Daisy Louisa Hunt (née Chapman)
Born 3rd January 1924

It's just the way things were

Memories from a great grandmother on growing up in the City of London, surviving the blitz, dodgy pubs and moving to Slough - As told by Daisy Louisa Hunt (née Chapman) Born 3rd January 1924

You don’t really think about listening to older people’s memories often till it’s too late. Luckily for me, I realised that my Nan had a treasure trove of stories to tell. But then everybody has a story to tell and anyone who lived in London through the Second World War certainly has, so at the age of 88 and with an incredible memory for detail I started to interview her.

Listening to her stories, made me realise that despite its size, London was like a village where families lived together or very near, where neighbours married each other, kids played out in the streets and anything you needed to buy was no more than a couple of streets away. But I don’t want the past to be all rose-tinted either. Some days London had smog so bad you couldn’t see in front of your face. Infant mortality was high. There were gangs and looters who robbed people’s houses and shops when they had been bombed. One consequence of World War II was to bomb those communities apart as street after street was pulled down. Many, like my Nan, eventually left London and she ended up on the Langley estate in Slough. The town is always the butt of jokes and ‘come friendly bombs’, but has always been a place where wave after wave of migrants go looking for work and that is still going on today.

Read the book here.

It's just the way things were - e-mail: warren@itsjustthewaythingswere.com © Copyright 2013