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Account of a war-time air raid by Dougie Milburn

We had one or two adventures during the war with the air raids. The thing that sticks out in my memory most of all was one afternoon. It was the 2 nd July 1940. We were still about nine years of age at this point, and a friend of mine, who is now in Chicago; we went along to a shopping centre known as Coatsworth Road in Gateshead. They were Click to view larger image of the Barrage Balloonselling these cardboard gliders with elastic underneath. We used to take them to the park and fly them. They were marvelous really. And this particular day when we were coming back, I noticed that the barrage balloons were very high up, at a very high altitude. That was usually a bad sign. These barrage balloons were filled with gas and there was a barrage balloon at different locations. If there was any chance of a raid, up these barrage balloons used to go. I had no sooner said that then I heard the rat-a-tat of a machine gun, and the roar of an aeroplane swooping and I took to my heels and left George, who was an excellent runner, standing talking to nobody. He wasn’t an excellent runner that day; I was. When I reached my front door in Avenue Road, Gateshead I heard this dull thud and that was the bomb that fell on Spiller’s, the flour people, who had a big place on the Quay Side; the Newcastle side.

With gracious thanks to Dougie Milburn for providing these inciteful memories of World War II

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