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Sep 2021
Night raids on Salt End
were legendary… It were a
giant chemical works with ship docks,
silos, storage tanks, fuel dumps,
an ideal 'drop off point' for Gerry…

But Salt End plant’s night raids
on Hedon Road
weren’t gonna daunt our lot,
they lived a mile or so down the lane to Preston
and seemed unafraid of gerri’n shot.

But they built a shelter across’t main road
in a field… On the outside It were a haystack
within the walls, six foot thick… proper beds
on hay bails to the front and back... cosy.

Down the middle was a ‘lounge’ with chairs,
lights, a radio - electric run from’t big ‘ouse
It’s better than being at’ome our Charlie used to say
For the eldest (and the architect) he’d not much nowse.

Me mam (then 19) told me she bussed it into Hull
“****** the Doodlebugs” She needed Jitterbugs…
and they still danced at City Hall.
******* to Gerry and his mates.
Margie & her pal René,
dauntless, they had a right ball!

Last Bus to ‘Withernsea’ from town
dropped her off at the junction
by the Speedway on Hedon Road.
Just as her way was lit by fire bombs - all about
when Gerry dropped his final unaimed load
Maybe ack-ack’d sort him out.

She was 2 miles from home… every few seconds another blast.
Scuttling …dodging whistling incendiaries,
running fast, whippet like…
any second could’ve been her last
anything too close she’d have to jump in't ****.

She couldn’t mek it t’t shelter or house so picked
the coal shed - instead… threw herself down
on coals…noise lifted - silence dawned… all clear
heavy breathing - not hers -  she wan’t alone
What if it’s one of them - a downed ***** airman.

Nervous, terrified more like she let out a little shudder
a gentle cough… to test her nerve
“Is that you Margie?… You daft ******!”
It were brother Tom… He’d been t’t Nags Head
and he’d run the opposite way from the village instead.
Chris Slade
Written by
Chris Slade  73/M/Worthing & Brittany
(73/M/Worthing & Brittany)   
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