from St Anne's

Blitz 80 – Cathedral Community

Belfast Cathedral - Blitz 80 – Cathedral Community

The Buildings Committee recruited firewatchers and bought equipment: six extinguishers (one at each turret door and two inside the roof space), 20 buckets for water (six at each end of the roof space), 224 sandbags, six shovels and hoes were purchased, also a Mather and Platt extinguisher which could be handled by one person.

It was suggested that three volunteers should be on duty and one paid man. On the alert being sounded the four men would, ‘stand to’ at the end of each gutter, the door being opened, and each man equipped with a fire extinguisher, three sandbags, a shovel and a hoe. If the bombs went through the outside roof the men on the high turret doors could get into the roof space easily from their stations.

Lights were installed in the roof space. Twelve ex-choristers volunteered; among the paid watchers were two Queens University students. The Verger offered the watchers two rooms for them to stay in.

Free Will Offering was down because of the evacuations reducing congregation. One lady sent £1 to compensate for her absence.


Extracts taken from Norman Weatherall's article 'Cathedral's Battle with the Bombs of the Blitz' -  Cathedral Digest - Holy Week/Easter 2021