World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                        Gordon Farmer 

Sheltering in the cinema

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: GORDON FARMER
Location of story: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian

 

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Louise Treloar on behalf of Mr Farmer.

I lived on Abbeydale Road during the war and I remember going to the cinema one night on our road. We watched Young Tom Edison, and near the end, the manager came up onto the stage and said that the sirens had gone off, and we could either stay there or go home to our shelters. We went to the doors and the row of houses opposite the cinema was on fire, so we decided to stay! Later on, my mother came up, and we went down to the Ballroom. There was glass breaking over our heads. That night, we were meant to be going to the Central cinema in the middle of town. For some reason, we went to the one on Abbeydale Road instead. When the sirens went off, the people in the Central went into some shelters near there. During the bombing, the shelter took a direct hit and everyone was killed. I’m lucky to be alive.

All sign posts had to be removed during the war. Windows had to be blacked out with black curtains on shutters. Wardens patrolled the streets and if they saw a chink of light, they would shout, “Put that light out”. People were told to “Dig for Victory”. Many had allotments and would grow their own fruit and vegetables.

 

 

Jean Farmer's war memories

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Jean Farmer, Gordon Farmer
Location of story: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian

 


This story was submitted to the People's War site by Louise Treloar on behalf of Mrs Farmer.

We didn’t have schooling in the war – we went to people’s houses instead. There were about four of us having lessons in someone’s front room. We didn’t think we’d learnt much during all that time!

I was evacuated during the war, to a poultry farm in Scorton, near Preston, but I came back because I was homesick. I was back for the Blitz. One of my brothers was in the Home Guard and the other was an ARP warden. I remember when Sheffield was bombed, and he told us of the devastation in the centre of Sheffield. The tram lines had been destroyed, as well as the shops all along The Moor. I lived on Harwood Street, and I remember the Arnold Laver wood yard going up in flames. It was as bright as day in our back yard. We had an air-raid shelter in our back garden, made out of metal. My mother had a hard time of it, as she had had an accident, and was in plaster from her ribs all down one leg. We had to carry her down in to the shelter – she struggled because it was so steep.

Food was rationed during the war, 2oz (ounces, 1 ounce = approx. 3 grams) butter, 2oz cheese, 2oz bacon etc. Sweets were rationed too – Gordon used to give me his sweet coupons. My youngest brother served as a Royal Marine on H.M.S. Renown and he once brought my mother two pairs of pure silk stockings, which was a real luxury!! He once brought home some bananas, and I just wondered what they were as I had never seen them before.

When the war was finally over, we all had huge street parties.


Pr-BR