A BLUE plaque has been unveiled in remembrance of the three people who were killed in an air raid during the Second World War.

Three people died and five were taken to hospital after two bombs were dropped in the centre of Chatburn village on October 30, 1940.

The plaque, which was commissioned by Chatburn Parish Council, has been positioned on the side wall of Chatburn post office close to where the German bombs landed.

The unveiling was carried out by Mrs Jean Stratton, who lived with her family in the post office and remembers that fateful day.

Also present were residents, councillors and Rodney Read who published a book on the incident some years ago.

Mrs Stratton, 93, who was 15 when the bombs dropped, said: “I was waiting for the bus when this plane came over the village, very low.

“A bomb was dropped right outside the front door of a shop on Ribble Lane and the other dropped on a resident’s house next door.

“The house was demolished. I think the plane was aiming for the town’s mill.

“He would have killed between 100 and 200 people had the bombs dropped there.

“I do not think people realise anything happened here during the Second World War because only a few people in the village that remember it. The plaque will help to remind people.”

Cllr Gary Scott, who is a ward councillor for Chatburn, said: “The plaque is something we have been thinking about for a couple of years.

“Chatburn was the only place in the Ribble Valley that was bombed and we felt it needed recognition.

“We wanted to do something for those who had witnessed the bombings while they were still with us.

“We realise the plaque hasn’t been unveiled on a 70 or 90-year anniversary, or the even the date itself, but we felt we had to do it sooner rather than later.

“We did not do it on the date of the upcoming anniversary because Rodney Read is back in Chatburn this month, who put a lot of time and work into documenting the history of the bombings.

“I saw a lot of old faces that I have not seen for years.

“We hope this will serve as a reminder for future generations.”

Cllr Sue Turner, who is the co-owner of Chatburn post office, said: “We are very pleased to have the plaque on the side of the building.

“It is something that should be acknowledged and a big part of the village’s heritage.

“It is wholly appropriate that Mrs Stratton was there to unveil it.”

Chatburn resident Edwina Tomlinson, 84, who was a pupil at Chatburn Primary School at the time of the bombing, recalls the tragic day.

The former Chatburn primary school student said: “I remember seeing the plane through the window.

“Our teacher told us all to get under our desks but we did not because they were not big enough.

“We were taken over the road to the old billiard rooms to hide under the tables.

“A lady across the road came with a huge bag of barley sugar sweets and passed it round to keep us calm.

“My brother was at home at the time and was not very well.

“He was stood up at the back door and saw the bomb drop.

“It means an awful lot because after the post office was badly damaged they moved the office to the bottom room of the Brown Cow.”

Chatburn Primary School’s headteacher Emma Gardiner said: “It is so important that these memories do not get lost in time.

“As a school we have a play to teach the children about their village’s history.

“We hope they will tell other children and it will form a major part of our local history.”