Library exhibition shows local impact of WW2

Photo of Cllr Brian Allinson with some of the residents who contributed stories.

The impact of the Second World War on South Gloucestershire is the focus of a touring exhibition which is being hosted by Bradley Stoke Library from Monday 1st April to Saturday 13th April.

Stories of residents who lived in the region during or in the aftermath of the conflict are told in the National Lottery funded project.

The project team carried out research with community museums and through reminiscence sessions in care homes to gather quotes and images for the exhibition, in order to bring to life the experiences of those living and working in the area during the war.

From sweet rations to shelters, air-raids to evacuees, the exhibition provides a great opportunity to learn more about how local people lived during this critical time in our history.

Speaking at the launch of the touring exhibition in January, Cllr Brian Allinson, vice-chair of South Gloucestershire Council, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded funding by the National Lottery for our Second World War Stories project. This exhibition captures what life was really like during the war and we are pleased to be able to share these important and powerful stories before they are lost to living memory.”

In attendance at the exhibition launch was Irene from Downend, who remembers the day that Filton was bombed:

“My husband was a fire watch volunteer at Bristol Aeroplane Company. The night Filton got bombed I paced up and down with baby Peter in my arms, praying that my husband was alive. There was no way of knowing until he walked through the door.”

Maureen, also from Downend, remembers:

“Uncle Ernest had been a prisoner of war. When he came home we were all there to greet him and had hung up a welcome home sign. I can still remember him clearly, he was a shadow of his former self.”

If you lived through the war yourself and have memorabilia or photographs, the project researchers would be keen to hear from you.

More information: South Gloucestershire Second World War stories

World War Two exhibition at Bradley Stoke Library in April 2019.

Photo: 1 Cllr Brian Allinson, vice-chair of South Gloucestershire Council, with some of the residents who contributed to the making of the exhibition. 2 The exhibition installed at Bradley Stoke Library.

A version of this article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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