Wartime in Easington Colliery

Duration: 2:01 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.225
This story has been viewed 8534 times

Mary's story is about her memories of World War II in Easington Colliery and of hearing Lord Haw Haw on the radio.

By Mary Nightingale Bell

Other information

This story was inspired by the collections at the Regional Resource Centre, Beamish.

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Video transcript

In Easington Colliery, during the 2nd World War in the evening I would listen with my mam to the news on the wireless. We were listening for Lord Haw Haw. He interrupted the news programmes frequently. He spoke with a nasal accent.

This particular night the newscaster was reporting '2 ounces butter per person for the next week and 4 ounces margarine, 4 ounces meat, 1 pint of milk' and so on and suddenly we heard him with his nasal tones interrupting 'Lord Haw Haw calling, Lord Haw Haw calling. This week the people of Easington will be eating greyhounds not racing them'. My mother, almost hysterical, said in quavering, nervous voice 'He knows where we are! He knows we have a greyhound track here. He knows where the pit is. The German’s sunk the pit shafts and so they know all about us.  Lord Haw Haw knows'. He did this picking out particular names to undermine our morale!  Lord Haw Haw whose name was William Joyce was hanged after the war for being a traitor.

During the war, hanging on the bedroom door mam had a waterproof bag inside which was a tin and in there were valuables. I never did find out what they were but presumed they were insurance policies. The waterproof in case the house was set on fire with an incendiary bomb and the waterproof so that the water used to put out the fire would not damage them.  

lovely impersonation of lord haw Haw. I really liked this storyPosted on 11/11/2009 at 09:01:39

memotres are not to be forgotten. there are so many things like this that make a good readPosted on 12/11/2009 at 11:48:22

It is funny (comical) now bet it was not funny at the timePosted on 12/11/2009 at 11:52:17

Great story of wartime for ordinary peoplePosted on 12/11/2009 at 01:26:03

this story made me realise civilians were involved in the war and were killedPosted on 12/11/2009 at 01:27:25

lovely little story of a childPosted on 16/11/2009 at 01:59:40

Lovely story MaryPosted on 23/11/2009 at 04:37:23

Memories brought back should never be forgottenPosted on 15/09/2013 at 14:15:16

Mary. You tell some great stories about the past at Easington Colliery. None better than this one. Best wishes from Harry Barnes. Posted on 12/10/2013 at 18:00:47

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