Norman Sampson

Childhood memories of wartime and recollections of the effects of war.

'The sky was red'

Born in 1935, Norman Sampson was a young boy during the war. He lived in Hackney with his family, on the 4th floor of a council apartment block. The area was heavily bombed and many nights were spent in the air raid shelter. Norman witnessed the destruction of both Morning Lane Junior School and Burgers Paint Factory in Morning Lane. On the night Burgers was bombed, ‘the sky was red, sparks flying everywhere, we could feel the intense heat from the burning factory’.

'An enormous bang'

One day during the summer holiday in 1944, Norman went to see Tarzan at Hackney Pavilion. He had been allowed to do so after begging his mother for permission. As none of his friends had been allowed to go, he went by himself. Suddenly, Norman recalls:

‘There was an enormous bang, it hurt my ears, I shook with fear, the whole cinema shook violently plaster fell from the ceiling, everything was coated white with plaster dust. People were screaming, sheer panic took over as people rushed towards the exit...I did not know what to do I sat back in my seat to watch Tarzan...I turned around to find that I was the only one left in the cinema, I got up and ran towards the exit...I saw a column of smoke rising skywards from behind the Hackney town hall, and my mum all flushed was running up the stairs of the cinema...you could see the relief in her face as she flung her arms around me’.   

The effects of war  

Considering the effects of war, Norman believes:

‘Civilians who are alive to-day who witnessed London in the 40s, may seem to look OK at first glance, but we all carry scars of what the war has done to us, even if they cannot be seen they still cause so much pain especially when looking back to our past’.  

Downloads

Firestorm
Firestorm (6k)
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Summer Holidays World War II
Summer Holidays World War II (37k)
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HAUNTED
HAUNTED (69k)
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AAA HISTORY BOY
AAA HISTORY BOY (33k)
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Morning Lane
Morning Lane (47k)
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The day that altered my life
The day that altered my life (35k)
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V1 Doodlebug
V1 Doodlebug (32k)
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KING SOLOMON'S MINES
KING SOLOMON'S MINES (72k)
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This page was added by Malin Lundin on 13/06/2012.

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