Home Home


Search this site:
1. The Art School, Ford Street, remembered by Liz Bayly
2. Schoolday memories of Pauline Bearcock
3. Little Park Street & Spon Street, by Mick Billings
4. Memoirs of Stoneleigh Abbey, by Catherine Binns
5. Birch family war-time memories and the next generation, by Wendy Lloyd
6. Hillfields memories from the 1930s & 40s, by Jerry Bird
7. Bombers over our Radford Streets, by Jerry Bird
8. Voyage on the Queen Mary with Cecilia Cargill
9. Schoolboy fun around town with Patrick Casey
10. Dunlop Rugby Union Club, by Lorraine Clarke
11. Pre-war memories of Norman Cohen
12. Remembering Courthouse Green School, by Robert Coles
13. The Life of Riley, by Ron Critchlow
14. Wartime memories of Wyken, by Alan Edgson
15. Boyhood Memories of Peter Ellis
16. From boyhood to young adult, by Peter Ellis
17. War and Workplace memories of Mike Fitzpatrick
18. 1940s & 50s remembered, by Ken Giles
19. World War Two memories of James Hill
20. A selection of 1940s and 50s memories, by Rod Joyce
21. Pictures of a Coventry ancestry, by Lesleigh Kardolus
22. Innocence, by John Lane
23. A plane crash over Exhall, by John Lane
24. Post-War memories of Keith Longmore
25. Growing up in Willenhall, by Josie Lisowski-Love
26. Coventry Zoo and the Hippo attack, by Paul Maddocks
27. The thoughts of a younger Coventrian, by Paul Martin
28. Growing up in Hillfields, by Jan Mayo
29. Winter before central-heating in Hillfields, by Jan Mayo
30. Viewing the Blitz from Birmingham, by Mavis Monk
31. Family memories of Eric Over
32. Early working days of Barry Page
33. Band life with Derick Parsons
34. Brian Porter, A Coventry Kid
35. Experiences of the Coventry Blitz, by Joan Powell
36. War-time memories of Brian Richards
37. War-time memories of Jeanne Richards
38. Coventry Remembered, by Andrew Ross
39. The Coventry outings of Brian Rowstron & family
40. Time Gentlemen Please! - Jo Shepherd's Family
41. The life experiences of Mike Spellacy
42. Humber Works photographs of Peter Thacker
43. Early Coventry memories of Lizzie Tomlinson
44. Post-war decades remembered, by Mike Tyzack
45. Fireman Frank Walduck, remembered by Peter Walduck
46. Early memories of Coventry, by Muriel Wells
47. Family memories of Burt West
48. A Childhood in Stoke, by Graham Whitehead

Experiences of the Coventry Blitz, by Joan Powell

Looking back on the night of November 14th 1940, the bombing raid on Coventry, I'm thinking how lucky Ron and myself are to be here today. The sirens went before 7pm that evening, Ron was making his way from his lodgings to call for me. The air raid wardens told him to take cover, get off the street, but he carried on and got to my home. Little did we think we would be spending the night under the stairs.

We could hear the drone of the German planes and the bombs coming down, thinking we would be killed any moment. It went on till the all clear at 7am next morning. We all thought, "oh for a cup of tea!!", only to find out there was no electricity, gas or water.

No running water after the November raid
We take so much for granted now, but there was not even any running water after the November raid.... and if any was found, it certainly wasn't safe to drink, so had to be fetched from storage tanks brought in especially.

Most of Coventry's buildings all gone or damaged, the beautiful cathedral burnt out.

How wonderful the Salvation Army were handing out cups of tea to the weary firemen up the ladders, as the raid kept on hour after hour. The air raid wardens and Red Cross all risking their lives.

The morning after the raid we heard the news that where Ron lived they had a land mine come down, and it fetched four houses down and damaged the rest of the houses with the blast. It was lucky that Ron had been at my home that night, as the ceiling had come down on his bed, also the bath. When we went back to collect his clothes out of the chest of drawers to pack, the blast had sent cement and dust all through his clothing, they looked as if moths had eaten them. What strange things a blast can do.

I can remember about 4pm you could see people pushing prams with mattresses on them, making their way to the outskirts of Coventry, to the country - once there laying the mattresses down for the night so as to feel safe, as we had many bad raids.

The Ministry of Information van
In an attempt to alleviate some of the confusion in the aftermath of the raid, a Ministry of Information van was on hand to advise.

Ron was in the Home Guard. He used to come home from work at teatime, had to change into his uniform and do all night on duty - then get changed again to be in work for 7:30am.

A lovely dining room suite we had put away a few months earlier was in storage up the town. Of course it had been blown up. We went round to see houses to rent; there were such large bomb craters you could not get near the front doors, windows all blown out, just black material covering them.

When I look back and think of all the air raids we had to go through, we were lucky to be able to live to bring up three children into this world, and as the years have gone on we now have seven grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren, and last December we reached our Diamond Wedding.

I think someone must have been watching over us all these past years.

Images on this page taken from the 1942 Coventry Corporation publication "The City We Loved".

Associated pages....
Home | How this site began | Bibliography | About me | My music | Discussion Forum | Steve's website | Historic Stoke, Coventry | Orland family website
Top of the page

Website by Rob Orland © 2002 to 2024