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Schooldays in East Dene

I attended Badsley Moor Lane Infants school during WW11 and can remember the air-raid sirens wailing on my way there at age 5. My gas mask was on my back and it bobbed about as I quickly ran to safety. A teacher was waiting to direct me to the underground air-raid shelter, which ran alongside the Juniors part of the school.

We thought that it was all very exciting, not realising that if a bomb dropped close enough we could have been buried alive. I was frightened when the siren went in the middle of the night and as the eldest - at five years of age - I had to grab my 4 year old sister, while Mum picked up my baby brother and we ran down the stairs of our council house up East Dene and out into the Anderson Air-raid shelter that Dad had put togther in the garden. Then we managed to sleep until morning.

Dad was overseas in the 8th Army in Tripoli, then went as a Driver in the Royal Corps of Signals into Sicily, then on into Italy. He fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino , then after the war served as Occupation Troops in Austria until 1947. Dad wouldn't let Mum go to work, so she stayed home with us 3 children.

I'm glad that we all survived the war and old 'Badsey' still stands. I last saw it in 1992, on my vacation from Canada.

We lived at Central Ave, East Dene, from 1938 to 1951, then at Badsley Moor Lane until I married in 1960. My Dad still lived there until his death at Christmas, 2002.

According to records kept during WW11, there were more than 250 raids over Rotherham.

Everyone would have known me back then as Shirley Wadsworth.

At Badsley Moor Lane - teachers names: Miss West, Miss Worrall, Mr. Houghton, Miss Brooks.

Friends: Margaret Mitchell, Elsie Turner, Jean Hafferty, Anne Cawthorne, Robby Ross, Teddy Turner, John & David Clennell.

Shirley Parent, January 2004

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