Memories of wartime
TAKING us back to Rendle Street and Flora Street just after the war, are these images of Barbara Gardner and her sister Alice.
Barbara was enjoying a brief stint in the Territorial Army and would move on to join the Air Force for three years, while Alice was soon to marry a naval serviceman from Liverpool.
"We went up there to live. He later joined the RAF too, but it's a story best forgotten," says Alice who moved back to Plymouth without him 30 years ago.
"Behind us in the photograph are goods wagons on the way into Millbay Station. There had been a couple of shops on the ground in between but they had been bombed. Clearly the bombers had been targeting the railway line, but they missed it. "Incredibly they missed our flats too, and they had been painted white just before the war, so we were lucky. A couple of top floor flats on the block by the Police Station were hit, but not us."
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Barbara also remembers going to shelter during one air raid only to be told by the warden that she couldn't go in because there was an incendiary bomb in the entrance to the shelter.
After completing her minimum spell of three years in the RAF Barbara went to work in the NAAFI building in HMS Drake.
"That was a pleasant enough job but it could be extremely hectic when the base was opened for Navy Days and the Drill Hall was used for entertainment – and for feeding the thousands of visitors."
Still it had its moments and Barbara says she "got to know a young man while I was working there, who I subsequently saw outside of work, and we later married".