A special gathering took place to reflect on one of the most dramatic events during  World War II in Kearsley.

It took place at Kearsley Cricket Club to remember ‘The Day our Co-op was Bombed' on August 28 1940.

A presentation on the subject was delivered by Cllr Paul Heslop, who represents the area on Bolton Council, and he says the gathering was well attended.

Cllr Heslop said: “I asked residents Frank Worthington, 87, and Lily Alker, 89, 90 on May 1, who have lived literally yards from the bombing all of their lives, to come along and share their memories.

The Bolton News: A map showing where the Co-op was bombed on August 28 1940A map showing where the Co-op was bombed on August 28 1940 (Image: Cllr Paul Heslop)

“It was a wonderful hour or so at which Frank and Lily gave their recollections of the events and their views about why Kearsley's Co-op would have been a selected site for bombing.

“Frank certainly entertained everyone with anecdotes going around at the time of the bombing including how one-or-two workshy residents used the opportunity to skive from their job and claim payments from the government due to being unable to work, because of the bomb, along with the mysterious absence of food at the bomb-damaged Co-op that was actually found stored outside.”

The bombing was one of the most devastating attacks on the area during the war, but things could have been much worse.

Cllr Heslop said: “The only person that was slightly injured was an 11-year old girl  Frank's relative, who sadly died just over one month ago aged 93.

“Frank said that his biggest loss was his Teddy bear that suffered when the plaster was blown off his walls in the blast.

“Frank was evacuated from his house to Waverley Avenue until his bomb-damaged house had been repaired.”  

The meeting then heard from Lily Alker, who is the widow of the long serving and well respected Cllr Jim Alker.

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She reminisced about how under rationing her family of six were only allowed either two slices of corned beef or two sausages.

She said: “Had my mum had a couple of spuds, she'd have made a potato hash.

“My family over in Walkden sometimes came back from their butchers with whole rabbits but we in Kearsley had no such luck.”

The meeting was organised by Norma Smith, who was recently honoured by Bolton Council with a Resilient Women Award for years of Voluntary Service to AgeUK Bolton.