Cathy Lighterness remembers VE day

Cathy Lighterness remembers VE day

The Salon in 1972, photo by Len Gazzard

The Salon in 1972, photo by Len Gazzard

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'The Playhouse and Salon were the first picture houses I saw lit up'

‘The blackout was just normal. We had shelters
in our street but they were a waste of time – if
they were going to hit the house they’d hit the
shelter as well. I can remember the damp brick
smell, they weren’t heated and you had to take
down paraffin lamps. I can’t remember how often
we had to go down. I wasn’t frightened,
that’s what you did. You just grew into it.
In the school the shelters were in the middle of
the playground. We had to take our gas masks. I
had a Mickey Mouse one but I couldn’t put it on
properly at all. You were supposed to carry it
with you all the time.’
‘I was seven when the war ended. We had a
bonfire at Fisherman’s Park with an effigy of
Hitler on top and everyone was dancing
around. In peacetime it was fascinating to see
the lights. The Playhouse and the Salon were
the first picture houses I saw lit up. And then
there were Christmas tree lights in people’s
windows. We used to go in the tram car just to
see Christmas lights. Fascinating that was.’

Cathy Lighterness