Meet the Tellers

We are proud to introduce the below tellers to you:


Barbara experienced the Blitz from Kent –“bomb alley”. Her stories include war-time love letters and memories of going into the air-raid shelters and being more scared of spiders than of the falling bombs. Barbara was born in 1930 and was 9 years old at the beginning of the Blitz.


Sheila grew up just off on the Old Kent Road . Her story includes the tale of a birthday cake – the result of months and months of ration-coupon saving decorated with a small circle of “icing” (cardboard!). After all her mother’s work, the cake was ruined when during a raid, a window fell into the cake, splintering it with shards of class and making it totally inedible. She was born in 1938.


Brenda grew up on Raymouth Road, Bermondsey during the Blitz. She has some fantastic stories to tell and if you ever meet her, don’t forget to ask about her life saving cat! Brenda was born 2 years old at the beginning of the war and 8 years old when it ended.


David is from Camberwell and spent a small part of his childhood as an evacuee in Devonshire, before returning to London. When his house was bombed out during the Blitz, himself and his family spent a bit of time living on the platform in the Elephant and Castle Underground Station. David was born in 1939 and was 6 years old when it ended.


Betty was evacuated to Devon at the beginning of the war, but ran away and came back to London  – preferring to come back to the bombing  than to stay a minute longer with her cold-hearted host family. She returned to Brixton.  Betty was nearly seven when the Blitz began.


Reeny lived in Bermondsey during the Blitz, was about 12 years old when the blitz started and was one of fourteen children! In her interview, one of the things she talks about is that the elder children were allowed to eat the main dining room in her house and the younger children had to eat their meals on the stairs. As soon as one of the elder ones left home, one of the younger children was allowed to move up to the table…


Eileen was 18 years old when she lived through the Blitz. She grew up in Bermondsey and before the war – and in its early years – worked at the Peak Freans Biscuit Factory, until she joined the land army. In her interview, she talks about her experiences of work during these years and growing up as a young women during the Blitz.


Sheila has lived in the same street in Rotherhithe since the beginning of the war. During the Blitz, she was about eight years old and in her interviews, she talks about collecting shrapnel, about the sounds of all the different bombs and about her experience of being in the air-raid shelter.


Gladys grew up in Bermondsey. She was  born in 1924 and was 16 years old at the start of the Blitz. Gladys has some incredible stories to tell, including dragging her dad out of the ruins of her bombed house – in pain, but alive and well. She has since moved away from the area, but lucky for us – she decided to come back to tell her story.


Alfie is 93 years old and was 23 at the beginning of the war. He grew up on Farncombe Street in Bermondsey, SE16. Before the war started, he worked as a “docker” on the Surrey Commercial Docks. When war broke out he joined the army, as a worker in the ammunitions department. He talks about being away from London, how he found out about what was going on back at home and how he built up his life when the war finished.


Daisy also grew up in Bermondsey and was 14 at the beginning of the Blitz. In her interview, Daisy talks about her experiences of the bombing, how the Blitz affected her family and how she got through rationing . Daisy also talks how she met her husband when she was working in the bakers and how a dropped tray of cream buns sparked off a romance that lasted 59 years…


Mary grew up on Tooley Street, Bermondsey and was born in 1929. She was 11 years old at the start of the Blitz. One of Mary’s most striking memories of her time is the nights she spent sheltering in Arch 61 – which was one of the neighbouring arches to Stainer Street (which received a massive hit on 17th January 1941, killing 68 people). She speaks about how they passed the time by playing bingo and doing many other games and activities.

 Born in 1922, Annie was 18 at the start of the war. During the Blitz, she worked at Peak Freans Biscuit Factory and towards the end of the war, she worked on the Railway Lines.  She talks about her family, the impact of the Blitz on her daily life – her time in the shelters, and on meeting the cheeky-chappy soldier that was to become her husband: Alfie Wright.

Rosie was born in 1935 and was five years old at the beginning of the blitz. She was born just of the Old Kent Road and in her interview she talks about the shelters, her evacuation and how they all kept themselves entertained during the wartime years.

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