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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
memories of Bootle