Glasgow Central tour guide shares Grandma’s diary entries on life through Clydebank Blitz
In Glasgow The historian and tour guide has shared entries from his grandmother’s diary which recall his life experiences through the Clydebank Blitz.
Paul Lyons, who tours Glasgow Central Station and appeared in the BBC Scotland documentary series Inside Central Station, shared some pages from his grandmother’s diary with his Twitter followers.
The family’s incredible historical document sparked a flurry of responses from others like Paul, who shared their own family’s experience of the Luftwaffe bombings – one of the most devastating attacks in Scotland during the Second World War.
Paul’s grandmother worked at Singer’s Sewing Clydebank factory, which produced munitions, aircraft parts and equipment for the war effort throughout World War II.
He shared four pages from the diary in a tweet that read: “From my grandmother Lyons’ diary, her experience of the Clydebank blitz.”
Her grandmother wrote: “I remember how much fun we had going to work that night on the night shift. There were always a few of us girls coming in and out of all the shops on Kilbowie Road, tormenting most of them with a good laugh.
“When we entered the factory that night, the night shift manager told us that there would be a red or green light later, we laughed and said that we were tired of listening mermaids”.
Paul’s grandmother goes on to detail when the factory suffered extensive damage in one of the bombings that took place on the night of March 13-14, 1941.
She wrote: “My whole body shook, in a split second all the windows were blown out in the ‘L and the mines’ and the firebombs were raining down, we were dumb, we didn’t know what to do.
“There was nowhere to go for safety so we sat in a small office, five girls and two men. Girls Helen Magor, Duntocher, Lizzie Duffy, Clydebank, Cathie Dunlop RIP, Patsy Dunlop RIP and myself.
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“The whole night was a nightmare, we thought. The next morning we walked out of the ‘Singers’ factory, it was terrible. Hundreds of people had been killed and all the stores had been ransacked. The same thing happened the next night. well beaten.”
4,000 houses in Clydebank were completely destroyed by the bombardment, with another 4,500 badly damaged and 3,500 suffering severe to light damage. Only seven houses out of a total stock of 12,000 remained intact.
The Clydebank Blitz killed 528 people and left over 600 seriously injured, while a total of 1,200 deaths were recorded in Clydeside as well as 1,100 injured.