Chertsey Tales Part Eighteen.

Chertsey Tales Part Eighteen.

Today is Easter Monday, I am trying to write part eighteen of my story, but nothing is forth coming. I sometimes find a walk in the park or in the woods reminds me of the happy days of my childhood.

This afternoon I decide on a visit to Alexandra Park in Whalley Range, a short taxi ride away. The park is similar in some ways to St Annes Hill in Chertsey… except it is totally flat. I visit the Pavilion Café and meet my young friend Alisha. She helps me with my stories, punctuation has always been a weak point of mine.

After a cup of coffee and a toastie, Alisha walks me to my waiting taxi. It is a typical Easter Monday, with clouds and drizzling rain. The clouds break and we see a low flying aeroplane. 

I have a idea for my story, my mind is racing as I am driven home.

The first five months of 1940 were just as happy as before, we have already had our first swim up Chertsey Bridge, although a bit on the chilly side. To most children the war hasn’t really affected their lives. 

We listen to the nine O’clock every night and hear of our ships being sunk by U-boats, but it was hard to imagine the terror of these things at my age…this was about to change.

I can’t remember the exact date of this story, but the low flying plane I saw today brings it back in the most incredible detail.

I was walking home with my brother Don; we had been to the Saturday morning pictures. As we neared Tommy Garretts shop opposite the Fire Station. (He, and his wife look so alike with their long white aprons and white hair) I think all the shop owners look the same.

They were both looking up and pointing at something over the Lodging House opposite, when they saw us, they shouted for us to run to the shelter in Barker Road. We got as far as the waste ground opposite Mrs Fuiges, and Don pushed me down on the grass verge and told me to pull my jersey over my head, as we have been told to do if there was an air raid.

I looked up and in a break in the clouds I saw my first enemy plane. I saw the German cross on the wings and the swastika on the tail. Then it all went quiet, a man told us to go to the shelter in case there were more bombers. It was then that I realised I had laid in some stinging nettles, Don found some Dock leaves and rubbed my legs with them, the pain just faded away. My brother knows everything.

Then the air raid siren started up, first a low grumble then winding up to such a noise it made my hair stand on end. It was a bit late, for no more bombers came over, we still ran all the way home.

The war had come to Chertsey, everyone had a different story. I think there were just three bombers, but some people said they saw many more…that’s Chertsey for you.

Author: madeinchertsey

Born in 1932, this is a collection of stories of my childhood growing up in Chertsey, and some stories of my later life.

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