Topic: June recalls the London bombing, and emphasises keeping cheerful.

The London Bombing and Keeping Cheerful

Spirit: It’s me, June.

Much of your music tonight brought back memories, not only for me but also for others, and they’ve wanted me to tell you some of it because to them it was moments of joy. You’d call it upliftment I guess, and I guess the angels, the spirit helpers were there with us… I’m speaking of being in the air raid shelters in the railway stations, because that’s where we went during the bombing in WW2. Some people went into the tunnels but that wasn’t a good idea, not much room there at any rate.

We’d sing, you wouldn’t have liked it. There’s people round our way, well… the English wasn’t too good, and the music was pretty awful, but as someone just said who was talking to me just a short time ago, “But sometimes the angels came”.

And it was like that. Perhaps the train would pull up, and a whole lot of servicemen would pile out, or perhaps immigrants poor souls, coming over from Europe, you never knew what and we’d be singing, ‘cause you got used to not taking any notice see… and perhaps one of those people had a voice, an incredible voice and it was like hearing an angel!

Particularly with that last song you played; many of them knew it no matter what part of the British Isles they came from, and even from Europe, “We’ll Meet Again”. It was like that ‘Lili Marlene’ song, it travelled; but ‘We’ll Meet Again’, it meant so very much to people! But I’ll leave that for now, and I’ll tell you what else we used to do.

(Note: The music referred to was from a CD of Vera Lynn’s singing, which was left playing in the circle room for an hour before circle commencement).

When the platform became empty, if you could call it empty, because you’d be lucky if there was six feet even along the edge before it was a railway line, ‘cause we spread everywhere, more on some nights than others, but someone would perhaps have a mouth organ, banjo, piano accordion, all sorts of things, and we danced. Oh… we’d kick up our legs, and we’d link arms, and we’d dance! You had to do it you know, ‘cause you couldn’t sleep much. When you tried to sleep you were aware of the bombs, even sometimes you could smell the smoke, and feel the air change with the bombing.

It was a frightening experience, particularly as most of us; well we had no idea what came after you died. A lot of people were busy saying their prayers, but that didn’t seem to give the feeling of joy that a good old sing song or a dance would do; and that’s what some of these folks who are around me now are wanting you to know, that in life when things are really down to it, you’ve got to make your own bit of joy, somehow.

So if you are with someone who is sick, or depressed, or, well you know the ills that can come to people, whether it’s fifty or sixty years ago, or today, think in your mind, (and you’ve got to be careful over this ‘cause it has got to be appropriate), but try and bring a bit of light into their life!

It may be something simple, like pointing out a bird through a hospital window, or the smile of a little child, just something, even if it’s only for a minute, to take their mind off their problems. We got well practised with many minutes, night after night, until it became automatic. I hope you never meet anyone that has to have that sort of help.

But now back to that song, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, it’s a very good song if you think it through, ‘cause now, I liken it to life and death. ‘We’ll meet again, we don’t know where, we don’t know when, but we know we will when those dark clouds pass by’. If you think of the clouds as the problems, that are on earth at the time perhaps when you are dying, it’s an uplifting song, because it’s true!

Unfortunately, people then didn’t understand so much, although there was a little sweep through the people at that time. They were nervous to talk about it, but some of the soldiers you know came back just for a minute, at the time they died. I don’t mean physically, you know that that’s impossible, but they thought so desperately of home, of a particular person, that they were able to communicate, and people began to question a bit, not a lot, but a bit. A lot of the time they kept it to themselves.

I had a couple of friends who lived just up the road, they were a bit older than me, a man and a woman, and he used to go out at night and climb on top of buildings looking for fires; and she more often than not, was with me down in the shelter, and you know, this is true please yourselves whether you believe it, but it’s true!

We were there one night singing away for all we were worth, when suddenly she says, “Oh there’s the old man!” and I looked and all I could see was what looked like a ball of smoke, and I thought, “Oh some dust puffing in”, but she said, “He’s come off his job early, but he’s waving to me and he’s laughing”.

He didn’t come off his job that night; he never got down off that roof. Her old man was dead, and it was the time that the bomb actually hit the building he was in, but he thought so much of his wife that he was able to come and say “Good bye”, and I believe that. She told it to one or two others that she was quite sure she had seen him, but they always said that it was just shock on her part. Strange things happened then, and some people began to believe a little bit more.

I seem to be just meandering on tonight, but it’s memories.

Sitter. That’s nice.

Spirit: We sometimes had our pets down below too. There were the odd birds, but cats were a bit more difficult for as sure as you wanted to get your cat it took off! But, they were survivors. Another friend of mine, Daisy, she had a cat called ‘Patricia’. How’s that for a cat’s name, Patricia?

Sitter (H): Rather posh.

Spirit: Yes. It wasn’t much of a posh cat, it had half of it’s tail missing. I’m not sure whether that was a war wound or not. But at any rate Patricia went missing… naturally, because her house was flattened, just like a pancake, flattened! Like what happened to the house that I lived in too, but do you know two weeks later Patricia turned up! Now where had she been for two weeks, from a flattened house? People then didn’t have spare food to give animals, mind you, there were plenty of rats around, and Patricia looked pretty good too.  Anyrate we heard stories of animals surviving, dogs rescuing people, that happened quite often, they seemed to smell you out. We didn’t have many baths in those days, so that may be the reason. (Mirth). And the birds, the poor little things, life must have been frightening for them but I guess if they were with their owners they felt happy.

But the dark clouds do pass away, and remember that friends and pass it on to your friends.

The pain and the agony, it used to be remarkable to see the young men who were so terribly disabled, unfortunately some of them blind, but they were still laughing. I think sometimes they were hysterical, but apart from that, at times it was real genuine laughter. I went up to one once, a young fellow, he was in a chair because he had lost both his legs and I gave him a bit of a dig in the ribs with my elbow and I asked him, “Hey, would you like me to sit on your knee”? You should have heard him laugh. He put both his arms around me and grabbed me you know.  He said, “To have a lady like you I could put up with anything”. Wasn’t that nice, but I just wanted to cheer him up, because all his friends were standing up and hugging their girls, and he seemed to have nobody. I was getting on a bit myself then you know, but perhaps he looked on me as a nice old grandma… I don’t know.

But life is like that, you’ve got to look on the cheerful side, and remember that you will meet again, with all those palls. Earlier you were talking about people who had gone on, they had come over here, friends of yours. You will meet them again, for when you’ve a fondness for people, or love, they’re in your heart and you can’t leave them. Remember that. It’s what life is all about – learning and loving.

It’s a bit hard telling the young people now; they’ve got the wrong idea on loving, haven’t they?

Sitters: Yes they have.

Spirit: More’s the pity, but never mind, put in the right word when you can, every little thing we think and do or say, means something somewhere in your life, and to those you’ve spoken to. You may think it’s gone in one ear and out the other, but they can’t forget even if they want to, it’ll be there, so don’t give up hope.

The world goes round and round, and when we look at people on earth in despair and the stupid things that happen, we know that it’s like a wheel going round, no it’s not a wheel, I don’t know quite how to describe it, but we continue to climb, we continue to learn, no matter how bad we are there is progress open to everyone.

I think I’ve said enough tonight, I’ll be getting you all muddled up. I’m a bit serious and that’s not like me.
I guess it’s this thinking back to the old times a bit, but they were good, I enjoyed them. I liked the dancing myself, I couldn’t sing much.

So keep cheerful friends, keep cheerful. It’s eternal, life’s going on and on, and it can only get better. When you’re really depressed, perhaps really down to it, remember, there’s only one way to go, and that’s upwards.

Well on that rather serious note I’ll say goodnight, before you get sick of me.

Sitter: We couldn’t do that June, thank you for sharing your memories; it was really lovely.


Spirit: Goodnight.

The source of this material is Ken Hanson of Waiheke Island, New Zealand, whose Cockney wife is the Medium.
Ken passed to the Higher Life in August, 2009.

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