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Signs of the past (2)



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Signs of the past (2)

Post by Archivist » Fri May 02, 2014 11:31 pm

From: <angels4me28@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

Hello to everyone, When I visited my gran in the 50s, I remember being told not to go near the mines on the beach....They had to be from the war.....any comments...if I remember right, they looked like large metal
objects......Penni



From: <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

Hi Penni B,
I remember seeing a mine somewhere in the threetowns but it was used for collecting money for returned servicemen, can't recall where I saw it though. I do remember around 1948 the North Shore at Ardrossan was covered with lots of incendiary bomb casings that had been washed ashore. They were about 9 inches long and were hexagonal ended; they had a white mushie substance inside some of the casings. They were badly rusted and were a hazard to us young ones in barefeet. This was next to the Shell-Mex oil refinery. Betty my wife recalls the same at Stevenston.

Hugh McCallum


From:<sahaley@xx.net>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

I, on behalf other saltcoatonians, feel somewhat left out. According to this group there seems to have been no shell casings washing up, no unexploded bombs and no bomb shelters remembered in Saltcoats. in fact the stories I had heard about the bombing of Ardeer were about the locals grabbing the weans and running up the country. Was Saltcoats a safer place to be? Did the inhabitants lose their memory? Do we need more members from Saltcoats?
sandra h


From: <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

"Sam Bukka" wrote in part about Curling Rinks:
I used to play in the one which is now "Millglen Caravan Site" Ardrossan, on the backroad to West Kilbride, back in the 50's.
- - - - - - - - - -
Sam I remember that place too. further up on the opposite side of the road was the camouflaged underground petrol tanks where Jock Shearer the policeman lost his boy. Anyway there is mention of an old caretaker looking after the curling rink there in the 1841 census or could have been the 1851 census - wish I'd written down the description of the place at the time. Maybe the ghost of that auld caretaker was watching you back then. lol

Hugh McCallum


From: AVaneyen@xx.com
To: threetowners@ topica.com
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

I REMEMBER BEING A KID AT THE TIME WHEN THE SIRENS WENT OFF MY GRANNIE WOULD PUT US UNDER THE STAIRS SHE SAID THAT WAS THE ONLY THING EVER LEFT STANDING AFTER A BOMB HIT. ONCE WE WERE ALL EVACUATED AND HAD TO WALK INTO THE COUNTRY THERE WAS A BOMB BURIED IN THE ROAD THAT DID NOT GO OFF AND WE WALKED THROUGH THE FIELDS THE A.R.P. MEN WERE TRYING TO DEFUSE IT. WE LIVED NEAR ARDEER AT THE TIME.

I REMEMBER THE MINES USED TO WASH UP ON THE BEACH BETWEEN STEVENSTON AND SALTCOATS AND THE POLICE USED TO CHASE US OFF THE DUNES ITS AMAZING WHAT WE TOOK FOR GRANTED MY GRAN USED TO TELL US WE WERE BAIRNS WI NO BRAINS BECAUSE
WE WENT SWIMMING ANYWAY.

BETTY I AM FROM STEVENSTON WENT TO STEVENSTON HIGHER GRADE I941 THRU 1956
MAIDEN NAME MCINNES RING ANY BELLS.


From: <mildredgrant16@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

Hi Sandra,
I am delighted to tell you that in fact there is or was an air raid shelter in the back garden of the first 4-in-a-block houses in canal street.


From: "Sandra Haley" <sahaley@xx.net>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

Hi Mildred,
I'm glad to hear that there were some.. when I was little after the war I used to live in Seabank street just round the corner from canal street where you say there was one does anyone on the list know who was responsible for building these things? from what were they made? how many did they hold? yes and I wonder if they were put to good use after the war? I also wonder if anyone has heard of any experiences which proved they were in any way effective.

having missed the end of the war by 6 weeks, my only recollections about the effects of the war (apart from the thousands of stories my family continues to tell to this day) is that sweeties were rationed until 1952. I can remember looking in sweety shop windows and seeing replicas of mars bars, crunchies etc. and wondering why the shopkeeper wanted to advertise dusty empty wrappers of chocolate bars. probably, because of this rationing, my teeth were saved.

Sandra Haley



From: "Irene Knox" <jik@xx.net>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

Hi Hugh and all
over the past few days its been marvelous reading. Dick, as a pupil at the higher grade in the fifties I could trace your every step in your bomb story, most enjoyable, keep them coming.

Alistair I bet your mum is at you constantly to check your email we had a air raid shelter in our back yard built into the pun hill on the way up to the High Kirk she may remember .

Sandra I remember my mother telling me every time she heard the sirens she would grab my older brother and run for the country as she didna trust grandfathers home made shelter.

This brings the question. was anyone responsible for providing a shelter or did you have to build your own? someone out there knows !!

sharing the i.d.
tom.


From: <lyons@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

There was a shelter at the Iron Bridge on Ardrossan Rd. almost next door to the Registrar's Office. Also, just beyond that there two stone walls, a chicane (?), built across the road supposedly to stop tanks. The buses had to weave in and out of them. There was another chicane at the War Memorial. The night Ardeer was bombed we were under the stairs, reckoned to be the safest place in the house. I seem to remember a story that when Greenock was hit the streets were running with syrup from the sugar factory.

Everything was rationed, food, including bread for which you needed BU's, bread units, sweeties, clothes and household linens. Most things were marked with a "Utility" symbol. We were all issued with gas masks and carried them to school every day. They had drills where we'd have to put on our masks and get under the desk. I do not remember anyone being afraid, probably we were all too young to realise what was going on in the world.
Margaret


From: "Thomas Logan" <t.m.logan@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

Hugh McCallum: wrote in part: Hi Penni B, I remember seeing a mine somewhere in the threetowns but it was used for collecting money for returned servicemen,
- - - - - - - - - - -
The only mine used as a collection box was located on the South Crescent outside the summer shelter beside the sunken garden at the Ardrossan end of the shore. At least as far as I remember and I lived in Saltcoats from 1933 to 1978 .

Air-raid shelters in Saltcoats. I know of two. An official one, built in brick and concrete in Ardrossan Road next to the Iron Bridge (opposite South Beach Church). This last a long time after the war, and was converted to a bus shelter, which may still exist. The other was a private one built in the back garden of our neighbour in Argyle Road ( a Mr. Easterbrook). This was used at least twice that I can remember during the Clydebank raids and the Ardeer attack. But most of the time it was a 'den' for my brother and I and our friends. There must have been many more private ones in various back gardens through the town. These private shelters were entirely at the expense of the owners, but the government provided the materials at cost, or possibly less.


From: <dickiemax@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

I recall a time in 1940 while working with Tom Garvie, the coalman in Stevenston. There was myself and a wee guy called Robert Dickie asked to work thru the dinner hour bagging coal. I remember the time as 10 past 12. I was waiting for "wee Dicky" to fill the coal bag but he insisted on stopping to watch an approaching plane...he said " look at the big Gerry plane"...( I just thought he was nuts, but stood watching anyway). It was heading in the direction of Ardeer Factory. I thought it was "one of ours".

Next thing I know is out came four bombs, 20 seconds later, another four, then the plane dropped down, looking like it was going to land on the factory...than I heard the machine gun fire and the plane came back up and took off. Now realizing that it was a German plane, I wondered why the 4 anti-aircraft guns standing where the new Safeway store is now, were letting it get away. The next day in the paper the explanation was this plane had gotten past the radar and was too close to the Ardeer factory to fire on it.

They had no option other than to let it get away and as soon as it cleared the factory, 2 British fighters went up and shot it out the sky over Carlisle. The paper also stated that the workers going to the canteen were fired on by that plane and one woman was killed by machine gun fire.
Dick Maxwell.


From: <scott.mccallum2@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

Hi Sandra
I was born in Seabank street in 1951 - as you head for the shore beyond Arthur street on the left before esplanade cottages - then lived from 1953 till about 1969 in canal street next door to the maple leaf hotel or the miners' home as was - my folks were there till the late seventies then moved to Eglinton street

The only Anderson shelter I remember was just off Boglemart street in Stevenson

Scott McCallum


From: "Ewan Steed" <genealogy@xx.co.uk>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

Hi all
In point of fact I remember Warning Notices being posted throughout the 3
towns showing you what these devices looked like and not to touch but to
contact the 'polis'.
Ewan


From: <gjarvis@xx.net>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

Hi All.
I'm just after talking to my Dad, ack Stewart. He remembers that "jerry' plane. He was home on leave at his Parents in Border Avenue at the time. He knew by the sound of the planes engine it was a German plane, they had a very distinctive engine sound. He thinks the Sand Dunes prevented it from being an even bigger disaster. Sheena.


From: <jamesbarr50@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001

Hi all
Being one of the younger generation (I don't remember the war) I have no recollection of the war but remembering my uncle (johnie Hannah) telling me when he was home on leave (from the navy) and he was getting the train back at Saltcoats station the carriage that he got into had one man in it so they got talking this chap told him he was up seeing his brother who was on the dasher so before this chap got home the dasher as everyone knows was rocked by a great explosion and sunk with great loss of life my uncle did not here of it till he got back to Portsmouth and he immediately thought about this chap there he was just after seeing his brother and the dasher blew up after he had left that very same morning my uncle does not know if that chaps brother was amongst the causalities as he did not remember his name.
jim barr. (blakjak50)


From: "Richard Maxwell" <dickiemax@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001

To round off the personal recollection week, here's a 3-in-oner. Can anyone recall 3 aircraft carriers sitting approx. 5 miles off Ardrossan 1940/41?. Sat there idle for 2 months. One morning 2 had disappeared on wartime duty. One sat another month on its own, during the night a German sub got in, must have torpedoed the magazine and blew it to pieces, all hands lost. The beach from the Shellmex to Seamill was 8 inches deep in oil and not in use for months.

Next, can anyone remember the 21 barrage balloons floating above Ardeer Factory to keep enemy planes from flying low. These balloons were connected to a winch on the ground by steel cables. During lightning storms, you could see them being knocked out the sky when lightning hit the cables causing a fire in the balloon.

Lastly, how about the night it rained razorblades in Stevenston? Next morning the streets were covered in strings of razorblades, 30 or 40 blades per string, uncut and unsharpened. German blades dropped in the hopes of fooling the British radar system so that their planes could not be detected. It obviously was not successful as it never happened again.
Any recollections? DM

Signs of the past 3

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