London and its treasures.

“Hey! look down there, I can see a sword!”  We all pushed forward peering down into a dark hole.

There was something long laying in the dust and rubble and it looked like it was made of metal. That was good enough for us.  “Cor, a real sword!”

“What’s that over there?” someone said, pointing into an even darker corner.

“It looks like bones to me” said another.  We crammed up against the railing to see better.  “I bet there’s even dead bodies down there!”

The building was an empty brick shell with a gaping hole in the front wall and a large chunk of the ground floor missing, exposing a dark cellar, where these treasures lay.  It was closed off with railings.  The sword looked like it would be such fun to play with.  There were all sorts of things, even clothes, laying around in the rubble, but our eyes were fixed on the sword.

“Look there’s a long branch over there.  Maybe we can get the sword with that.” someone said.  Sandie, being the tallest, and with the longest arms, took the branch and stretched as far as she could.

“It’s no good, I can’t get it.”

“Are you sure” we all cried.

“Yes I’m sure, I can’t reach it. Oh well, let’s see if we can find any more treasure.”

“Yeah! Come on then” we all said excitedly, and went skipping down the road to find another treasure trove.

It had been a warm summers day, and we were roaming around looking for something to fill our day.  Today we had been investigating bomb sites, left over from WW2.

bomb site

Many bomb sites became adventure playgrounds for kids. We spent many a day rummaging around them, looking for treasure. I can’t remember if we found anything of interest, but we had great fun looking.  Kids had such freedom, growing up in the fifties.

Image source


  • Wow! We have been blessed here in the USA that we hadn’t had a war actually on our homeland in our lifetimes, until 911. I imagine you were too young to be terrified searching these sites. You could have found bodies and exploded ordinance.

    • By the time we were playing on them, the war had been over for about ten years and the buildings had all been made safe or demolished. If not, we couldn’t get near to them, as we couldn’t with this one. It took many years for our country to rebuild everything that was bombed.

  • Ron

    Babs, what a GREAT story! The way you wrote this, I had no idea where you were going with it, so when I got to the end and saw the photo, I was utterly surprised.

    “It had been a warm summers day, and we were roaming around looking for something to fill our day. Today we had been investigating bomb sites, left over from WW2.”


    Wonderful piece of writing! And I can only imagine what that must have been like to investigate these bomb sites.

    And you said it, growing up in fifties, kids had such freedom!

    Again, great story!

    X to you and Mo!

    • Thank you Ron. I remember some of these days so clearly, yet whole chunks of my life are forgotten 🙂

  • What fun indeed. I would have gone with you too. Too bad you couldn’t reach that sword.

    Have a fabulous day. Big hugs to you and Mo. 🙂

    • It was great fun to us. We had no children’s play areas close by, so those were our playgrounds.

  • That would be so fun to rummage through the remains of old buildings. I have always thought going through an abandoned building would be great fun. Of course, I am a coward by nature and fear getting caught trespassing. Although, it’s hard to image old “bomb sites.” Really we just have not had that history here..well up until things like Oklahoma City and 9/11 that is. Certainly not like what the picture shows.

    • Let’s pray none of us have any more times like that again.

      When we did trespass, to scrump apples, we didn’t get into trouble, if we got caught. We just got seen off by the house owner, nothing more than that. We’d run off with our apples. We really were free to play where we wanted really. They were lovely days to grow up in. We aren’t free to do much now days, sadly.

  • I didn’t see that coming … that it was a bomb site. That’s very poignant and is a reminder of what you went through during the war. It’s surreal … kids playing at a bomb site.

    • Well, I wasn’t born until the war was over, but my older siblings lived through it. Thankfully, children were evacuated, so they were saved from the dangers of the London bombings.

  • ReformingGeek

    Yes, kids were evacuated and ended up in Narnia. Oops, sorry – couldn’t resist that bad humor. I loved your story. I can only imagine the things people found on those sites.

    • Me too, but it was a good few years after the war that I played on them, so there wasn’t much but rubble really 🙂

  • My dad used to tell me similar stories about his childhood. Although after WWII, the Italians tried to take over the island my dad is from, then there was a civil war, then an earthquake… so there were plenty of ruins for him and his friends to explore for a very long time.

    • WWII was enough. I can’t imagine what it must have been like, to then go through a civil war! I can’t bear the thought of going through any kind of war. I don’t know how they managed.

  • I just love reading your words. You put them together oh-so-nicely and paint such a vivid picture. I feel like I was exploring along with you. Thank you. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words, Chelle. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Oh, wow! What an incredible adventure, Babs!

  • Just like urban exploring, but so so so much more real. I cannot believe you were able to do this – how amazing. So sad, scary and fascinating all at the same time!!!

    • Although you would think we had awful childhoods (following the war), they were the best years ever, for us kids. We had so much freedom to roam around exploring anything and everything. As long as we were home before dark, it was all good.