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Topic Originator: Clem
Post Date July 22, 2008 @ 11:16 AM
 AIR RAID SHELTERS we loved 'em
 Underground Air Shelter Ironmonger Street
 Shelters/penny jam jars
 Air Shelters/win on pools
 Knocking those shelters down
 chickens for the pot

July 22, 2008 @ 11:16 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Who remembers those "air raid shelters" there were so many throughout the Town, we had five in our area Tolethorpe Square, the games we would play in them, the one in the centre of Tolethorpe square I remember well, my sisters & the girls who lived in the area would put on show's & pretend they were performing on stage, getting dressed up, dancing, singing songs like "you are my sunshine" & various war time songs, us boy's would plan a raid & disrupt the show, blowing the candle's out, that they would be using for lighting & telling the girls they had to leave as it was our army base, raiding each shelter in the area & taking over command, taking prisoners of war, & tying them up & leaving them in the shelter until it was time to go home, "we were not bad lad's we were just playing games? "all part of the war effort? however we alway's got what for when we got home, someone would always tell our parents what little devil's we had been, in my case it was very offten my sisters, dad would give me a good telling off & good smack, never did me any harm, fond memories of the old air raid shelters.

Joan Stafford
December 25, 2008 @ 9:24 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Of course we remember the air raid shelters, I have been reading lots of your comments about different subjects in Stamford and you have given us such a laugh, you are a true Stamfordian, your Mum and Dad would have been proud of you.

Phil Rudkin
February 6, 2009 @ 5:36 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Clem's comments about the air raid shelters, and his photo and article in the recent Stamford Mercury, (memories), brought it straight back to me.   I was born near Clem. That was in Essex Road, and as children they were fabulous places (especially in the winter), for us boys.   The shelters were placed strategically around Worcester Crescent green.  And one faced almost directly down the top end of Sussex Road.  We formed the Essex Road gang, and we used one of the shelters which was situated at the top of Worcester Crescent, as a 'gang hut'.    Someone made cupboards, and screwed them up on the walls inside the shelter.   We even put up a wooden door at the entrance, because the shelters did not have any.   The cupboards were used to store apples in the autumn.   Where did we get them from?  we used the dark, early evenings, after tea, when we went 'scrumping' apples from the plentiful apple trees that were very popular in gardens in those days.  We were occasionally rumbled, and had to run for it.   One convenient apple tree at the top end of Essex Road, adjoining Tolethorpe Square, belonged to Mr. Ingram (Ann, Arthur and Junes' dad).   Therefore, it was a natural target, but we did not 'scrump' there again, because Mr. Ingram chased us, and he could really shift.  
Another story from the shelter days involved Tony Richardson (remember Richardson's fruit shop in Red Lion Street and their market stall)?  Well, one sunny, windy afternoon in Summer, Tony climbed onto the roof of the bottom shelter,  and started to fly his Kite.  As the rest of us played on Worcester Crescent green, Tony happily flew his kite.  After awhile, he suddenly disappeared.  Tony had forgotten where he was, and had moved backwards to give the kite more lift, and fell off the roof.  My recollection was of Tony staggering home (just nearby on the corner of Essex Road).  However, as I remember, he was fortunately not badly injured.
Finally, the older boys would come out later and join us in the shelters and they were smoking cigarettes, and one smoked a pipe.  They were encouraging us younger boys to try it out.  I remember one lad gave me a puff of his pipe, and I nearly choked.  Another evening, I was again offered 'a drag from a fag' this time, and it was awful.  I am sure that this period was when I decided never to take up smoking, and I never did.   I am sure that other boys will have similar memories, as the shelters where all over town.
Kate:  So nice to hear from you Phil.  You seemed very organised even all those years ago!  It was great fun being young then - suppose it always is.

roger hardingham
February 8, 2009 @ 10:31 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My Uncle, Martin Hardingham, and I had a couple of days in Stamford last week. It was quite a trip down memory lane for him as he was born in Cliffe Road and then the family took over the Sports and Toy shop in Ironmonger Street. He told me many things, but recalls the wartime period a lot as he was just 6 when it started. He remembers two aircraft crashing into one another over the meadows whilst on a test flight for the RAF. Also going in a communial air shelter underground in Ironmonger Street! Also when a german aircraft opened up with small gun fire across the Sports Shop and one shell went straight through the attic and through the roof. The hole it made is still there!

Clem Walden
February 9, 2009 @ 7:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Joan, pleased to read you remember them, I see Phil Rudkin has given us lots of old memories, Tony Richardson a great guy, falling of the shelter flying his kite? we got up to all sorts in those  shelters often think what little we had in those days, I remember my sister Beryl collecting jam Jars to take down to the scrapyard you got a penny a jar then, we loaded all her jam jars onto my "trolly" and proceeded to the Town to see old Jack who ran the place, when we got there he said sorry we don't take them any more, Beryl was very upset so was I as I was in for 50% "trolly" & labour money? however he said we could leave them there & gave us a shilling, I think I gave Beryl 3p? "well it was my transport & I was younger"  I was however in trouble when I got home & Dad found out, what great days  - fond memories.

Clem Walden
February 11, 2009 @ 8:58 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Phil, did the essex road gang have their bonfire on Worcester Crescent on bonfire nights? & did someone set it alight on the 4th of November instead of the 5th? one year? I know the gang that did that rotten trick, it was the Tolethorpe Square gang. I think in those days every area had its gang, Essex Rd, Nothumberland Ave, Lambeth Walk, York Rd, Lancaster Rd. & most would spend weeks collecting rubish for their bonfires or for the bonfire on the Rec. 5th Nov was always great fun, unless some gang had set fire to your efforts a day or so before. must say Phil when I was in Tolethorpe Sq, for the Mercury photo (re:shelters) I was surprised how narrow the road was & how small the shelter area was that once stood in the centre of the square. I had not been in Tolethorpe Sq. for about 30 years & my memory of it was quite different to what I was now viewing. I stood for a while outside our old family home no.3 & had floods of fond memories & recalled how my Dad would tell me to be quiet when he was checking his vernons football pools on Saturdays about 5pm listening to the radio, no TV then; be quiet he would say! if I miss a result I will not know if I have won until Sunday when I check with the "News World"  He did get 23 points one week & Bert Pauley offered him £20 for his coupon in the Stag & Pheasant that Saturday night. Dad said no, big mistake? £20 was a lot of money in the 50s. Anyway when Dad did receive his cheque from Vernons it was only for £12-7-6 he was not very pleased, unfortunately a lot of people had 23 points that week so it was a very small payout. Fond memories,great days

February 21, 2009 @ 6:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I'm an Essex Roader and remember the shelters well, but we were more fascinated, after the war, to follow the crane around our street knocking the shelters down with that huge steel ball swinging from the jib.
I was telling my sister Margaret about A.G. Forum and she told me that her and Dawn( another sister) were playing near our house when a german plane came over and Mr Stafford came running out of his yard shouting at them to hide under a lorry, which she tells me they did.
Mr Stafford was popular with us kids as he kept chickens, geese and I think ducks at the cemetery end of Essex Road and he let us roam about in the runs when he was there.
happy days

joan stafford
February 23, 2009 @ 6:59 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi, Syd,  
Geoff said his Dad didn't have ducks, Geese and chickens yes.  Do you remember how the geese would rush to the fence as you went by. I was scared to death of them.  The geese were fattened up for Christmas.  His Mum would tell me how tough the old chickens were, when they were past laying, they went in the pot, took all day to cook.
How are you? Geoff hasn't seen you for years.