A few snippets from the
war years. We used to go up on the flattes and watch them bombing
Sheffield. There also was a searchlight battery in direction of Monkton. A
very large bonfire was built on the flattes out of railway sleepers and
fired on VE night. (The Grange Road estate now
stands where the Flattes were) Very impressive.
I was born in Brierley in 1928 and lived at Number 23 Barnsley Road until
1963 when after a stint in the merchant navy we emigrated to Australia.
While there I worked for nearly 40 years for N.A.S.A until retirement. I
noticed in the Baipip archives index that on photograph number streets 2
my father and grandmother were mentioned. My Father died in 1941. My
maternal Grandmother used to keep the small shop half way down the hill on
the Barnsley Road on the right-hand side leading towards Shafton. Many's
the time I have seen her sitting under the stairs during the bombing of
Sheffield. The explosions were very loud and under the stairs was
supposed to be the safest place. Sometimes German bombers flew overhead
but they were easy to recognise as the Germans de-synchronised their
engines. I think there were only two bombs dropped on Brierley, one in the
field opposite the Cow Mounts and the other on the Ringstone Hill
reservoir. Various shelters were built, some by the council and some
privately. The council ones were really splinter-proof shelters and would
hold 20 - 30 people. They were situated behind our house at 23 Barnsley
Road and at the bus stop near Kenyon's shop on the Hemsworth Road. There
was one shelter at the back of the houses just up from my Grandmother's
shop. There may have been others that I can't recall now. The bombs
dropped on Brierley were oil bombs, that is, cases filled with diesel or
fuel oil, with an incendiary igniter. For many months they laid at the
back of the local PC Baldwin's washhouse, until they were taken away. I
went to school at South Hiendley Infants then Shafton Council along with
about 6-7 other children, then Pontefract Grammar.
Updated January 2007 with the following
Some impressions from the war years in
Brierley - there
wasn't much in the way of entertainment so you provided your own. Dances
were held quite often at the Institute. Alcohol was not allowed in this
building so it was stowed away in the schools. I also recall watching a
variety show in the Institute.
I think what everyone had to get used to was
the blackout, it was pretty near total. I walked into a black cow in the
middle of the road on my way back from Hemsworth late at night. Bit of a
shock. I took off at high speed as I didn't know what it was. This was
near Cow Mounts.
When the lights came on at the end of the war
everyone felt naked, we expected to get bombed any minute.
The photograph below was taken at a local
flower show and depicts myself, my wife Maureen and our four grandsons. I
don't seem to have any photographs taken in Brierley. Film was very hard
to get during the war.
Sadly Jim has passed away but his widow Maureen has given permission
to leave Jims memories on the web site
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