A brief look at Greenhill Village life during the two World Wars
WW1 – looking around the heart of the village now seeing the original stone built cottages, it isn’t hard to picture how the interior of these would have looked way back in the early 1900’s. Forget lighting the gas or flickering a switch to turn on the light. Cooking and baking would have been done in an oven heated by a coal fire – most probably a Yorshire Range. Lighting would be achieved by the use of paraffin lamps.
The community spirit already in existence stepped up space for the survival of the village during this conflict.
WW2 – progress as to facilities in village life had improved somewhat but the community spirit remained the same. Added to which, a new modern housing estate had been developed between the wars. Not for those living in these new homes was it necessary for a trip across the yard to the privy or filling the tin bath with pans of water heated over the fire. No, these new homes had the luxury of bathrooms and indoor privies.
However, the devastation caused by this war cannot be mitigated by improved living standards.
Number 63 Greenhill Avenue suffered a direct hit, killing the son of the house. It is believed the father, a deeply religious man, relied that his faith in the Lord would keep him safe and indeed, it probably would have had the family moved into a shelter.
A further bomb dropped, this time causing devasting damage at number 4 Humphrey Road. Fortunately, the occupant, Mr Ken Crookes, was safe in the shelter. On emerging from the shelter, and despite the damage to his property, he saw that a light had been left on. This was dangerous so he picked up a stone and threw it, not aiming at the light bulb, but at the light switch which the stone successfully hit, thus turning the light off. Despite the fact that his home had been devastated, he was delighted not to have smashed the light bulb!