The Northern Whig stated that there was a ‘big holiday’ exodus for the Easter break. It reported that ‘seaside hotels and boarding-house keepers report a boom in business. People leaving the city were urged to leave their keys at the nearest warden’s post. It noted that in London banks were open on Good Friday.[1]

Tax collector Doreen Bates was having a bleak and depressing Easter. She vowed to get a train to Newcastle on Monday (14 April). She said that the Saturday was ‘damp and…I felt more depressed than I have been for some days – the holiday perhaps. Also, the scarcity of work makes it seem so pointless to be here at all. And I had difficulty shopping. Nothing but stewing steak, no stamps at the Sydenham shop and everywhere packed…’[2]


Between 7th April and 6th May 1941, four aerial bombing raids on Belfast killed over 900 people, injured 1,500 and damaged about half of the city’s homes. Thousands were made homeless and over 100,000 residents fled to the country. This period in Belfast’s history has become known as the Belfast Blitz. To mark the 81st anniversary, key events each day over the Blitz period are being retold here on this website and also on Twitter (@drtomstours).

[1] Northern Whig, 12 April 1941, p.4.

[2] Doreen Bates, Diary of a Wartime Affair, The true story of a surprisingly modern romance (London: Penguin Random House, 2017), p.263.