Letter: Community kept calm and carried on

World War Two bomb damage on Potter Lane, Scarborough.
World War Two bomb damage on Potter Lane, Scarborough.

It was interesting to see in The Scarborough News items from Les Day’s unique collection of photographs.

We had the privilege of seeing most of these when seven or eight years ago Les kindly gave a talk to the Oral History Class of the U3A.

At the time of the Potter Lane bombing I was staying with my grandmother who then lived in Eastborough.

It must have been about 10 o’clock when there was an almighty bang, the old house shook and we were tumbled out of bed.

We made our way downstairs, grandma told me to get under the table, the explosions and tremors went on for what seemed ages, then it seemed to quieten so we decided to go back to bed.

Reaching the landing the bombing started again, and as we stood a most bizarre thing happened.

A door opened - grandma was shocked she did not know of this door as it had been papered over on her side.

It emerged that the property had been one big hotel and Miss Coates (who was my grandma’s landlady ) lived in the other

side.

She insisted we go in until the raid was over, we did, but I didn’t like it.

She had two invalids living with her, and to me, a 12-year-old, it smelled like a hospital.

We waited until a lull in the bombings then went back to our half.

When Dennis the Printers works were bombed that was another shock.

The Central Senior Girls’ School was next door to them at the time.

Of course it was school as usual, in those days there were no means of communication so we turned up for school to find that a bomb had landed in the assembly hall and two of the classrooms had disappeared.

Our headmistress Miss Lether insisted on carrying on as usual, so we filed into the hall dodging the gaping hole and stood as usual for prayers and hymns, however a great titter went round the girls. Poor Archibald our skeleton which was used for science lessons half his cupboard was burned and he was leaning out grinning at us.

Temporary class rooms were set up in Hoxton Road Methodist Church and life took on a semblance of normality.

Our teachers were absolutely marvellous, they coped with all the upheaval and made sure that we at least had an education.

Margaret Scott

Bridge Close

Burniston