments will be available.

For further information please contact the Archives and Local Studies Department, telephone 01226 773950 or email:

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Justine Warwick

Stories contributed by Barnsley Archives and Local Studies

Working at the Co-op and Village Life: In Barugh Green, Barnsley
Working at Mappin and Webbs, Sheffield
Landlord's Tale: Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley
Village Life and the WVS: In Kexborough, Barnsley
Re-Cycling During the War
Family Life in the War
Being Allowed to Wear Trousers!
Memories of WWII
Evacuee Memories
Doodlebug Night
Stocking Seams
Italian P.O.W.'s
Americans in Our Area
Growing Food on the Home Front
WWII Memories
Darton War Memories
Childhood War Memories
War Memories from My Childhood
Christmas in Wartime
In Hospital during the War
Living in a Mining Village
Schoolboy Memories
Wartime Miner
Evacuee from Portsmouth
A Few Memories
Boyhood Memories
Dodworth Wartime Memories
Dad's Bus was Comandeered
Working in Leeds
Life seemed normal
Sitting on the Railings Watching the Bombs
Hoyland Reached their Warship Week Target
Our holiday was a day out a Roundhay Park!
Recollections of Wartime
War is cruel
One or Two Memories of the War
Memories of Our Shop and the Rations
Sharing and Caring
Purple Dye Took Well!
Watching as the Germans bombed Sheffield
I Was Singing in the Choir
Woods Glass Works
I was a Gunner
Land Army
I took in washing
Queues for Most Things
Prisoner of War
Flatten Tin Cans for Salvage
I Was a Number Taker
Youth Club Visited the Bevan Boys
We Saw the Glow from the Incendiary Bombs at York
Oranges and Apples
Working in Munitions
Working in the NAAFI
The Blitz in Walsall
One or two memories
Working for Ceag
Escorting Evacuees
Alec the Evacuee
Refugees came to Our School
My dad saw the Queen
I Worked in Munitions
Joining Up was Like an Adventure
Saw the War from a Sanatorium
I Worked in the Post Office
Working in the Sickbay
My Parents are from Poland
Dad Couldn't Afford to Pay the Cost to Keep us as Evacuees
Sheffield Bombing
Heard a V! rocket
Winding Camouflage onto Reels
Gun Crew in the Merchant Navy
He was Blown off his Bike
I was in the Sheffield Raids
We Played Cards for Entertainment
Shrapnel was Stuck in the Doors and Walls
My Teacher Thought She'd Lost Her Son to the Japs
They got Shot at by a Plane
We Saved Scaps for the Hens and Pigs
Memories of War- Part One
I was in the Home Guard
Grated Carrots to Help the Sugar Ration
Still had a brilliant Christmas
Memories of Service in the Royal Navy
Recollections of Ordinary Experiences during Extra-ordinary Times -Part One
Recollections of Ordinary Experiences during Extra-ordinary Times -Part Two
Recollections of Ordinary Experiences during Extra-ordinary Times -Part Three
A Child's Point of View
Growing up in the War
I joined the navy from Bude
My war work
I worked at the tank factory
Joined ATS at 17
I worked as a crane driver
Being an officer steward in the WRNS
My brother was born on V.E. Day
I was 8 when the war started
Ramnee Island
My dyed black coat
Americans in Lundwood
Exempt from forces
Working at the Yorkshire Traction
Worsbrough Dale Life
Bricklaying in the pits
Royston Family Life
Don't tread on anything in the garden!
Memories of Mum and Dad in the war
Vera Lynn signed my wedding photograph
Dad Chipped a bit off Hitler's Desk
Dad Chipped a Bit Off Hitler's Desk
I 'held the fort' in my Dad's Off Licence
Being a cook in the ATS
Barnsley Becket's Ward Maid
Some of my war memories
My family's memories
Thurnscoe memories
We yused the table not the shelters
I remember having kippers
I was only six when the war broke out
My ration book was blue
My Granddad thought he'd arrested a spy!
In sixth form we went on fire watch
Everyone grew their own vegetables
Dad was a fireman
Children got wellies free
We had new peggy rugs for Christmas
I was one year old when the war started
I was already in the shelter!
I was in charge of communications
We played spin the plate

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