Sheffield pupils get a taste of life in the Blitz

Royalo visit - ~Sheffield Blitz
Royalo visit - ~Sheffield Blitz

The Sheffield Blitz was brought home vividly to pupils at two primary schools, when they were the first to try out a city-wide project to commemorate it’s 75th anniversary.

Youngsters from Whiteways Primary and Owler Brook schools were taught what to do in an air raid. This involved using stirrup pumps, putting out fires and dealing with the family pet.

Jenny Bland, who delivered the ‘Blitzed’ living history classes, said: “I think it’s so important that pupils get a taste of what it was like to be in Sheffield in December 1940 and get to experience the life-changing dilemmas and challenges of the Blitz.

“Both these schools are in the Grimesthorpe area of the city that was badly bombed in the attacks so it is especially poignant.”

The Sheffield Blitz killed and wounded over 2,000 people in December 1940 and made nearly a tenth of the city’s population homeless.

Pupils at schools across the city are being offered the chance to learn about the attacks, that changed the city so dramatically, as part of the Lottery-funded Sheffield Blitz 75th project.

Headteacher Sue Bridges said: “This was a very thought-provoking opportunity for the children of both schools.”

A Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail will form the centre-piece of a two-and-a-half year Heritage Lottery Funded project with up to 16 sites around the city earmarked for the installation of permanent memorial plaques.

The project has £81,300 Heritage Lottery Funding.

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire Fiona Spiers said: “Communities were physically changed forever due to the devastating effects of the Blitz.”

The living history sessions are provided free to schools by The History Van.

Bookings can be made through Jenny Bland at thehistoryvan@gmail.com