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.
The Crew family
The Hubert family
The Thomas family
The Twitter feed
Had a row with Jack over taking WVS parcels to the German POWs in Yate. He’s angry & worried about Kenneth & Iris, but I said, if they were prisoners, we’d hope that someone was taking care of them too. #Beth https://t.co/VbCJSh3DNy
We’re being transferred from Rodway Battery to Portsmouth, so we’ve had training on the bigger 4 inch guns. I’ve got a 12 hour pass to see mum & dad before I catch the train. They reckon there’s a lot more action down on the coast. #Iris #WW2 https://t.co/K0FyfN4c6t
One of Janet’s friends told her the story of how I saved a family in a bombed cottage in Hambrook, she said I was really brave. I left out the bit about me running away from my Auntie’s in Thornbury. #Michael https://t.co/mNCQfax7qy
Another load of German prisoners arrived at Wapley Camp. The WVS took in extra blankets for them. There didn’t seem to be a lot of fight left in any of them, they looked done in & happy to be out of it. #Beth https://t.co/7mYg5intm2
On patrol with the Home Guard and came across more trouble with the Yanks. Some white GIs fighting with their own men just because they are black and wanted to drink in the same pub. I told them to save it for Jerry! #Cliff https://t.co/thu4PvnFcE