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
Dad has found Mary. She’s a bit banged up but alive. He telephoned the Fire Station and Uncle Clem cycled down to tell us. Mum’s in the parlour crying. I’ll take her some tea with a bit of cake I’d saved. #Michael https://t.co/BHmW5I370Q
I managed to get to London, despite the snow. I have been directed to an office with a list of casualties from the latest rocket attacks. The devastation was so bad, many were taken to hospital without correct identification. #Wesley #WW2 https://t.co/IW3tOW23bn
Fighting is fierce in Holland with Montgomery leading the British forces against a German counter attack. Although life seems to be slowly returning to normal without fear of raids, shortages seem to be getting worse. #Jack #WW2 https://t.co/4dqaqDe7Al
What a Christmas treat! I had ½ lb of sweets on my ration. Even Dad was happy because he was able to get some dates at 1 point per 6 ounces. Mum cooked a fantastic dinner to share with Mrs Hill and her daughter from next door. #Michael https://t.co/O05KrlqIj2