Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Letter to Mary Platt from Tom Critchley 20.9.1940 continued

37, Lonsdale Drive, Saturday,

We had a fairly good night until about 4 am when things began to liven up. Something shook the house from top to bottom, whether guns or bombs I don't know. About that time they hit the Enfield small arms & blew up the gasometer as they are getting nearer to the works (Johnson Matthey)
You cannot speak to anyone, who has not had something near to them...
One of our directors has had to evacuate for a time bomb & has had several houses down near to him.
A clerk is also evacuated for a time bomb, but it doesn't matter in his case as his house has no windows & only a part of a roof.
The typist I told you of.
Anning, who takes over from me when I am away had a shell explode outside his house blowing the windows in at the front.
A chemist has a bomb dropped on a garage nearly opposite, he has part of the garage and car in his house of which one room only is inhabitable.
This morning a foreman rolled up late, the house next to his was gutted by an oil bomb last night, or rather early this morning.
It's a beggar isn't it?
Every day one hears that so & so's place has gone; still, I suppose it isn't so bad as was expected it would be; it will be alright some day.
I expect you to write to me each week, if I write to you, so see that you do.
I have given Tom (his youngest son) your and Phoebe's address in case the very unlikely should happen to us. As I told you ours is a fairly safe district as things go & it's tremendous odds on us getting hurt, besides, I expect ere long they will find a counter to the night bombers as they have the day ones. The only time they dare come in daylight is in clouds or rain & then only an odd one who drops his bombs and bolts for home. If folks stick to it, & they look like doing that, I believe Jerry is wacked.
London has got knocked about a bit, some places worse than others, but there is a lot of it & it's going to take years to flatten out everything & when that's done there is still Glasgow eh!
We have just got your letters & are sorry to hear you are getting some attention now. Adolf certainly doesn't seem to understand that his attentions are not received with favour... I never knew such a chap for pushing where he is not wanted.
It's a lovely day here today so he is leaving us alone, he prefers weather like himself... foul, & that is a mild term.
Our record day is 8 warnings & a 15- hour out of 24 warning period.
By the way, take my tip & buy an electric ring for heating. Some folks  I know have been two weeks without gas & it's no joke to light a fire in the morning before you can have hot water. I think a ring is better than a kettle as it can serve more than one purpose. Gas is more vulnerable than current.
It's about 3 weeks since we had a peaceful night & very rarely do we get an all clear before 5 am. As a rule when the warning goes (about 8 these nights) one can reckon on an all night do.
I won't attempt to give you a list of damaged places, but transport is bad as they have made a dead set at railways, which after all is permissible, & they have certainly upset the timetables.
Keep smiling, it won't last for ever,
Love to you all from Annie & Tom
PS a friend of Tom's (his son) a midshipman in the navy is home on leave & says he'll be glad to get back to sea for a bit of peace.

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