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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History, Place, Family and Home

Aiberdeen at War     by: Westbank Reminiscence Group (Chris Milne, Beatrice Bisset, Robert Kilgour, Agnes Kinnaird)

Ye think the new moon's bonnie, dae ye? Ye widna hae thocht it wis sae very bonnie if ye'd been livin in Aiberdeen durin the war. We dreaded the new moon. We were feart o the new moon. Fin there wis a new moon, it lichtit up the hale o Aiberdeen. It shone doon onto the Dee an the Don, jist like a torch, an showed the German bombers far we were bidin. The moon glinted on the watter, ye see, an the bombers come in bi the watter, followin the river.

Ye'd hear the drone o the aircraft lang afore they come. We blacked oot the windaes wi sticky paper, or black blinds, or boords, sae's nae chink o licht wid let the bombers ken there were hooses wi fowk in them. Bit the new moon telt them far we were, ay, it telt them.

And then, ye'd hear the wail o the sirens, warnin us tae rin tae the air raid shelters...it wis a wavy kinno o soun, a jeelin kinno a soun, it made yer flesh creep. We'd pick up wir gas masks, button wirsels up in a warm coat...for we'd nae idea foo lang the raid wid laist, an the shelters were cauld...and we'd rin fur the shelters, an huddle thegither. Some fowk didna bother. They jist gaed doon tae the fit o the tenement an hid aneth a table till aathing wis by.

Fin the bombers hid left, the 'All clear' sounded, a steady soun, lettin us ken it wis safe tae come oot an ging hame again. I wis a wee quinie bidin in a tenement near Loch Street fin it wis bombed. I wis sittin on the seat by the fender, heatin masel at ma grannie's fire, an I wis blawn clear aff the seat an ontae the fleer bi the force o the blast. A lot o fowk war killed in yon raid, a lot o folk war killed. An ye warna safe durin the day, either, fur a German bomber gaed low doon Union Street ae day in broad day licht, firin on fowk!

Ye like the new moon, dae ye? Ah weel, it's bonnie, I'll grant ye that. Bit it niver brocht bombers tae your door, I dinna suppose!



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