World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                          Molly Bridges 

1)Bananas, 2)Chewing Gum, 3) Train, 4) Fur Coat, 5) Orphanage, 6) Cellar Bomb & 7) USA Bomber.

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Mollie Spencer Bridges (nee Brown), Kenneth Elkington.
Location of story: Sheffield


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Mollie Spencer Bridges.

On V.E. Night, I was looking at the firework display that my uncle had set up. I must have stuck my head out too far and got a rocket blown across my forehead and burnt my eyebrows. Since then, I watch fireworks through a window. At the same V.E. party, I was offered a yellow thing by Kenneth. I what it was and what should I do with it. He replied, “It is a banana and you eat it – so I did. He failed to tell me however, that I should have peeled it first. I still don’t like bananas.


My father worked at Sheffield City Hall where American soldiers were billeted. I was one of the first people in Sheffield to chew Wrigley’s chewing gum, as it is now known; not Beech Nut tablets.


I don’t know if this is true or if it was made up to pacify us, but a miniature train was supposed to have been erected on the moors outside Sheffield, to confuse the German pilots who ended up dropping bombs on waste land, because they followed the line thinking I would lead them to Sheffield.


My Auntie Nellie had ordered a beaver lamb coat from Atkinson’s Department Store. On the day the store received the coat, the store was bombed. My aunt’s coat was found in the rubble; I still have the coat.


My father had made our brick cellar into an air raid shelter. During an air raid, we were in the cellar with a neighbour when we heard glass breaking and thought our house had been bombe and that the glass was the kitchen window. Dad went to look and when he came back, he said it was the orphanage at the bottom of our garden that had been hit.


Uncle Ted was standing on the back door step, when a bomb just missed his feet and went into the cellar. All of Dorset Street was evacuated and we all, my mum, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin and I went to live with another aunt, uncle and cousin in a three bedroom house, for four days while the bomb was removed.


An American bomber plane was in trouble; the crew, apart from the pilot baled out. It flew over our house and the pilot steered it away from the houses and finally crashed it in Endcliffe Woods. It was the talk of the area fro weeks. I went to hunter’s Bar School, opposite the woods and we were taken to se the crash site and told how brave the pilot had been.