I was six when war was declared but was aware of rumblings of the forthcoming conflict. We were suddenly inundated with evacuees from London. Gas masks were issued, horrible rubbery gadgets, which seemed to suffocate you and were to be carried at all times in case of a sudden gas attack. This damned thing in its square box became like another limb-you took it everywhere. I recall walking to school from North Fen and suddenly realizing that I was without my gasmask; I ran home to retrieve it in a blind panic, watching the sky for enemy planes. Hitler had really put the wind up us!
Hasty preparations to defend our island were apparent all around us-block houses or pill boxes was they were sometimes called were built apace with reinforced concrete and some were disguised as cottages with windows and some as straw stacks. They were fortified gun emplacements made to withstand a pounding. Many still stand today as an epitaph to a bygone age. Untouched by the Luftwaffe the strange tilt that some of them have acquired can only be attibuted to courting couples or to shrinkage of the land.