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TITLE
Interview with Avril Watt about air raid sirens
EXTERNAL ID
WD_HF08_TRACK09_WATT
PLACENAME
Kinlochleven
DISTRICT
North Lorn
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ARGYLL: Lismore and Appin
DATE OF RECORDING
2005
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Avril Watt
SOURCE
Am Baile and War Detectives
ASSET ID
3263
KEYWORDS
World War 2
World War II
Second World War
2nd World War
air raid sirens
audio

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Avril Watt describes the noise when the air raid siren went off in Kinlochleven during World War 2.

There were some men didn't go out in uniform because they had to work for the Government. Like my dad was postmaster here, so he didn't go out to fight. He had to fight in Kinlochleven. And a lot of people think, because Kinlochleven's a small village, that it wasn't touched by the war, but it was. 'Cause in 1939-1940 they started building air raid shelters and there's one just outside your school gates. And when they built the new path, I asked them would they not touch it, and you can see all the bricks. If you turn right along that path, all that flat brick bit - I'm sure you've seen it - that was an air raid shelter. Now, my father was in charge of the siren. Because it was British Aluminium then - Now the aluminium factory made ingots, bars of aluminium went to Falkirk, rolled out all the aluminium and that's what made the Spitfires, one of the most famous planes in the whole of the war. So obviously the Germans thought, 'Well, we don't want this. We want to get the factory in Kinlochleven and we want to get the factory in Fort William.' So my dad was in charge of the Emergency. So if the planes - and there was one submarine - came up the Clyde past Glasgow, then he had to signal to British Aluminium Company to put off the sirens. Now, the sirens were on top of the village hall, beside the Post Office. Now, when the siren went, if you didn't get to a shelter - or a lot of people had cupboards under the stairs and that seemed to be the safest place - but the bit was, the minute the sirens went off, every child in the village howled. The Germans could have heard them in a plane. [Laughter] They howled and they cried and they screamed. So it could be an hour or it could be a two hours before the all-clear. They put another siren off to say, you're safe, to come out from under the stairs or out of your shelter. But all the kids screamed again. So, but the Germans wouldn't have heard them that time because they were off home, because the Spitfires were after them.

This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Kinlochleven Primary School.

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Interview with Avril Watt about air raid sirens

ARGYLL: Lismore and Appin

2000s

World War 2; World War II; Second World War; 2nd World War; air raid sirens; audio

Am Baile and War Detectives

War Detectives (interviews)

Avril Watt describes the noise when the air raid siren went off in Kinlochleven during World War 2.<br /> <br /> There were some men didn't go out in uniform because they had to work for the Government. Like my dad was postmaster here, so he didn't go out to fight. He had to fight in Kinlochleven. And a lot of people think, because Kinlochleven's a small village, that it wasn't touched by the war, but it was. 'Cause in 1939-1940 they started building air raid shelters and there's one just outside your school gates. And when they built the new path, I asked them would they not touch it, and you can see all the bricks. If you turn right along that path, all that flat brick bit - I'm sure you've seen it - that was an air raid shelter. Now, my father was in charge of the siren. Because it was British Aluminium then - Now the aluminium factory made ingots, bars of aluminium went to Falkirk, rolled out all the aluminium and that's what made the Spitfires, one of the most famous planes in the whole of the war. So obviously the Germans thought, 'Well, we don't want this. We want to get the factory in Kinlochleven and we want to get the factory in Fort William.' So my dad was in charge of the Emergency. So if the planes - and there was one submarine - came up the Clyde past Glasgow, then he had to signal to British Aluminium Company to put off the sirens. Now, the sirens were on top of the village hall, beside the Post Office. Now, when the siren went, if you didn't get to a shelter - or a lot of people had cupboards under the stairs and that seemed to be the safest place - but the bit was, the minute the sirens went off, every child in the village howled. The Germans could have heard them in a plane. [Laughter] They howled and they cried and they screamed. So it could be an hour or it could be a two hours before the all-clear. They put another siren off to say, you're safe, to come out from under the stairs or out of your shelter. But all the kids screamed again. So, but the Germans wouldn't have heard them that time because they were off home, because the Spitfires were after them. <br /> <br /> This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Kinlochleven Primary School.