William Ostler

William describes his early childhood. He remembers the Second World War and talks about his evacuation experiences in Lincolnshire.

Media No: 1045
Interviewee Forename: William
Interviewee Surname: Ostler
Year of Birth 1930
Interviewer: Dan Dearing
Location: Men in Sheds Office, Greenwood Avenue, Hull
Date of Interview: 22/03/2016
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:44:51

Time Code Notes

[00:01:00] Father, a docker. Lived on William Street, Holderness Road. Did midnight flits, couldn’t pay rent and moved to empty houses. Tin bath had to be taken outside to empty it. Two bedrooms, front room posh, living kitchen with Yorkshire stove, plates warmed in the oven and put into pullovers for hot water bottles – no bed sheets. Bread and jam. Incendiary bombs demolished houses. Lads would throw bricks at each other and smoke cigs in empty houses. Tig and hiding games, marbles played in the gutter, skip and top with chalk on, Sherburn and Savoy picture houses. ‘U’ certification for children, ‘A’ for with adults. 2d entry fee. Cowboy films and Flash Gordon.

[00:10:55] Second World War buzzers to go in shelter with his Mum, buzzer to say it was safe again. Some people stayed in houses. Evacuated in 1941. Wanted to come home after 14 months. Incendiary bombs whistled then when whistling stopped no-one knew where it would land. Caught buses on Holderness Road with children to Ainthorpe or Eastfield Road schools where there were shelters and youth clubs. On return they could see Hull on fire and streets bombed.

[00:16:45] Evacuation with Robert Chester, his friend, from Estcourt Street to Bourne in Lincolnshire. Corn exchange, gas mask boxes. Woman took them in a car, some to poor houses. He went to a wealthy house. 23 North Road, Bourne. Owner was a corn dealer and lay preacher and took no notice of William. He was made to say his prayers. Attended Methodist church and received a prize for good attendance. Plenty of food and wine. He had to walk three miles to school but asked to come home. He has been back to the house since. Meal times, big table, good food and service, napkins, tablemats etc. He couldn’t tell the time or ride a bike.

[00:30:56] Mother re-built him a bike. Then they bought one through the club man.

These time code notes are provided as a rough guide to the above recording. Untold Hull would like to thank all the volunteers who took part for their time and hard work in producing this information.