Nan’s son, Geoff: This guy organised to go and take over the Savoy Hotel and stay there when the air raids were going on, because the government wouldn’t provide air raid shelters and wouldn’t open the underground to the public. After that the government had a change of mind. A lot of the bombs they dropped, it was the blast that killed you. A lot of people were dead unmarked. The shock just destroyed your innards.

Nan: You got delivered an Anderson shelter and dug it in yourself. You stepped down into it. Sometimes it got flooded. There were five us of us in the shelter, Granddad built shelves. If the all clear came up you’d go back indoors. If your house got bombed, your shelter would go as well. Your windows would be in. It was just protection from falling bricks and glass. You just got used to it. Nothing else you could do.

Other people had Morrison tables, a big cast iron table with steel wire all the way round it, to hide under the table.

You’d go up to the West End to the pictures and you’d come back by tube and they’re all laying on the platform with blankets and pillows and that. Soon as the kids come home from school they’d have a bit of something to eat and they’d go down the tubes. Someone from work, she used to go to Bethnal Green tube. One woman fell over and they all pushed; course as they’ve pushed, they were all tumbling down and there was quite a few dead and she broke her ankle.

Geoff: It’s weird when you hear people say they had the best time of their lives, Vera next door said ‘oh I really enjoyed the war’.

Nan ‘They probably did down this way because there was no bombing!’

Ernie Hunt at 21

Ernie Hunt, aged about 21


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