World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Lionel Philip Zelickman


By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Lionel Philip Zelickman
Location of story: Worksop Nottinghamshire
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Katherine Wood of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Lionel Philip Zelickman



Apart from carrying my gas mask to school, hearing the air raid sirens at night and going down the air raid shelter (which was at the bottom of our garden and we shared with our neighbours), we never had any raids or Blitz even though there was rationing. I can never remember suffering any hardship or going short of anything. Being Jewish, we would swap our meat ration with neighbours for other non-meat products.

We had four cinemas in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, where I lived and where I spend all my free time. The ‘flea pit’ as it was known had 4d (1½) penny planks for seats ranging up to the ‘posh’ one 9d penny (4 new pence) seats, children’s prices downstairs. When the film showing had an ‘A’ certificate, children under 16 were not allowed in unless accompanied by an adult (although once inside you don’t have to sit with them), so I would stand outside the cinema asking people to take me in with them.

One day two men in uniform came along who turned out to be Americans, clearly they didn’t understand what was happening when I asked would they take me in with them, as one said, “Ah, poor kid,” and gave me some packets of chewing gum, half a crown (twelve and a half new pence) went into the cinema and left me standing there. The next couple who came along were an elderly man and wife who said they would take me in, but were going upstairs (the circle, being dearer than downstairs). Could I afford it? Thanks to my new found wealth this posted no problem!