9:42am Wednesday 2nd May 2012
I READ with great interest the accounts about the Baedeker raid in The Press and was very saddened to read the roll call of those who died.
My story of the raids is, thankfully, not as tragic. I grew up in Winchester Grove, off Poppleton Road, an area which suffered significant damage and loss of life during the raid.
In fact, my mum had lived in Winchester Grove since the early 1930s. She told me the story of a bomb which landed in the nearby disused reservoir next to the water tower. I have checked the Civil Defence records online and there was indeed a high explosive which landed in the reservoir.
According to my mum, the bomb did not exploded immediately, for whatever reason, but exploded the following day. The force of the blast broke the windows in the house, cracked the wall below the bathroom window and blew my nana off the toilet! I wonder if any of your readers could confirm whether it was the case that the bomb exploded sometime after initial impact.
Fortunately, my nana lived to tell the tale but, at this time of remembrance, my heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones.
Jennifer Deamer, Almsford Road, York.
• I AM an architect researching public air raid shelters (including workplace and institutional ones) and underground bunkers nationally, but have had problems finding surviving sites in your city. I would be grateful for any help from readers on sites that they know about.
I became fascinated (my wife would say obsessed!) by them when carrying out conservation work. Each has its own story to tell once you are able to read the clues; they have invariably also had a post-war life of abandonment, sealing, partial collapse and vandalism.
They are usually dirty, wet and dark, but I find them the most moving and eloquent of the survivals from the Second World War (and occasionally First World War).
I would also be very interested to hear of any experiences readers had of either taking shelter during the war or playing in the abandoned shelters after the war.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Rayner, Sevenoaks, Kent.
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