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Allan Robert Gale

Born 16/12/34. in Balliol Road Nursing Home.
Started school1940 at Rice Lane School in Walton Vale
Now living in New Zealand

Things that remain in my memory as a child ;--------

Air raid shelters in the schoolyard and having to carry your gas mask to school every day.

Having Gas drill a couple of times a week.

Listening to the sound of the siren before a raid and hurrying to the shelter waiting for the sound of the all clear which was a noise which gradually rose in pitch.

School dinners cooked on the premises served in 2 sittings and cost 2/1d a week around 21p or 2/6d a week with milk 25p.

Kids wore leather clogs or boots for school because they were more robust and cheaper than shoes, lasted longer and were easily mended. In those days footwear used to be soled and healed regularly.

I remember seeing my cousin George Gostillen marching in three ranks led by a band with bayonets fixed to their guns.

Through the gates of Park Street Barracks as a Terrier or Territorial soldier before he joined the Army full time
Going to Goodison Park or Anfield to watch Everton or Liverpool football clubs play the same as people do today. We always walked/ran there on many a Saturday.

Going to Sunday School at the Bethal Baptist Church on Southport Road and church parade with the scouts also band practice every Thursday evening in the school hall although I can't remember which one. I can remember I played the bugle.

Sailing my model yacht on Derby Park lake or fishing for tiddlers.

The slums that used to be down at Millers Bridge.

Going with Georges mate Nick on the crossbar of his bike from Wood Avenue to the Odeon in Crosby just after the war to a midnight matinee (they had live shows from the I T M A .radio show). We watched favourites like Tommy Handley and Jack Train e.t.c.

Watching the big draught horses pulling the barges along the Leeds Liverpool canal at Stanley Road close to where the New Strand Shopping centre is now.

Secondary School.

We had assembly each morning in the school hall. Headmaster and teachers would lecture us on various current school issues and any new procedures we may have to carry out.It normally ended with a hymn accompanied on the piano and a short prayer. We would then march in an orderly fashion to our class rooms. School day lasted from 9 am until4 pm with 1 hour for lunch.

Discipline could take the form of lines, detention or for more serious offences the cane on the hand or the bottom
Depending on the seriousness of the offence. Sometimes the whole class was punished this way.
We normally had a sports day once a week and played football in winter and cricket in summer. We also had P.T. twice a week.

Entertainment/ Sports.

When I was a young teenager there was no such thing as T.V. C.D's, D.V.D's , Cellphones , Stereos , electric gramaphones ,washing machines, dryers , fridges. You were lucky to have gas never mind electricity. You didn't have house phones and had to use public ones sometimes having to walk some distance to the nearest one.
After the war they designated some streets as play streets meaning we could play in safety.

Some Wartime memories.

All commodities were rationed, food coal for heating, petrol, meat, clothing , cigarettes and tobacco to name a few. Everyone had a ration book and the shops would take out the coupons so it was tough on the kids as sweets were a luxury, but it meant everyone got the same no matter how rich you were.

During the Air Raids Dad would get us all to the shelter in the back garden, sometimes the odd stranger would turn up having been caught in the neighbour hood when the siren sounded and they would always be made welcome and invited to share what little you had. These attacks would last for approx.1 or 2 hours but a few lasted longer they usually happened at night the bombers coming in under the cover of darkness.

Sleep was almost impossible, the shelters were dark, leaky and damp and of course you experienced all manner of noises from outside, the explosions that made the place shake, the anti-aircraft guns, the screams of the diving planes, the air battles (dog fights ) between the R.A.F. and the Luftwaffe and sometimes the ammunition ships in the docks would be hit and it would take up to 2 weeks for the explosions to subside.

It was a dangerous time for the firemen at the docks and the people living close by.

When the all clear sounded, we would step out of the shelter and go to bed to try and sleep but you did not know if they would return so some families chose to sleep in the shelter every night emerging in the daylight. When I think back it was a lot easier for me than for my parents, they had the maturity and knowledge to realise the seriousness of the situation we just seemed to accept it although we did have nightmares.

When daylight came we were able to see the damage, how many houses had been destroyed or damaged some too close for comfort. Where I lived it was close to a busy goods railway line and next to Walton Goal which the Germans used to bomb regularly (we think they mistook it for the army barracks.). Also the gas works was close by with 6 or more gasometers full of coal gas. We were also quite close to the docks so it was dangerous as they got special attention from the Luftwaffe.

I can clearly remember the tanks rolling down my auntie Annies street prior to the D Day landings .

The red/orange glow across the skies one night when we were staying in Ormskirk with my aunty Annie. I asked her what it was? She said its Liverpool burning luv. Iremember those words so well.

Playing on the bomb sites but not if my mam knew.

Seeing very few of my mates fathers because they were away in the forces.

There are many things I remember of my life growing up in Bootle and Liverpool I would need to write a book to cover them all but I hope what I have written will be of use to you and give you an insight to what some things were like some 60 years ago.

Allan Robert Gale
memories of Bootle

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