I got an email from my mother and she included these memories, all of which I'd heard in dribs and drabs, but this is the first time I've seen some of them written down. She's referring to her experiences during the Blitz in Sutton (Surrey), and it always fascinates and moves me. I'll press for details on that and try to get her to write a bit on her eventual evacuation to the Lake Country. Apparently this was late in the Blitz, and her details confirm this as the V-1 (Doodlebug) bombing began in June '44. Also note that she's referring to some postwar details as well, as her father was away for most of the War in North Africa and Italy.
I lived through a war and everything it entailed. The house I was raised in had no running hot water. No bathroom. Outside toilet complete with Jeremy the spider (if you saw him then it was ok to go in if you kept your eye on him. If he was not in sight then where was he?) No electricity for years only gas lights etc... No heating except a coal fire (if we had any coal). Then coke that we had to queue up for for hours that we carried in an old pram (baby carriage to Americans).
No TV of course only a radio that transmitted the news on the war efforts. We had an Anderson shelter [I think she's referring to a Morrison shelter] in the front room that when the sirens went off and the searchlights began we had to run for, not forgetting our gas masks. Listening to the doodlebugs was nerve-racking. Also the blackout curtains that had to be put up at the windows.
As we did not have a bath room we had a bath tub in the scullery (kitchen) that had a big board over it, which had to be removed before one could take a bath. We had that bath once a week and we all bathed in the same water. 5 of us. Before we were older we used a tin tub in front of the fireplace (the one that did not put out any heat). That fireplace was the sole heat we had in the house. The kitchen (family room) was so small only mum and dad had a small chair. The only other furniture was a table with six small hard chairs around it so if we children wanted to sit on a chair we had to climb over all the chairs to get to our seat. Or we sat on the floor. Which was stony cold as we had thin rugs not wall to wall carpet.
Everything was on ration. We kids would stand for hours in a queue waiting to buy with our coupon a loaf of bread (not sliced). We would buy a half-pound of broken biscuits. Us children would have hand me down clothes even underwear. Our socks were darned so much it was all darn and no socks. We wore cardboard in our shoes because of the holes in the shoes. This was in winter with snow and ice. I could go on and on. So you see life has not always been good for me and my sisters. But strangely enough we were happy but very cold.
I should write my memoirs.