Hi all, I was thinking about the date today and thought about how it was when I was woken up that night. I thought I would put the child I was view of the war on. It was easy to put it on because it's Chapter Thirteen in my book, all I had to do was copy and paste! (The picture is from my second book because I couldn't manage to find a pic of our street party.) Five hours later I have managed to get a short version on, from 'Cos That's The Way It Was; and the picture, of 'Cos That's The Way It Is; on. When I wrote this part of the chapter I was in the head of a 9 years old child from my working class shipyard town. I'm still that person, but now 70 years older! I hope it brings lots of memories back to many of my friends. x
Mam’s shaking me. "What's the matter Mam?" I can’t wake up properly.
"Get up Jane, it’s over! Can't you hear all the noise?" I think the war has started again, so start to have a cry.
“No silly, listen." Mam is really excited. Then I hear it, bells ringing, car horns beeping, ships hooters blowing, and air raid siren again, but we don't have raids anymore. I hear music and people shouting and laughing out in the street.
"What is happening Mam?" I rub my eyes I can't wake up and think I must be dreaming.
Mam’s crying and laughing at the same time. “The war is over, over, the war’s over!” She is so happy.
I jump out of bed, wide awake now.
"Get dressed you can come out in the street with Tom and me. This is a very special time. There won't be another like it.”
It is! The street is full of magic, there are people everywhere kissing, hugging and crying. Someone starts to play an accordion, everyone starts to dance and sing. Mam swings away from me and I stand fascinated and in a magic land.
An airman in his blue uniform grabs me and starts to swing me along with the dancers. I’ve never felt so happy and grown up. We dance for hours. No one is tired or hungry, just full of elation. The, war is over at last and everything is going to be OK. It’s dawn before Mam puts me back to bed, she even gives me a kiss. I don't think any grownups go to bed at all this night. All they want to do is to listen to Mr Churchill on the wireless.
On the eighth of May, every one in our town celebrates. There are bonfires lighting up the sky. Like thousands of others, Mam takes us up to the town hall. There are so many tall people there I’m scared I might lose Mam. Everyone is so happy they are all cheering, clapping and kissing. I listen to the bells ringing, ships sirens and hooters blowing again. Watch the searchlights dance across the sky; listen to the bangs that are fireworks not bombs. There’s a group of big boys going up and down Abbey Road banging drums and everyone has put lights on everywhere. It’s all magical! Though still young I realise I am watching and hearing something that I will never ever forget. No one who hasn’t witnessed this will ever be able to imagine it. We have a street party and every one is out, stringing up red, white and blue flags, paper flowers in red white and blue are arranged around our doorways. I have no idea where people have got them from.
Mam tells me the flags are made out of white sheets, some are dyed red and blue then cut up. Tables are put up all down the street, people bring out sheets to make long table cloths and everyone manages to find some party food, egg and spam sandwiches, jellies and blancmanges, I hate blancmange! There are home made biscuits not even broken and lots of home made lemonade. We wear funny hats that some of the women have made out of paper and a man plays his accordion. Someone has dragged a piano out, which they start to play. At the end of our party we all stand up and sing God Save The King. It is the most exciting day of our lives. At night when they have cleared our mess away, the grownups play the piano and we all dance till we can’t stay awake any more.
Things don't get easier though, rationing is still very much in force and food is even shorter. Mam says Dad will be coming home soon, but he doesn't, not for what seems like a long time.