Chertsey Tales Part Twenty-six.

Chertsey Tales Part Twenty-six.

My stepfather Fred had been on fire watching duty up the town and when he heard the bomb, he ran all the way home. When he came into Mrs Wades house, he was so ill he could hardly stand up. Before this, I always called him Fred, but tonight when I called him Dad he put his arm around me and he started crying. This was the first time I realised how ill he was with his TB.

The next morning the council men came to check the damage, they put planks over our front windows and refitted the front door. They said it would be alright for us to live in the back of the house. Bernard, Iris, and Chris moved back in, as did Mrs O’Keefe and Dennis. Some neighbours were not allowed to go back into their houses, not even to collect anything, their homes were so badly damaged they were told the buildings would be likely to fall down.

      Mum decided we younger ones would all go and stay with our Gran’s till the house was properly put back together. Granny lived in Addlestone about three miles away.  For the life of me I can’t remember much about that day, except that I had a very large plaster on my head and my legs were black and blue with bruises. I sat on top of the pram most of the way. The worst bit of the journey was getting off and helping mum and my brother Don, to push the heavy pram over the railway bridge at Hatch Farm. Luckily, mum knew the area, and we used a little cinder track that ran from the top of the bridge along the railway track to Addlestone Station.

Gran’s house was right next to the station, it was so nice to see my Gran—I have never seen her before.

She didn’t look very pleased to see us though, and for a moment I thought she wasn’t going to let us in, she just stood in the doorway looking surprised. Of course, she didn’t know that we had been bombed out, but then, how could she? It only happened a few hours ago, and no one had a telephone.

Once indoors it was very different, everyone was crying—and hugging! Something our family never did—Chertsey people are not known for that sort of thing! Granddad got a big surprise when he came back from the shop’s. This was also the first time I had ever seen him. I had never been to Addlestone, a close family we were not!

The next-door neighbour came around to hear our story—he had a wooden leg, a real one, like a Pirate would have. I couldn’t help looking at it, so shiny he must have polished it every day. 

I liked Mr Seward, he would come round every day, and tell us about his time in the last war and how he lost his leg in France. Although I can’t remember very much else about living there. One thing that stands out was that the front of the house was next to a fish and chip shop—no more having to go all the way up to Mrs Hughes every Saturday morning! but the chips were nowhere near as nice as Mrs Hughes—she never peeled the potatoes, so they always had some nice crispy bits on them.

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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