A Bad Winter

One bright moonlit night during the war, the Germans mistook the new coast road for the River Tyne.

 

One bright moonlit night during the war, the Germans mistook the new coast road for the River Tyne.

I was born in a village called Bigges Main, now demolished, it stood where Wallsend Sports Centre is.

I remember a very bad winter, it was 1942 we had to dig ourselves out of our houses, you not only cleared your pathway but the pathway along the street. The roadway also had to be cleared for the milkman, fruitman, coalman and grocerman who all came with horse and cart. Snow was stacked high at the kerb edge and gutter, it was as high as the downstairs windows of the house, taller than me and I was a tall girl for the age of nine years, I remember it took weeks to disappear as it was packed solid.

I remember during the war, one night and we had just come into the house after being in the air raid shelter, which was at the bottom of the garden. I had been put to bed, when all of a sudden there was a loud noise. I thought the roof was coming in, when my grandfather went into the loft there was a hole in the roof and he found a piece of shrapnel, which had it come through the ceiling, would have landed on the bottom of my bed.

I remember one bright moonlit night during the war, the Germans mistook the new coast road, which was just two lanes of traffic then, for the River Tyne. They dropped bombs all around us and everybody was evacuated to St John Church (the old church), I remember sleeping on the floor. Next morning everybody who went to work got a cooked breakfast and we got bread and jam.

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