Bolton Remembers the War Logo
Beverley Kay - Schoolboy Evacuee
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Beverley Kay



Beverley Kay

26 September 2005

Beverley was born in 1934 in Ismailia, Egypt, where his father, an RAF regular, was posted. When the War began his father was back in England at a base on the east coast and the family lived there in married quarters.

When these camps began to be attacked by German aircraft, all civilians were evacuated. Beverley, his mother, three brothers and one sister were evacuated to 21 Portugal Street, Bolton, where they lived with his father's sister until they moved to their own rented house in Bradford Street. Beverley attended Ridgeway's Endowed School and describes how the family were made very welcome in Bolton. At first he found it to be very different from the villages where he had previously lived but soon adapted and discovered that every district had its own community. He lived through Wartime Bolton as a schoolboy and after the War served in the RAF himself. He met his wife Edith Hayston at the Palais, and worked at Dobson and Barlow until he retired.

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Waiting for the All Clear... mp3 sound clip - 350k Waiting for the All Clear... mp3 sound clip - 350k

Recycling in Wartime... mp3 sound clip - 370kRecycling in Wartime... mp3 sound clip - 370k

Waiting for the All Clear...

We had an air raid shelter in the back, it was a brick built one, with a very thick brick concrete roof and a small door at the side, not a very pleasant place because it was very dark, and it was in the back yard. We didn't have gardens as such, it was just a back yard, it was only about 5 yards from the house, and I often wondered if a bomb hit the shelter we'd have been safer in the house. It weren't as if it was miles underground or anything like that. I think you felt just as vulnerable in the shelter as you did in the house, so my Mother used to take the smaller ones in, but my elder brothers never really bothered going in the shelters when the air raid sirens went. By that time my eldest brother Ken was in the Navy when they started really bombing. Ivan and Colin sometimes even stayed in bed, but nothing seemed to happen so in the end me and my Mother and sister, if it went she used to take us down stairs. We had a very old oak table, and we used to sit under there when the air raid sirens went. When the all clear went, you could look out of our back window in the direction of Manchester and you could see the red glow in the sky, even from Bolton. I think the only bombs that dropped were up Deane Road, and there weren't so many of them.

Recycling in Wartime...

At the bottom of the street we used to have a big pig bin, and any peelings or any food left over were put in there and they were emptied on a regular basis by farmers nearby. It must have helped them out to feed the live stock. But other recycling no, because, our dustbin was the old type which had to be emptied by shovel, I think they were called ash pits in them days. And the dustbin men used to have to take the wooden board in the back street, out of the wall, and empty the rubbish into the cart by hand with shovels. But there wasn't a lot of stuff to recycle really, because the papers were only about two pages thick and they helped to light the fire. My Mother used to fetch scraps of wood home from Webster's, so we never had to buy any firewood. Big celebrations when the coal man used to call, because we were always running short of coal, and we used to get it off the Co-op. It was delivered by horse and cart in them days, a big dray horse, pulling a cart full of coal bags, hundredweight bags, and they used to dump it in the backyard, and it all used to get wet through. So under the stairs, in the scullery, we had a scullery as well as a kitchen, because it was a big house, under the stairs it was quite warm, so we used t take quite a lot of the coal under the stairs so it would dry out and it used to burn a lot better that way.