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Beryl Reid & the Blitz

"I was in digs in Sheffield when I was bombed out far the first time," Beryl Reid recalled. "It was three o'clock in the morning when I heard the sirens. I tried to get into the shelter but I was too late -- they were full. So I just went back and sat in my room waiting for the inevitable to happen. When it did I was surprisingly calm, in spite of what I looked like. My face was jet black and all my hair and eyelashes had burned off in the explosion. I gathered what possessions I could and walked up the road to the nearest hotel where I guessed the rest of the cast would be. Out of the 300 houses in the street where I lived only six were left standing. You felt good to be alive."

[Reid spent her later years in the eccentric "Honeypot Cottage" (made of circular rooms) on the Thames river in Berkshire with her collection of stray cats.]

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