Two pages from my ‘Exercise Book Encyclopaedia’, drawn in January or February, 1965, when I was aged thirteen. From my mum’s account I’m describing the bombing raid in which the family portrait Boy with a Hoop was damaged.
I can see the influence of the magazine ‘Look & Learn’ which I read as a schoolboy. I very rarely read it cover to cover but I always devoured the pictures and layouts and I can still recall many of the spreads.
December 12th 1940; at 7.15 p.m. the sirens went. There had been some bombs before this . . .
My grandma and grandad Swift were having tea, my mother was reading at 77 Netheredge Road. Hearing the sirens they downed everything and headed for the shelter in the garden.
They went into the shelter grandad designed. Next door my great grandma.
[Note what appears to be a periscope my grandad added to the shelter. Or is it a ventilator? I like his ingenuity. Wish I’d known him better!]
Just as he is almost at the house an unearthly lot of bombs drop nearby.
He goes back to the shelter.
[Great] Grandma had stayed in her house. It was bombed. An incendiary was dropped near the shelter.
When they got back to the house after the raid there was a mess. The bathroom wall was on a slant.
They got grandma out of her cellar [via the coal chute as the house had been flattened]. She went to a rest home. When she got there she sent them back for her bird who was a little shaken. My mum, grandad and grandma went to the country.
Mum; Gladys Joan Swift, aged 22 in 1940.
Grandad; Maurice Swift.
Grandma; Ann Swift, nee Jones.
Great Grandma; Sarah Ann Swift, nee Truelove, widow of George, the Boy with a Hoop.