Sheltering

Last night, the sirens sounded on Mayflower Street. We gathered up our most treasured possessions and necessary bits and pieces and headed down to the public shelter. I was looking after the boys and Hattie at no.12 and I think they missed their Mum – Rena Atkinson. She is out of town at the moment, but due to come back next week. I am sure they will be happy to see her.

There was generally a good atmosphere in the shelter, people playing cards and games to pass the time. Hearing the sirens and actually getting down there was the worst part. Once you’re there, you have the comfort of all the families around you – and other people to help keep an eye on the kids – and things don’t seem as bad as they are.

If you were one of those sheltering on Thursday, do let us know about how you felt down there and what you did. Was it how you expected it would be? Did you find yourself more or less frightened that you anticipated? Do tell all.

Back to Grandchildren of the Blitz

3 Responses

  1. Muhammed

    I can still feel myself in our make-believe world of the Blitz. Standing at home – looking thru my notebook – watching/talking to the children. I’m like a single parent who has to watch over his brood – I must always give them instructions, help them to take necessities, keep them company in the shelter, feed them . . . A short poem: A RIDDLE/ It can land on your head or house/ Is never quiet as a mouse/ The smoke gets into your blouse/ Kills everything including the louse. Answer: A BOMB!

  2. Muhammed

    As an interviewee I felt I had to be rather realistic – thus, in the 1st instant, tried to place myself in the shoes of a cockney person of the Blitz era. . . . I quite liked Robert’s interviewee in his 2nd piece where he looked and sounded aged and somewhat quirky. I think he was meant to be an old woman – and the ending too was interesting when all the individuals of the piece vanished/gathered under a cloth. . . . I suppose it’s quite true that often one can say a lot by not doing much. Example – Mark’s group which sat huddled for a time – and we just noted their expressions. . . . When I was an interviewee, in the 2nd instant, I tried to change my voice and sound more heavy-set. Tried to be in an interview mood where I could be laidback. My interviewers asked short/sharp questions and then started to act out my story – doubtless because they found my answers to be intriguing. . . . I didn’t consciously blend into a picture, attempting not to stick out – though our earlier be-as-1-beast exercise must have made me more conscious of the input of others, later on when we did our pieces.

  3. Muhammed

    Christmas was a quiet one in 1940 London. A lull before the storm. A few days after Christmas day St Pauls would be surrounded by flames and smoke . . .

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