Tuesday, 11 March 2014

we put all the beds in one room, so that if we died we’d all go together

Irene Ellis' story:

My mother lived with me and she was stone deaf. We had heavy wooden tables in the kitchen. My husband worked on the aircrafts. So we would get under these heavy tables, and I thought this was so funny. My mother couldn’t hear a thing. My children couldn’t understand a thing, my mother would say to them ‘be quiet children, there are neighbours next door’.

They built places by the road where you could shelter at night. My husband made ours comfortable, he built bunkbeds and we put down carpet. My friend had a public house across from where we were, so we used to go there to enjoy ourselves, then when the sirens went we spent the night in the bunkers.

I worked at a factory nearby, making materials for the planes, there were bomb threats against this factory from the Germans every night. So we put all the beds in one room, so that if we died we’d all go together.

My mother used to queue up for hours for the food. The butcher’s in Hornsey Road, he used to get rabbits twice per month. So we bought some and made a stew of them with scraps of bacon. The things we made out of our rations was unbelievable. Maybe that’s why the older people are such good cooks.'

From the BBC's WW2 People's War archive: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/52/a4255652.shtml

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