Peggy lived in Portsmouth and left school before the war. She went to Landport Drapery Bazaar for a job in the hairdressing department and did an apprentiship in hair-styling and wig-making. She finished her course just as war broke out and had to work in Portsmouth Guildhall, which became a control centre. One of her duties was marking maps to pinpoint where enemy bombs had landed. One of the first bombs hit her parents house. Peggy became blasé about the bombing and would skip down the street during an air-raid, arm in arm with her friends, singing "Wer'e off to see the Wizard". Peggy did not go to the shelter if she was at home during a raid. She would sit in the house playing 'Begin the Beguine' on the piano. "If I was going to die, I wanted to die doing the thing I loved .......... playing away at the piano."
Angel Radio's project brings reminiscences, of people living locally in the wider Portsmouth area during World War II, to schools, and colleges, to our own older radio audience, and to the general public.
Our project originally concentrated on recollections of the 'Home Front' but eventually resulted in a much wider view of local life before, during, and immediately following the war. Response to the project has been exceptionally positive. In addition to the obvious historical advantages, it has proven a great intergenerational talking point, it also created a sense of self-worth for the interviewer and the interviewee.
Joan remembers their Anderson shelter becoming "like a second home to us as we spent many hours sitting or sleeping until the raid was over. We would always have a container with water and, if possible, a flask of tea. Very often on coming out of the shelter there would be no water and quite often it would be necessary to take a container to the nearest stand-pipe and carry water back home. . . . . . . . . . a very large bomb had dropped on Chelsea Road in Southsea, blowing up a bedding factory and houses. Debris was blown across several adjacent roads. The local children were given the job of collecting anything still in one piece with a view to returning the items to their owners".