Survivors of bomb blast urged to share memories

SURVIVORS of the 1941 Wilkinson’s lemonade factory disaster in North Shields are being sought to take part in a TV show about the Second World War.

A forthcoming BBC2 series called How We Won the War will feature one episode based in the north east, and it will include a feature on the bombing of the factory by the Luftwaffe.

A German bomb scored a direct hit on the factory, at the junction of King Street and George Street, in May 1941, killing 107 people in the shelter beneath it.

The producers of the series are looking for survivors of the bombing or eye-witnesses to it to share their recollections to give viewers an insight into the impact of the war on those not fighting in the front line.

As many survivors of the bombing will since have died, the researchers are also keen to hear from any relatives of their familiar with their recollections of the tragedy.

They are particularly interested in learning more about heroes George Newstead, Clarence Burdiss and Norman Darling Black, all awarded medals for their bravery in saving people from the bomb wreckage.

Air raid warden Ellen Lee also helped save more than 30 people from the shelter despite having burns to her body, but her courage was never formally recognised.

Anyone with any information likely to be of use to the programme’s makers is asked to contact Georgia Braham at the BBC on 0208 008 2114 or by e-mail at