Tales from the City- A lucky bath and a very disappointed lad.

Photograph of Houses of Parliament by susan sheldon nolenStrange things happen in the city, I’m lucky that I have been spared quite a few of them. When the family lived in Primrose Hill, in London, the war was on. My father was only a young boy when he sat in the front room listening to the wireless…war had broken out. That night the air raid sirens went off,  my grandmother hurried the family into the bomb shelter at the bottom of the garden. My dad hated going into the shelter. All the action was happening outside and he was missing it. Whenever a bomb hit in the neighbour, the local boys would rush out and hunt  for bits of shrapnel they collected and traded. It was exciting times for a young lad, and naturally terrifying for anyone over the age of ten who understood the devastation of war.

WWII Unexploded Bomb London

WWII Unexploded Bomb London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That night, to my father’s delight, the house took a direct hit. When they came out of the shelter, the roof was smoking and a great gap let in the night sky. He raced into the house, up the stairs as fast as he could. It was his room! The attic room! He flung open the door and through the smoke saw the best thing ever. An unexploded bomb in his bed! What fabulous luck! He was about to go and examine it when my grandmother, in near hysterics, grabbed him by the collar and drug him out of the house to safety. He never quite forgave that. He sulked the rest of the night and the next day, not really listening to the relentless lectures about safety and danger that the aunties and my grandmother were raining down on him. After all, it was rather a splendid find and so cruelly snatched out of his reach. Years later when he told the story, still chuckling, he was far wiser about war and how easily tragedy strikes.

I was reminded of his adventure when I read about a woman in London, who by all accounts was quite a local stunner. She had just slipped into the bath, and was just relaxing, when her house took a direct hit.  The house was destroyed. No one expected to find any survivors, but when rescue workers came to the scene, they found her with the bathtub over her like a giant iron shield. What a bath that was!

A  warm bathtub and an empty bed in London, both very lucky for their occupants, adding to the tales of a great city!

About susan sheldon

I am an explorer. It's taken me awhile to realise this. But I love capturing bits of our wonderful world with my camera, travelling through time and history, always returning to write, or paint what I've discovered. I use my Leica and my iPhone to capture images, and with those images I try to hold on to a feeling, a moment in our busy lives. Sometimes those moments bring me into the past, others into the studio to paint, or back to the old typewriter to try to use words to capture what the camera has done for me already. One of my goals in my blog is to have a space to take a breath away from our frantic world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
This entry was posted in England, Memories and musings, Tales From The City and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Tales from the City- A lucky bath and a very disappointed lad.

  1. steviepreater says:

    I love living in London, because there are so many stories and so much history here. You could never know all of it. Great post, it made me smile!

  2. mmgilbert says:

    These little vignettes e.g., this post and the one about Edna Ferber) are terrific. This is one of the best blogs that I know about.

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