Air raid shelters 1946

For a long time after the war, air raid shelters were still dotted around the town, there was one a short distance from our house in Hymers Street and two large shelters on the Market Place. Most were boarded up, but some were left dirty, full of rubbish, and smelling of stale urine.

Billy Sergeant knocked on front door of 61: “Can Tommy come over t’ the market? They’re knocking down the shelters.”

Nine-year-old Tommy and me quickly grabbed our coats and the three of us headed for the market. A huge crowd was assembled, held back by several policemen. A steam crane with a large iron ball on the end of a chain did the job. It was an exciting spectacle, watching the crane jib swing back and forth and the slabs of concrete crashing down in showers of dust. After the above ground structure was removed, the area was filled and concreted over.

Buddy Clark – ‘Peg o’ My Heart’  1946
Since I heard your lilting laughter
It’s your Irish heart I’m after


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