Whilst the first Air Raid warning in Bacup didn't come until 18.00pm on the 20th June 1940 and lasted till the all clear was given at  3.44am. Bacup had been well prepared for such occasions. September 1939 saw the cellars of St Johns church on Burnley Road made ready to hold up to 150 people should the need arise. Sandbagging under the Market Hall had given access to the cellars of four of the former shops which would hold up to 180 people. In Stacksteads the cellars of the working men's club were ready to hold up to 100 persons. By May 1940 three types of Air Raid Shelters had been built and prepared for the residents of Bacup and Stacksteads. These consisted of Semi Sunk shelters, Basement Shelters and Trench Shelters. Semi Sunk Shelters were in position at: Weir Recreation Ground, Sandfield Rochdale Road, Brick Street Tong Lane, Heyworth Street Todmorden Road, Lane Ends Road Newline, Toll Bar Newchurch Road, Brunswick Terrace, Lee Mill, Queens Terrace, Alder Street Burnley Road, Opposite Farholme Lane, Corporation Yard Henrietta Street, Commerce Street and Esther Place and the Square Bankside Lane. Other shelters were in the course of erection at Springholme Mill, Sheephouses, Wesley Place and King Street.Basement Shelters: The following Basements had bee strengthened.511/513 Newchurch Road, Mount School Lane Head Lane, Weir Branch of Cooperative Stores. The 22nd to 23rd December saw the longest  air raid warning  of the war lasting from 6.38pm to 6.27am. Sunday 24th December 1944  saw the Air Raid siren sound again after a lapse of 28 months a new type of missile was now being used known as The Flying Bomb.Sand bins throughout Bacup and Stacksteads had been filled by the Corporation for householders were encouraged to use their entitlement of a Free Bucket of sand to be kept in the house in case of fire. Warnings were given that the sand must be kept dry  because wet sand was no good for Incendiary Bombs. Kite flying, and the firing of Fireworks were banned as there was a possibility that large kites or balloons could be mistaken for enemy parachutist or in the case of fireworks used for other purposes other than peaceful fun. Birds were not forgotten either 49 pigeon fanciers had to register with the local police and have their pigeon lofts inspected and any birds not wearing a ring of identification had to be destroyed.Blackout rules had been in effect since the beginning of the war and to break the law was a serious offence which could result in a fine of up to £100.00 or 3 months in prison. Because of the Blackout restrictions Bacup Market closed  at 7pm throughout September and the Bacup Trades Cou ncil advised that it's members would be closing at 8pm on Saturdays rather than the usual 9pm. Several people found themselves fined for breaking the blackout.
After effects of the bomb that fell at Thorn. Bombs Spies & Evacuees Home Early Days Transport & Work Services Wartime Entertainment Memories & People Weather Links Bacup Bombed
A number of people had a remarkable escape when a North West town was bombed for the first time early on a recent morning. Click the picture to read the full story.
Bacup Home Guard. Was This Man  A Spy?
No, Read on........The man who was known as having kept Bacup lit for 37 years when he retried in 1961, was often reported during World War2 by suspicious residents of Bacup, that man was James Bentley my Great Uncle. Click his picture to  read why was he reported?
Friday afternoon September 1st 1939 saw the first  train load of  Evacuees from Manchester arrive in Bacup  with a second train arriving in the evening. All in all 2,400 children had been expected to arrive with more children due to arrive the following day Saturday 2nd September. The first train load of children and teachers arrived in Bacup station at around 4.10, each child labelled with a card and carrying an array of bags, boxes, suitcases. Three double Decker buses as well as other coaches were waiting to take the children to their de-transportation points which were situated at schools and Sunday schools  throughout Bacup and Stacksteads these included ;Sharneyford, Britannia, Central, St Johns,  Western, and Acre Mill with a  further centre at the British Legion Club.Six months prior to the evacuees arrival a billeting survey had been taken in order to ascertain who would be able to offer  accommodation to the children some mothers and teachers  who had accompanied them.Billeting officers had been given powers under the defence regulations to exercise compulsory billeting were needed householders had no choice in the case of compulsory billeting and had to accept the evacuees children in to their homes. They could however appeal against the decision and so in each town including Bacup and Stacksteads appeal boards chosen by the Mayor were set up for such cases. Children who were ready to go to their billets were given a carrier bag which contained; A tin of Bully Beef, a tin of Sweet Milk, a tine of Unsweetened Milk, 1lb of Biscuits and 2 bars of Plain Chocolate. Before the month of September was over it is estimated that over a quarter of the population had changed their addresses.This included 825,00 schoolchildren, 624,00 Mothers with children under school age,13,00 Expectant Mothers, 7,000 Blind people and 113,00 Teachers.Bacup and Rawtenstall received between 2,000 and 3000 evacuees from Salford and Manchester during the later months of 1939.If you were a Evacuated to Bacup and would like to tell your story please email me.
Evacuees boarding the bus at Bacup Station. Evacuees leaving Bacup Station for thier new homes. Digging trench shelters at Thorn.