We had no shelter as yet, next door had an Anderson shelter erected, but not concreted over and had no blast wall. Draughty?Our neighbour had boarded it about knee height, so one could crawled into a level wooded platform - indented to sleep there if necessary , there was also a door of sorts , sirens tune forgotten , but it was well after dark , Father and Mother and myselfhurriedly put on thick coats pixie hats two ect. (But not trousers for the femalesgrabbed pieces of woollen material ready for the parson of wrapping round ourselves, father grabs an black “ attaché case “he made of plywood containing imported papers.
Neighbours are husband and wife rather nasty natured mother, all have gas masks, we didn’t know the alarm system so when the local A.R.P.Are heard blowing whistles we put on our gas mask, mother has catarrh doesn’t like gas mask on her face, as we leisternothing mother lifts her gas mask and smells “ I cant smell gas“ we all try but being cautious or cowardskeep them on.
With six of us huddled lying half sitting on a cold hard board with a lot of fidgeting about the wife mother said I like a cup of tea, wife said back you cant have one , the mother says I wish we could see what we are doing ( we had no light of any kind )
Husband strikes a match given he likes a smoke, he and his father go outside, then we hear them talking to our other neighbours inside we are cold and wrap up as best as we can. “Me what time is it nobody knows”
Men then came back in; a place is heard droning over but there no gun fire.
Mother “it’s a lone raider” this became her catch phrase.
We take off our gas mask as men have abandoned theirs when they were smoking outside.
Wife mother “I want to go to the toilet”
Wife “you have to wait until the all clear”
Wife Mother “I can’t”
Wife “you have to”
A lot of shuffling and grumbling , one of the men opens the door and looks outside , it’s a beautiful night and wife‘sMother accompanied by wife get out to go to the toilet , wife if heard urging her mother to hurry up.
We stay in there after the two returns for quite some time; in recollection I think the alert was about 2 hours.
All is quiet outside, we are all fed up and go outside, we see red verey lights in the eastern sky and soon after the all clear are sounded
We all go back to bed chilly and cold.
After that night when there was an alert we sat in the gas cupboard (!) until we had an Anderson of our own.