Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 73 > Page 15 - Alma MacDonald - A War Bride in West Mabou

Page 15 - Alma MacDonald - A War Bride in West Mabou

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1998/6/1 (399 reads)

ground. See those ammunition dumps, they were going all the time. There were all the mill workers; Keithley was full of wool mills. They would be there by the hundreds in the morning waiting for the bus. Everything would start at five in the morning; sometimes we wouldn't be finished until twelve at night, and you'd have to be up again next morning. Sometimes you didn't get a break, you'd be running late, and you wouldn't get your dinner, you'd have to keep going. The Germans were there, but we were so used to it we didn't take a great deal of notice to them. There would be air fights, and all the searchlights would be up on the planes. In Bradford, we didn't like that, we were a little too close. They were dropping bombs all around, so we just stopped the bus, and everybody got out. All stood around you know, were talking, and all of a sudden we heard this scream? ing from one of the houses nearby, and the driver went running. Here it was a woman in the house. She was standing on a chair, and there was a little mouse, and they were dropping bombs all around! (Laugh? ter.) She was more scared of the mouse. I got a lot of dud money that night too! Oh God, that made me mad. Foreign money, and it was dark, you couldn't see a lot. It felt like our money, but when you went to count it out, it wasn't. You didn't have time to notice it because it was so packed, and it being so dark. They would try any- V thing some of them. Testival of (Laughter.) (Cape Breton ?:,:rtLir Fiddling / you had such / long hours be? cause there wasn't enough conductresses. We were worked"''*?*ii''to death. The pe: nies were big ''' and they were heavy (laughter) '' and the half crown, oh my God, ''' and you wouldn't have time '' '' to count the money out of your 'Vy bag, because Anniversary! Celebration Thursday, Aug. 20 • 7:30 - 9:30 pm $3.00 EVENING CONCERT: fiddlers • dancers • pipers • singers Friday, Aug. 21 • 7:30 - 9:30 pm $3.00 EVENING CONCERT: featuring the very best of talent Saturday, Aug. 22 workshops: 12-3 pm concert: 4-8 pm WORKSHOPS (fiddle piano, stepdancing, fiddle repair) $10.00 CONCERT: $7.00 SQUARE DANCE: immediately after the concert Sunday, Aug. 23 • 2 - 8 pm $8.00 GALA CONCERT: featuring the very best talent! * and 200 FIDDLERS on staae durina the afternoon finale * at the GAELIC COLLEGE of Celtic Arts and Crafts St. Ann's, Cape Breton August 20-23,1998 you'd be so busy. I think we got one six pence an hour when we were working on the buses. I got more when I was working for Miss Paget (housecleaning). To keep things going they even took some out of the army at the last of it. It was quite the job. I remember when Mrs. Crabtree had died, I was about nineteen, I'd say. I had boarded with Mrs. Crabtree's daughter-in-law, Frances, when I worked on the buses. They were going to bury her. A day before the funeral, somebody noticed a movement. I im? agine it was her eyes or something. Here she sat up, she was in the casket. She wasn't dead at all; she had been in a coma. If she hadn't woken up then, she would have been buried. When you died in England, they left you in bed, until they'd measure you, then they would bring the casket and put you in it. Them days, that's what they did. She was still alive when I left Keithley. There was another old lady, Mrs. Magraph, who we used to go visit. She told us a sto? ry about a woman in Tow Law, somebody was saying that she wasn't dead when they bur? ied her. Finally they dug her up, and sure enough she hadn't been dead. She was on her stomach when they opened the grave. It was too late then. Frances' husband was a prisoner of war in a stalag, during World War II. She was the one, they didn't know where her husband was, she just got word that he was miss? ing in action. So we went to a for? tuneteller, she was a gypsy. She had one of those crystal balls, and the cards. It didn't cost much, as long as it was silver. It didn't matter how small it was, you just had to cross her hand with the silver. She said to Frances, that Craft Shop QUILTS OLD & NEW POTTERY PEWTER COUNTRY CRAFTS SOUVENIRS ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES • Open Daily, mid-May thru October • On the OLD CABOT TRAIL • Route 312 Use Exit 12 via Englishtown off Highway 105 or use Route 312 intersection on Cabot Trail 1 km. NORTH of ENGLISHTOWN FERRY GIANT MacASKILL a IVIUSEUIVl & GIFT SHOP CLOTHING FURNITURE PHOTOGRAPHS INFORMATION OPEN: 7 Days a Week • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2.5 km. from ENGLISHTOWN FERRY on Route 312 See Extraordinary St. Ann's Bay .
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