Sunday 7th April 2013 was the 70th ANNIVERSARY REUNION of a wartime incident when a barrage balloon exploded near to Paull School blowing in the windows, destroying the roof and closing the building for nine months.
The above photograph shows the people who were registered at the school on that day and who met up at the Village Hall. The people relived the events of the day and also some that took place over the following 6 weeks were they were off school until the village hall was used for classes for the following 8 months.
THE MEMORY from each of the twelve Paull School ex-scholars involved is almost the same; “an explosion, flash… and then everything went black” - but the additional memories, anecdotes and stories from those involved when a wartime barrage balloon crashed and exploded next to Paull School in 1943 are unique treasures!
A 70th reunion of those involved in the incident took place at the Paull Village Hall on Sunday 7th April 2013. Over 30 people attended the event to reminisce and rekindle old friendships.
Forty two school students aged 5 – 14 began their lessons at Paull School on 7th April 1943. At around 9.30am that morning a barrage balloon escaped its Humber moorings and crashed down exploding next to the school. The windows were blown in and generations of dust from the old building and debris from the explosion filled the air creating the blackness remembered by all the scholars.
One half of the students were in scripture class, and in the middle of singing the hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful’ when the explosion happened.
“Miss Parrot was playing the piano. There was an almighty bang, and then everything went black.”
“‘Get under your desks!’ yelled the teacher, but then I remember getting carried outside.”
“I started to get under my desk, but then Shipyard broke down the door and got us out.”
“I just remember the flash, smoke and the dust.”
“There was a big flash, and then I was outside and went to Wilson’s shelter.”
The incident recounted by those present.
Colin Bunting was not at school that day. He was at home, he was ill and it was his 8th birthday.
“I was in my living room admiring my birthday cards, when suddenly the fireplace was turned into a huge orange fireball. The door was blown off and landed on the cot holding my baby sister Nancy, the ceiling fell on top of the door. And no one was hurt! I call this ‘my great escape’.
Quite a few of the pupils were not at school that day and fortunately escaped the incident – but ironically the ailment that kept many of them away from their wartime lessons, including Colin, was German measles!
Colin and his family were very lucky to escape injury during the incident. In fact there were no serious injuries at all caused that day, just minor cuts and bruises. One of the students, Ann, got glass stuck in her hand and bears the scar to this day. Ann is now well-known in the local area as Ward Councillor Ann Suggit.