The storyline is this:
A number of wagons have been delivered to Quorn Yard the previous day, and are standing on the siding between the signalbox and the gate to the platform. These consist of:
- a couple of box vans containing a consignment of explosives for the local Home Guard and Army platoons.
- A ‘Shell’ tanker wagon full of petrol.
- An open plank wagon with sundry supplies.
The A group from the Royal Army Service Corps commandeer a local lorry to move the explosives. A couple of railway workers are nearby. Julie has just met her husband Neil off the train, and come down to chat to the soldiers, as they recognise one of them, when the siren sounds. They barely have time to take cover when a single German plane passes overhead and drops a stick of three bombs and a cluster of incendiaries, straffing the railway yard. One bomb explodes harmlessly on the embankment on the far side of the line. The second hits the open wagon, while the third lands as a UXB somewhere in the yard. A number of incendiaries also fall, showering sparks over the wagon.
The second bomb and the incendiaries are the big worry – they start a fire, and smoke billows out of the wagon. There will be a major incident if it spreads to the explosives or petrol wagons. As the dust clears, we see that both Neil and Julie were unlucky enough to get caught by the shrapnel, and are badly injured. Eleanor who also happened to be nearby is also hurt. The Sergeant realises the seriousness of the situation, and orders David, an off-duty American Serviceman, to fetch assistance, as he happens to be waiting for a friend with his motorcycle. ARP wardens rush down from the Station buildings with a bucket and stirrup pump, and try to stop the fire spreading, but it is futile. A crowd of onlookers appear, and the Police keep them back at a safe distance.
The NFS are quickly on the scene with a mobile dam, and K2 van and trailer pump. They get a hose run out, and douse the wagon, putting the fire out before it spread to the explosives or petrol. Meanwhile other firemen, helped by ARP wardens tend to Wendy and Norman while stretchers are brought. Some walking wounded make their way on foot (or by commandeered cars, which happen to be parked in the yard nearby) to the a safe place at the far end of the yard. Wendy and Norman are helped into the K2, which doubles as a temporary ambulance, to take them to the WVS rest centre for treatment.
As the ‘all clear’ sounds on the sirens, a crowd gather round the rest centre to see the casualties being treated.
Wendy and Norman Brown are our regular ‘bloody casualties’ and have quite a knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the bombs are falling. There may even be a chance to see the makeup artists in action. Sadly this weekend, Wendy and Norman are unwell, and cannot join us. However, they have doubles in the form of Neil and Julie, here on their first 40s event and being filmed by Channel 5, to take their places.
Notes for re-enactors are here.
Details on GCR website.