Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Brian Woolley

Interviewed by Sandra Blamey on 16 May 2001

Sandra Blamey. Do you remember the war years here?

Brian Woolley. Yes, I remember the war years in Beauty Point, because all the street lights had guards on them. The light would only be reflected on to the road, so it couldn’t be seen from a plane. All the cars had headlight guards on them. You had to have your windows masked by tape, so if they were broken they wouldn’t shatter and a lot of places had to have air-raid shelters in their backyard. You always had to have alternative power in case there was a blackout – that or gas, or something like that.

Sandra Blamey. What did you have?

Brian Woolley. We had electricity, so my parents organised a battery section of lights so that if they went out we would always have light. We weren’t worried about food, because you could always have tinned food or something like that. Because it was a two-storey house – underneath the back part there another small light and a low room – that was considered enough for us to be using as an air-raid shelter if we needed to do anything.

The neighbours across the road had an air-raid shelter built into their lawn, so that was always there if you needed it. Around 11 o’clock all the street lights went out and they didn’t come on until the next night, so they didn’t go for 24 hours a day. Wardens would often come round to check up on you, and they were there in case any help was needed.