World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                        Vera Marland 

Making the most of being single in wartime

Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Vera Marland
Location of story: Otley
Background to story: Civilian


Making the most of being single in wartime

Vera Marland

Early Days – with Tiger Moths Timing Trainee Pilots
Later Days - Being wooed by future husband in upturned Nose of a Lancaster
Extremes - My first flight was in a Dragon Rapide and my last flight was in Concorde.

I was on holiday with my parents, in Blackpool, when the war was declared. When we returned home to Otley we found my brother had lagged the cellar with felt (from machines at the paper mill), in an attempt to make a gas protected air raid shelter.

Over 5 years, I kept up correspondence with a number of local lads serving in different theatres of war. As my hometown of Otley was full of troops, with four large camps around the town, there were dances and social events every night, which I happily attended. This meant that every spare minute was spent writing, with many a letter being squatted under the blotter in the office.

There must have been extra supplied to pubs and fish & chip shops, for there did not seem to be a shortage. Walking along a back street one evening with some lieutenant, and coming face to face with his C.O. “Eating fish and chips in the street so & so, have you no pride man?”

Being late for work one morning I attempted to board a bus in motion. It was only turning slowly, but I fell off breaking two ribs and fracturing two more. Strapped in Elastoplasts and bandaged from waist to armpit, a day later I managed to dance an ‘Eight-some reel’. The “Scotties” were here, and there is still quite a Scottish association in the town.