Outbreak of War
The day war broke out I had been to Sunday school and always after that I went to see an old lady and I played her piano. I was in her front room practising "South of the Border down Mexico Way" when the lady poked her head round the door and said "You had better get home quick - there's a war on". Well I was petrified and on the way home there was a high wall so I stopped when I got there and peered round the corner to see who was fighting. I expected to see a war going on straight away.
My mother used to say that when war was declared they were told to keep the bath full of water in case of fire or incendiary bombs.
At the beginning of the war the government thought the Germans would be using gas against us so everyone was issued with a gas mask. Lampposts and letterboxes were all painted with coloured rings round them. If the rings changed colour you had 10 seconds to get your gas mask on because there was gas in the air.