Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Lancashire: The Secret War

It didn't look like an amazingly interesting book, but I figured it was a bit of local history and it was probably worth reading on that basis. It was fascinating! I had no idea about any of the stuff that went on in my own county during World War II. There was stuff about the development of the jet engine, about radar, about building the bombers, the fact that Chorley was where the bombs for the dambuster raid were filled... It was great to read about local history, it really puts things in context. For once in my life I was reading along thinking 'oh, I know where this place is'!

The camouflage stuff was another interesting bit, all about the creation of dummy factories, hiding the real ones, and persuading the German bombers that things were where they weren't.

And part of it has given me a story idea. I don't know whether I'll ever actually write it, but it was about Churchill's secret army, and how a bunch of men from the moorry areas were asked to stay at home and carry on in their normal jobs, training in secret, in order to repel any German invaders. Since it was secret, these men were insulted in the streets and treated as cowards, when they were training for a war that could be brutal and soul destroying...

I highly recommend it actually. Obviously if you don't live in Lancashire, it's got a lot less relevance for you, but I think it's still worth a read because it reveals what went on behind the scenes as it were, out in the countryside where things seemed pretty quiet.

Oh, before I forget, another interesting thing I learnt recently is that people were actually evacuated out to round here. I don't know where I thought they went, but I certainly never thought they'd get sent out to Lancashire. I think I thought they went to Wales, which is a bit ridiculous, cos people obviously wouldn't all fit in there.

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