World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                         Jack Hobson 

While tha can 'ear it - we're all reight

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Jack Hobson
Location of story: Corby, Northamptonshire; Sheffield, Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Norman Wigley of the BBC Radio Sheffield Action Desk on behalf of Mr Jack Hobson.

My dad was a Sheffielder but his work took him to Northamptonshire where he lived at Corby and he worked for Stewart and Lloyd’s. I was born in Corby, in 1938.

There were American Air Force bases in the area, and as kids we used to go and look after their bicycles – they paid us in gum. We lived in Bishopsgate which was old cottages with allotments and there were Anderson shelters. I remember the barrage balloons which had strips of metal foil hanging underneath – which was I believe to block enemy radar. As kids, we used to chase these strips when they blew off.

We moved back to Sheffield in 1945. There were six of us (two parents and four kids), and we came to stay with my grandmother living in a two bedroom house at Kelvin. One night my grandmother woke me up and said, “Listen, there’s a doodle-bug” [ie a V1 Flying Bomb]. “Go and tell your dad”. I ran in to tell my father and woke him up. He listened and in his Sheffield accent said, “While tha can ‘ear it, we’re all reight.”

I could hear it. I went back to bed!