Searchlights Over South Gloucestershire is a dramatic interpretation of real-life experiences gathered from oral histories, letters and diaries of people living in the area during the Second World War and retold on Twitter.
Follow the lives of three fictional families, whose members include a schoolboy, a land girl, a Red Cross volunteer and an aircraft engineer at Filton, as they do their bit for the war effort.
Brass Works Theatre and writer Adrian Harris present the project in association with South Gloucestershire Council’s Second World War Stories initiative and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. With additional thanks to volunteers at Yate Heritage Centre and Kingswood Heritage Museum, and to the Imperial War Museum, London.
Margaret was born in Church Road, Kingswood, in 1926 and moved to Hanham Road, opposite what is now Beacon Rise Primary School, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Here she talks about her early life during the war and remembers a particular air raid when the Luftwaffe targeted the aircraft factory in Hanham Road.
In the following video from South Gloucestershire Council’s Second World War Stories project, Roland Wood, who was born in 1928 and grew up in Kingswood, remembers the Bristol Blitz, nights in air raid shelters and joining the National Fire Service as a bugler.
The Crew family
The Hubert family
The Thomas family
The Twitter feed
We would like to thank the following people and organisations for their help in this project: @Southgloslibs @WarmleyWindmill @yateheritageYH @HeritageFundL_S @I_W_M, South Glos Second World War Stories, Margaret and Roland - and many more people for sharing their stories.
Last night I woke from a nightmare, I was running for the shelters at work. The one’s where my friends were killed. Well, they’re already cutting workers at Filton, so I’m done with the place. I fancy summat different, like driving a bus. #Cliff https://t.co/JpGxaffzjD
What now, after the fighting has ended? The Allies will follow up with their “Declaration on German Atrocities in Occupied Europe", and will be holding International trials for War Crimes at Nuremberg. #Wesley https://t.co/ya0LYiwHxi
Wednesday 15th August 1945 and the war is finally over. As King George VI says, “I ask you again at this solemn hour to remember all who have laid down their lives, and all who have endured the loss of those they love.” #Jack https://t.co/MYKKrPUtO2