The Blitz

Anderson Shelter

Anne Alexander

On the first night of the Blitz, when the siren went and, you know, you heard some gunfire, we went under the table in the kitchen basically and then it got more fierce and my Dad went out and went up Stuart Street into the pen and we all went there for a wee while but my Dad was getting a bit twitchy because he thought if there was a direct hit on the building above an awful lot of folk would be crushed. So, he decided at that point to take us along to my Grannie Hay’s Anderson shelter and of course it was, there was water, four or five inches of water in the Anderson shelter at that point but at least there was some more protection.

Dalnottar Terrace wasn’t damaged despite the fact that, you know, the second night of the blitz my Mum and Dad and Fay and me joined the rest of the Hay family in their Anderson shelter; because the men had spent the time they had the day before, before the Blitz, before the planes started to come over, and they’d taken all the water out of the Anderson shelter because it hadn’t been used up until then. And so the whole lot of us were squeezed into the Anderson shelter.

I can’t remember whether it was the first night or the second night, I’ve got a feeling it was the second night, but you saw them, you know the moon was shining and you could see them in formation coming up the Clyde and obviously heading for the factories, the shipyards, in Clydebank and the oil tanks at Dalnottar.

They mistook the Boulevard for the Clyde

Carol Cummings

I remember one of the times my Dad said ‘we’ll just sit in the hall, close the doors and we’ll sit in the hall, we’ll be quite safe here.’ The wardens came and put us out. And there was a big shelter in the park [at the top of Stuart Avenue] for everybody and we were running down there and God I can see it yet – the tracer bullets and the bombs dropping – I was terrified. That was because my Dad said we’d be fine just stay in the house but they put us out… and at the end of the avenue there was a field with swings in it and the shelter was down there, it was a great big shelter… And if the Germans hadn’t mistook the Boulevard for the Clyde we wouldn’t be here. They were aiming for all the tanks, the oil tanks and it was a lovely bright night and they mistook the Boulevard for the Clyde.

Oil tanks

June Alderdice

During the Blitz the night that the tanks got... I know there was one tank got bombed anyway for it was on fire... but they let the oil out. I don’t know if it was deliberate or by accident so therefore it ruined the bank at this side, all the oil gathered; but that was another thing: families went down on to the shore at this side too before the Blitz happened, because the sand was lovely right all the way down to Bowling, but then the oil got on to the sand...

The mosaic at the ferry

Elma Robertson

…and that’s one thing I remember about the Blitz. My youngest aunt took me after the Blitz, it would have been a few days after it, and we went down the Ferry Road and the waiting room had been on fire and I was intrigued by the fact that it was one of those pedestal weighing machines with all the little mosaic tiles on the base of it and I was fascinated by the fact that the heat had made a few of these pop out and they were lying on the floor, the wee squares, the mosaic squares I always remember that.

Bombs on the boulevard

Ken Miller

I can also tell you one story about the night of the Blitz, [the gentleman who lived here] with his father at that point. He had his wife and his two boys, so the five of them were in this house the night of the Blitz and a bomb went off on the Boulevard directly behind the house. It blew out the back windows and it blew down, the blast blew down the centre wall between the back sitting room and the front lounge. Then the crater that the bomb had left on the road up there, a bus full of nurses came along and went in the hole and it’s because they didn’t have headlights or anything, because of the blackout. They were being transferred from one hospital to another.

Bomb in the bath

Owen Sayers

Well, the houses were built prior to the war obviously and it was only when the war happened that the area was deemed to be a potential target; and it was targeted. There’s an aerial photograph of this area of the oil tanks taken by the Germans for targeting purposes. Indeed, one of the houses round the corner from Admiralty House and the Chief Engineer, a guy called MacKay, a bomb went down through the roof of their house and landed in the bath but didn’t explode.

The evacuation

Lucinda McGinty

My mother went to Dunoon with me wrapped in a blanket; she’d her nightdress on and her fur coat and a pair of slippers, and the Air Raid Warden had come up to get her out because I was only 3 month old at the Clydebank Blitz.

I think nearly all the women had fur coats then – this big musquash coat with a great big collar, I always remember it; and she was going to the air raid shelter and she looked back – the bombers were coming across – and she looked back, she says... it was an incendiary went through the roof so all the furniture was going up in the air and she lost everything. I was wrapped in this blanket.

Then she went to Dunoon because my uncle stayed there. We stayed with them for a while; and I was christened there. Then we went back – I don’t remember the house being bombed but it was all fixed up. Nobody had any furniture and it was all bits and pieces. It was a room and kitchen, as we called it. It was safe to go back.

An Unexploded bomb

Tom Morrison

This must have been, say, in 1975, and I’m in an office across the road in the workshops, and one of the chaps come in and he says “I’ve got a wee boy here he says he’s found a bomb”. This wee lad came out – he was maybe about ten or eleven, something like that. And I said “Where have you seen this bomb, son?” and he said “It’s on the road up to the boulevard” I said “Up the private road?” And he said “yes” I said "climb into this Landrover”. So we got into the Landrover and we drove up the road. Just before we got to the old bridge above the railway he says “there - it’s there on the right hand side”. And there was this big bomb sticking out the earth, with the fins and everything on it! And I said “right son, okay” and I came down the road, and got a couple of our chaps to block the bottom of the road so nobody could come up, and I phoned the local police at Clydebank and said “look this is the oil fuel depot. We have a bomb, we need the bomb disposal people” and they did come up and they did remove the bomb. I believe the young lad got a citation.

© 2018 Action Old Kilpatrick | Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund | All images on this website are copyrighted