Lancaster nostalgia: childhood memories during war time

Mr Reg Baker has detailed his war memories in a book, 'Memories of A Wartime Childhood in Stodday.'
Mr Reg Baker has detailed his war memories in a book, 'Memories of A Wartime Childhood in Stodday.'

Our appeal for childhood memories during the war has sparked quite a response from readers.

Reg Baker got in touch to share his memories and has even written a book; ‘Memories of a Wartime Childhood in Stodday.’

Over the coming weeks we will pick out some interesting memories from the book which details what wartime was like for those living in the Lancaster village of Stodday.

One of these memories is of an apprentice who became locked in a coffin in Glasson Dock.

The book began as Mr Baker’s small lecture to school children on the 60th anniversary of VE Day.

It has now grown much longer and turned into a potted history of Stodday. Mr Baker’s family helped with his recollections. Here is a taste of some of those memories: “The goods train ran throughout the war. It brought fresh water in milk churns to Aldcliffe Crossing because their water was contaminated.

“At school we had free milk, small bottles, the distribution was overseen by older children designated milk monitors.

“Some children had spoons, usually with coloured wool on the handles for different pupils so they could recognise their own. On these spoons they had Scott’s Emulsion.

“This, I think, was to strengthen their bones and for general health.

“I remember a bear in an iron cage at Heysham Head. Concerts were held in an arena in the gardens.

“A character who lived in Glasson Dock was a Jack Marsh.

“He was formerly an apprentice in the Shipwrights shop where coffins were once made.

“During the lunch hour the man there placed him in a coffin and screwed the lid down.

“When released he was in a very distressed state. He never worked again.”