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> Concrete Football Pitch, Wartime
big tommy
post 12th Oct 2005, 05:13pm
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rolleyes.gif There were two air raid shelters built in our street in Glasgow, exactly 100 yards apart from each other - just the ideal size for a football pitch. The outlines of the goals were painted on the ends of each shelter. Many great games were played on this make-shift football park.

Some park! It was pure concrete, but that didn't bother us. It was the first time we had ever had a marked-off area to ourselves, and during these games all of the tenement windows were opened and the spectators hung over the window ledges to watch the matches, all shouting encouragement or anything else they thought of to make the games more exciting.

For a great many people it was the only outdoor entertainment they ever got. Other than that, there was only the cinema.

As for the shelters themselves, they were never used - except maybe for courting couples or the odd homeless drunk. You see, a rumour had spread all the way across Glasgow that an air raid shelter in the heart of Glasgow had received a direct hit and that everyone in the shelter had been killed. So for this reason, people were afraid to huddle into a brick shelter.

Some of the men had discovered that the tenements had foundations made simply of loose dirt and clay, so they dug out all the dirt and we were left with fairly comfortable underground shelters. Some women took to decorating these shelters and ended up making them like a little home from home. After the war, they made great "dens" for us still teenagers.

Tommy


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