We lived at 16 Morpeth street and had a Morrison shelter in our
house. On the night of the tube disaster my mum and dad, aunts Ivy
and Beattie and me all got into the shelter, a steel cage in the
scullery kitchen. We felt like animals in a cage.
My brother George Morris was out on his bike that night. When he came
home he told us that there had been an accident down the tube at the
Salmon & Ball pub. Incidentally he managed the Salmon & Ball during
the late sixties and early seventies. Lots of people had died and he
had been helping to fetch them up. He said they had to put the bodies
anywhere they could, churches, hospitals, on the pavements, and in
Barmy Park behind the tube station.
The story going round afterwards was that somebody shouted 'Bombs'
causing a panic, a woman carrying a baby fell down and everyone else
fell on top of her. People couldn't get in or out as there was only a
small door open.
My dad's sister Lydia Sinnock who lived at 6 Morpeth street used to
go down the tube every night to avoid the bombings.
The next day when people didn’t return home their relatives started
searching for them, in some cases finding the victims was made more
difficult because there was nothing to identify them. Their
belongings had been stolen. My aunt Lyd used to take all of valuables
such as jewellery, money, ration book etc down the tube with her. It
took two days to find her, she was in St Johns church but had no
identification on her. All of her jewellery including a heavy gold
sovereign necklace that you can see in the picture, a bracelet, and
half sovereign watch were missing. On her face was the mark of a heel
of a mans shoe where shed been trodden on. The looters had a good day.
My pal lost two children, Joan & Tony Spicer. They lived in Bonwell street.
There wasn't any bombs dropped on Bethnal Green that night. The only
thing that did go off was the gun that used to go up and down the
railway from Hackney to Liverpool Street. This is what they thought
was a bomb. This is the night the docks was set alight.
The number of funerals was terrible, 10-12 a day, going to Manor Park
cemetery. 173 lives lost and not a bomb dropped on Bethnal Green.
My aunt Lydia was aged 62 and was a wonderful lady.