From Enid Hull
Memories of the Home Front, World War II
With the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II this
year, we are interested in collecting your memories of Groby
during the war. We hope more will be added over the coming year...
I was 8 when the War began. I was at boarding school and we
were evacuated to Wolverley Heath, Kidderminster.
We had practices to see how quickly we could reach the cellars
where we had sweets if we were quick. Gas mask practice was another
matter. On one occasion I heard the house maid say "Do you
think we should do it again? I think they would all be gassed
by now!" We slept in bunks in the cellars. We used to sing
so that we could not hear the bombs. They whistled as they came
down and then a big crump.
When I was at home we used to walk to Wallace Drive from Glenfield
Turn to Lacy's Nursery to queue for tomatoes. Some housewives
would register one of the family as a vegetarian in order to
get nuts and extra cheese!
We used to save scraps to help to feed Mr Clifford's pigs.
Then there was the black market. Beekeepers got extra sugar to
make candy for feeding the bees in winter. Poaching was not unknown.
Petrol was siphoned while petrol coupons would fetch a price
Later on at the end of the war we made dressing gowns out
of army blankets.
From Alison Coates
I was born during the war so I don't really remember it at
all but I do remember hearing about it.
My father, Richo Richardson was away in the army so I hardly
saw him till I was 6 years old. Mummy, Beryl Richardson, wanted
to contribute to the war effort so she joined the fire watchers
in the village. However, as she was a woman, the men would not
let her go on duty at night. I believe they watched from the
top of the fire station, now a central heating firm, beside the
modern Co-Op building. I understand it was possible to see the
glow from Coventry on the night when that city was so badly bombed.
There were no toys in the shops and very few clothes for babies
and small children, a situation which continued for some years
after 1945. All my early toys were wooden and handmade, almost
all by my father. He was fortunate not to have to go abroad and
in off-duty hours, he was busy in the workshop attached to each
radar station to which he was posted, on the coast of Norfolk.
I used to love cutting out pictures and sticking them in scrap
books. I have seen an early one, containing black and white pictures
cut from a newspaper, of our soldiers in uniform, which seems
very strange now but I suppose there were not many pictures around
from which to choose.
I did not like the strong tastes of cod liver oil or complete
orange juice that was provided for small children but I did love
the free sweet rosehip syrup. I understand that sweets were rationed
until after the War.