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Matthew Kellett - 3RT. Stephen Stoneman - Bott Cycle Team.
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Membership number: This field is required. Password: This field is required. Remember me. Need further help? Contact us. Retrieve your account details Forgotten password If you do not know your password, enter your username and we will send a password reset to your registered email address. Reset Password. Two boys from Victoria St. Albert Sellers and Eddie Challis were missing in action from air raids over Europe during that first autumn and were never found.
They were at P. The Scotch boy, Jamie Ingles went to France and was killed. John was in the U. Army Air Corps for almost 4 years He was stationed at Alconbury Air Base for most of the time. B bombers off the 8 th Air Force raided strategic places in Germany in daylight raids. It took several hours for the planes to gather over-head before they all left on the mission. The R. Many of the planes were badly damaged and crash landed on their return. As you can see by the map there were many U. The English Lancaster bombers flew , missions. Churchill said that never had so many owed so much to so few.
Dad retired from the Bottling Co. Dad was strong and healthy but had suffered for years with open varicose ulcers on his ankles. Mom treated them twice a day with scalding hot pink lint; they would heal but always broke out again. His only regular outing was to Church at 6 p. When they reached the bottom of Victoria St he walked straight across the busy Manchester Road. Stubborn old Yorkshiremen! Coal was in short supply for homes, so we broke up the old washstands and other furniture from our attic. We were left with the useless marble tops. We were asked to use only a few inches of water in our baths.
Electric heaters were forbidden, but Dad said he deserved to use one in the cold bathroom. The War. It is all recorded in the history books, but who reads them? We covered all of our windows with blackout drapes, the street lights were fixed so that only a little light shone downward and the car headlights the same. Volunteer groups spring into action.
Air raid shelters were quickly built, they were small-corrugated steel structures sunk into the back yards. In the cities large basements were reinforced and in London thousands of people spent their nights in the Underground station. The Air Raid Wardens patrolled to make sure no light showed and the people manned the warning centers. Dorothy Fish and I spent many nights in the Public Hall basement, knitting and reading and watching for the alerts that never came.
This went on for months and we got used to it and went on our way to the show or dances. They bombed Sheffield twice in December of and caused much damage to the center of town as well as the steel works. Hundreds of people were killed; a dance hall full of people was hit. It sounded like hell from 10 miles away, at Stocksbridge. It was used during the war as a dance hall with an all girl orchestra. That same evening the Hammersmith ballroom received a direct hit and hundreds were killed. Thousands of people lost all their possessions, they were left with the clothes on their backs.
Relatives and friends took them in so long as their houses still stood. As far as I know there was no compensation. A U-boat sank one of the ships evacuating children to Canada and many lives were lost. We worked almost every Sunday as the staff was diminished but we always had Saturday afternoons off. Sometimes we had to ride the 57 buses up to the end of the line in Hawthorn Brook in order to ride it back to Sheffield. They ran the double-deckers every 10 minutes on Saturdays. We went to the movies, glorious musicals and war adventures with the Pathe Gazette News, some shorter movies and cartoons, it lasted 3 to 4 hours.
There were tea dances where we met many service men. They were there to have a good time but we had enough sense not to date them. Then to the Victory Club dance. There were usually plenty of partners, soldiers from the barrage balloon outfits and the anti-aircraft units around the reservoirs and men from the tank practice range at Langsett. On the way, we stopped to talk to some people making hay.
There was a strange young man, brother of the owner who was a Duke, and the caretaker couple. Later on, as we waited for the bus, the man rode up on a little motorbike, gave us each an egg and invited us to tea the next day. Cath dropped her egg on the paved stone floor of the bar and she was heart-broken. Barbara and I arrived home with our eggs intact after walking the four miles home after the dance.
And we had an elegant tea the next afternoon. During this time there was a group of young people who liked to get together at the Midhope pub.
When war was declared every-one was issued with a gas mask and we were required to carry them everywhere. Soon some smart operators were selling cases to carry them, so we bought them to match our outfits. They had a place for our money, make-up, dance shoes and etc. The Fox employees had to show our identity cards to get in the gate, even though the gate keeper had known of us all of our lives. Some of us girls were taught to shoot at the rifle range on the top floor of our office building. To make the Germans think that we were ready to protect the plant to the last man we had steel strips across the bottom of the office windows, with holes for the rifles to fit.
They looked good! Fooling the Nazis was a major stratagem. When France fell in the British troops were evacuated from Dunkirk. Every sea-worthy craft, large and small, crossed the English Channel to rescue them. All of their weapons were left behind so we had to start all over again. The Army built a tank corps camp out of plywood and cardboard in East Anglia to convince the enemy that we were still prepared. It was the best kept secret of W. II and it was claimed it shortened the war by years. We will never know why Hitler did not invade at that time.
All of our factories worked at night and day to make munitions, uniforms, and etc. All of the scrap metal was commandeered, they took the railings and gates from the front of our house. At Easter time in I went to see Marjorie at Poole. Thousands of men were training for the invasion and the country was over-flowing with troops from all the Allies. A convoy came into Poole and that night there was an air raid, fooling the Germans again, they lit fires on Brownsea Island in the middle of the harbor and most of the bombs fell there.
We all sheltered in the cupboard under the stairs then made a dash for the communal shelter, the movie theatre down the street was hit, but there was remarkably little damage for such a heavy raid. How John and I met. He went to Cheyenne, where the wind blew and blew. Then to Spokane, WA where the th company was established with men from all over the country. They would stay together through the war. Then to White Sands, Alamogordo, N. They went across the country to Norfolk, V. They moved to Fort Dix, N. John and another fellow took off and had an unauthorized evening in New York and got away with it.
Once on the ship, they joined a convoy, which zigzagged across the Atlantic to try to avoid the menacing U-boats. They arrived safely in Cardiff, Wales and went by train to Wortley, the little village close to my home where a black company was already established. I went to all the dances but this one Wednesday I stayed home to wash my hair.
We had always walked for the pleasure of it, but these guys thought the English mile was very long and the 2 miles from Wortley was a long, long way. They hit it off immediately! Barbara sat with Larry Reagan and I was with John. That was August They were at Wortley a few weeks then moved near to Upper Dean where they made friends with Doris and Frank who had a grocery store and a bakery in the village. The oven was outside at that time and they carried water from the village pump.
I was amazed.
Many of the row houses in Stocksbridge still had outside toilets but they had gas laid on in their homes. I remember Dad installing electric power at the brewery and in our house about probably when the gas strike was in progress. When we decided to get married, he applied for permission from the Army. Then it started. Interviews at the base with his C. The Yanks had been in England so long that most of them had regular girlfriends and many wanted to marry.
Barbara and Dorothy were my bridesmaids. Edith helped me make the dresses. John and I found my engagement ring in a pawnshop in Sheffield, but I had to go to Leeds to find my wedding ring and the traditional signet ring for John. His shoes were hand-made leather and they lasted for years. Mom bought a new hat and had a dress made. The fashionable time for a wedding was Saturday at 3 p.
He was surprised to see Mom and I still working on the wedding feast. The 3 p. Sackett married us at 3 p. My bouquet was roses and the other bouquets were sweet peas. John and I took my bouquet to Mrs. Spooner who was bed-ridden for years with crippling arthritis.
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People had donated dabs of butter and Mom saved sugar and dried fruit so we had a lovely traditional fruitcake with white icing. John brought two gallon cans of pears from the P. Luckily he could buy film there to record the big event. We had a great time except for Bryce Henderson who proceeded to get drunk sitting on the cellar steps.
I changed into an aqua dress and Colin Marshall took us to an inn in Bradwell for a short honeymoon. The Blue John mines are situated in near-by Castleton so we took the tour, buying a little bowl in the rare Blue John Spar, this is the only place in the world that is has been found. I traveled around by bus and saw country that was new to me. The plum harvest was good so I took a basketful home for Mom to make jam.
We had big strawberry beds at home and through the years we picked hundreds of pounds and Mom made jam for everyone and always took some to the church bazaar and the S. Christmas Fayre.
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Doris had charm bracelets with solid gold charms. She gave John a brooch made from a crown coin to send to his mother and Anna later gave it to Pam. Mom and Dad always welcomed company. She had come to Stocksbridge as a S. Jessie originated in Dundee and she was proud to be Scottish. Their only daughter, Edith, married Harold Fieldsend and I was a bridesmaid. Hayward and Bessie came and played cards with Mom and Dad on Saturday evenings.
They lived on Victoria Road, above us. It was a treat to eat her stew; it was the best, spicy and tasty. Bessie belonged to Dr. Cecilia Choir. The girls wore white dresses and I remember mine was corduroy with long sleeves to keep me warm. We had an extra bedroom and Mom hosted the S. At the beginning of the war, we billeted two officers from the K.
I think they were installing the anti-aircraft balloons that were placed around the dams, to prevent the Nazis from flying low to bomb the dam. One was called Alistair Donaldson Grant and he was like a big brother to me, taking me to the show. One time he took me to the Victory Club and I was so proud to be escorted by a tall, handsome officer.
Mom invited service men to eat with us and that was how we met Audrey. Her brother Len was stationed at Ewden and he came to a service at the Congs. Anyway, Audrey came to see Len during her summer vacation from college and after she met Tom she continued her visits. We are all the same age; Tom and I went through grade school together.
When Audrey had her 21 st birthday I had been to London and set off by train for her home in Durhamshire. A group of us in the carriage were all going to Newcastle and had to change at York. A porter pointed out the Newcastle train, you have to remember the blackout and there were no names on the stations. Anyway we finished up on the coast at Scarborough in the late evening and had to re-trace the route.
Atkinson was going to meet me at Newcastle. When we finally arrived at Newcastle, a young soldier took me home to spend the rest of the night and I phoned Mr. Atkinson the next morning. Audrey took us to a fine restaurant for her party and that was when I started smoking. Len went to North Africa early in and was captured when the Germans over-ran the British and American lines.
He spent 2 years in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. They had a jeep for the return trip and they loaded it with cans of extra gas and headed for Stocksbridge. Barbara and I went out with them on the Saturday evening to Sheffield and the guys stayed there, as the vehicles would have been very noticeable in Stocksbridge. Barbara had to work on the Sunday but John picked me up in the staff car and we took off. There were many American bases in Lancashire so I had to duck down going through the towns. It was worse coming back as we were all in the Jeep and it was hard to hide.
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But we avoided the M. John and Jack Ruddesill bought a motorbike and fixed it up with a big plexiglass windshield. Our House and Garden. He had 27 apple trees, some pear and plum trees, rhododendrons, hollies, laurels and other bushes. There was a rose arbour where the climbing roses kept going forever.
Dad loved dahlias and grew all kinds especially pom-poms. Every Friday Mom picked flowers and I had a route of regular customers who bought the mixed bunches for 6 pence and the pinks small, white carnations for 4 pence. Dad had a L-shaped greenhouse, the first section held grape vines and ferns with mushrooms growing under the benches. In the last part he grew lilies, chrysanthemums and fuchsias.
It was well built and lasted until the day he was buried in when a terrible storm broke most of the windows out. He hired a man to do the heavy digging. He was a dark chocolate brown colour, with a white star on his chest. Pat liked to chase motorbikes in Victoria St. The kids in the neighbourhood would climb over our back wall to steal apples and Pat would be there helping them!
He was one of our family, always waiting by the gate for me to come home. He developed a rash and we had to put him to sleep after Johnny was born. The floors in the house were made of cement, nine inches thick, covered with terraza marble. An Italian family in Sheffield did this. Marble chips were set in a layer of cement, and then when it hardened it was polished and polished and polished, all with hand tools.
It was sparkly and needed only to be mopped clean. We had area carpets in the dining room and living room, rag rugs in the kitchen and runner carpet in the hall way. The front door and the vestibule door had stained glass windows that were also used at the top of the front windows. The houses faced the west, hence the name.
Aunt Beattie spoiled me; her children were older, Leslie 15, Joyce 10, and Daisie 5 years older than me. When they moved they let me pick a piece of her souvenir China ornaments and I still have the Durham chair. It was a highlight of my young life visiting them at the Flouch for a few days each summer.
Aunt Beattie made wonderful beef sandwiches and her homemade mayonnaise was delicious on a simple salad. I followed them to P. Toby came to Cleveland, Ohio, during the war to represent his firm coordinating their products. Joyce and Pam joined him crossing the Atlantic when the U-boats were at their worst. After the war they came to Cleveland permanently, they also had Valerie by then. They retired to Palm Coast, Florida, then back to Cleveland. After the war they moved to Scotland so he could take over the family brickworks and they had Stuart and Barbara.
When Leslie was 35 he was called up into the Navy. That must have been a shock, he had been waited on all his life and the Spartan life would be hard on him. After the war he came back to his job as a surveyor at the Stocksbridge Town Hall. Dad sold the house next door to the Wesleyan- Methodist Church for their minister. When Mom came to live with us she sold our house to Desmond and Margaret Helliwell who still live there.
Then there are the holidays. The Mission, the Methodist, the Congs, then the S. The route was packed with on-lookers, who then proceeded to the Field-the most people ever seen in Stocksbridge. Back to our Church for lunch, run home and change clothes, back to the Field for races and fun-coconut shies and the boys chasing the girls with a bamboo cane that made a wonderful swishing sound and left welts. Such fun! Hole in my stocking. Hole in my shoe,. Please can you spare a copper or two? We wore masks or blackened our faces with soot from the fireplace.
They let us get warm by their fire and gave us a scone and a small coin, then we were on our way again. On Nov. Christmas was long anticipated. Mom made the Christmas Plum Pudding and fruit cakes weeks ahead so they could age. The Pudding was served with hard sauce custard flavoured with rum. Mom wrapped six-penny pieces up and slid in there and wonders. Dad always found a half-crown! Lilian and her family came for our Christmas Day dinner, turkey, goose, or roast beef and all the trimmings.
We children always ran miles back and forth and ran our dinners off so we were ready for our tea of cold meats, pickles, trifle and our little mince pies. Trifles are so called because they are a trifle of this and a trifle of that. Mincemeat is made by mincing the beef in the grinder and adding dried fruit, apples and a little rum or sherry.
We roasted chestnuts, ate oranges, throwing the peel in the fire to make a lovely scent, and cracked nuts. So the Twelve Days of Christmas had started. We always looked forward to the carolers coming. The Salvation Army spent the month of December singing around the whole district. The only time Dad played the piano was when they came. The Spooner family were always our good friends and faithful Salvationists.
They had a neighbourhood grocery shop in Victoria St. In the summertime he made the most delicious ice cream and I would take my cup and spoon and eat it on the way home. It has always tasted the best to me that way. The next day was Boxing Day, a legal holiday, when traditionally the Master and the Mistress gave their servants their Christmas Boxes on their day off. I always had a Christmas party for my little girl friends and I was invited to theirs.
It takes faith. Oh my! As I grew up I had talked my folks into junking the lovely, old furniture for a modern 3-piece suite. We put the glass cabinets of stuffed birds and the old china vases in the attic. What price antiques? On Twelfth Night we burned the holly from the cupboard and put in a new piece so our cupboard would not be bare during the next year. I always did what I wanted. Dad called the chemist, the druggist —hence the American drug-store from the old English. When I came to Alma I stopped at the drug store to get Johnny weighed as the chemist shops over home had baby scales where you paid your penny and weighed the baby.
Maxine Tieperman has never forgotten this. Dad did not know a stranger. He carried a chair to the front of our house and he talked to everyone. I wish I had a record of the stories he told of his early life. I have a few souvenirs from my school days- Books and the little French and German dictionaries with a matching bookmark. The golf bag held his spills which he used to light his pipe from the fire and the golfer sat on the little shelf in the marble surround.
I enjoyed looking at the old pictures and going down Memory Lane has been so rewarding, one thing leads to another and there is no end to the events that came to my mind. Our voyage of discovery. It had been grueling three-week venture, as we spent one week in a hotel in Bournemouth where the lawyers tackled us again. We had a cabin with 46 double bunks for 46 women and their children, with a Spartan bathroom, very poor facilities. All of the babies were put on the same formula, some took sick.
As we got out in the Atlantic most of them were sick, either from the excess of oranges or seasickness. Then they served wieners and sauerkraut and the smell permeated the shop- horrible! So that finished off the rest. But our cabin was a miserable place for a few days, and the bathroom!! We chugged along for a week, we sat out on deck most of the day. A week later Mom cabled to Alma, they never received it neither did the parents of the other women!
The S. We stayed on the ship till Monday then we were shipped across country by train. It was even difficult to obtain water for the babies and Elsie Koelmel, who came to Bloomington, had to take her little daughter to the hospital at Holdrege as she was so dehydrated. When we got to Beatrice I was so hot we sat under a shade tree. We saw a thermometer that registered F. So we arrived in Alma on the Thursday evening. When my luggage finally arrived we were shocked to see that customs had slashed the wrapping on the perambulator and cut through the apron and hood and broken the handle.
And so we came to Alma. Doreen Sebelius and I said we had the best of two worlds, England before the war and America after. Just a song at twilight when the lights are low. And the flickering shadows softly come and go. Though the heart be weary, sad the day, and long.