Great Yarmouth History

Joan Andrews

I lived in a very old house built in 1700 in Great Yarmouth. I stayed in the house all through the war. My mum and I never went down a shelter - when the air raid siren sounded I used to go under the table which my father had made so I was safe.

We always slept upstairs. One night we had a very bad raid and the crash siren went. I never heard it, my mum woke me up and I flew out of bed and went downstairs and under the table. We had this bad air raid and Johnson's factory caught alight. Our back windows were so hot that you could've fried an egg on them, of course that's if you had one.

My father got stationed in Great Yarmouth. When my father came back off leave one night I was going up the stairs singing "A Badge from your coat will be close to my heart" and I lost my way. I called my mother and she found me near the landing window. I don't know how I got there.

When Mason's Laundry got hit my mother did all the washing for the boys. That included the army, navy, airforce and the Americans.

I left school at 14 and I went to work in Mason's Laundry. American clothing was far superior to our boys, and while sorting an American's washing I came across a pair of trunks. Right in the front, in the most important place was a motif - shake well before use!