TONY Penn looks at the challenges of Covid-19, how different it is living in Tenbury now rather than in Coventry as a boy where he remembers the infamous German bombing of the city.

“Janet and I are both in our eighties and enjoying good health for which we count ourselves very fortunate. We were both born in Coventry and lived through the blitz. Janet was evacuated to a convent at the age of three and a half. Her older sister had a serious operation the day before the blitz. Her mother, unable to get through the devastated city centre, cycled round it to reach the hospital. She found Janet’s sister, and two other patients lying in beds parked in the road. Staff asked her mother to help in the hospital whilst she had no idea of where daughter Ann would end up. She was eventually found in Warwick Hospital!

“We both knew what the sound of bombs falling was like. My family had to vacate our home in the middle of the night when a land mine fell nearby. Fortunately, it didn’t explode! We subsequently moved out to Sapcote, a village in Leicestershire near Hinckley, the home of Sketchley Dry Cleaners. The country life was quite a contrast with me spending all my spare time on a local farm. My father travelled to Coventry to work, became a local ARP Warden and reared half a pig and sold hen “fruit” from an allotment.

“What is such a contrast with the present situation was the fact that everyone was able to “pull together”. We didn’t have to keep two metres apart! Londoners wouldn’t have been able to use the tubes as bomb shelters had this restriction been in place! Despite wartime restrictions we still enjoyed the freedom to hug one another and enjoy a pint down at the pub.

“We have been lucky to have each other’s company during the lockdowns and tier restrictions. A major worry has been those living on their own and those with mental health problems.”