I stopped having piano lessons when I was about fifteen. Recently I’ve started practising the piano again regularly and keep learning more new tunes. I had a yen to play Jerome Kern songs and ordered this out-of-print selection from an Amazon second hand dealer.
I don’t know who Vera and Eric were but I thought this inscription in the top left corner of the cover page was very poignant. Imagine how Vera and Eric must have been feeling at Christmas 1945. WW2 was barely over; they were probably still suffering from bereavement and trauma; rationing had continued and yet they were once again living in peace. I hope they had a really wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their Jerome Kern songs.
These adaptations of Kern songs for string quartet are lovely. Four minutes of total bliss!
In November 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions.
Anderson immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be erected in people’s gardens.
The first ‘Anderson’ shelter was erected in a garden in Islington, London on 25 February 1939.
Between then and the outbreak of the war in September, around 1.5 million shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe.
During the war a further 2.1 million Anderson shelters were erected.
An estimated 50,000 lives were saved by use of the Anderson shelters although critics think there were better alternatives and only 27% of Londoners actually had their own shelter. 9% of the capital’s residents used public shelters and 4% went down the underground while the majority were either involved in night work or just stayed indoors.
The Anderson shelters were uncomfortable especially in cold weather prompting the government to issue advice to improve the situation.