ON KILMUN Street in Maryhill, Bobby Dinnie lived in a tenement flat, two rooms and a kitchen, with his dad, Jock, who was a chimney sweep, his mum Betty, and his brothers and sisters George, Jim, Hugh and Agnes.

Glasgow Times: Bobby Dinnie, at right on bottom row pictured with his family - parents Jock and Betty, and his siblings George, Betty, Jim, Hugh and Agnes.

When war was declared in 1939, life changed for the family, as it did for people all over the city and beyond.

Gas mask training and air raid drills became part of everyday life.

“The school bell would ring and we had to put on our gas masks very quickly and get to the floor,” recalls Bobby, who is now 89.

“At night in our houses we had to keep windows covered, streetlights were dimmed. I remember my mum putting sticky tape criss-crosses over the windows, in case of blasts.”

Glasgow Times: Kilmun Street was hit during a sustained attack by the Luftwaffe over the nights of March 13 and 14, 1941, known as the Clydebank Blitz

On the night of March 13, 1941, the moon was very bright over Glasgow, and when the air raid sirens sounded, the Dinnie family’s neighbours, John and Ellen Geddes came into the house.

This was a common occurrence – families in the street were used to the wailing sirens, and the fear of what might follow.

That night, however, Betty Dinnie could not settle.

“She had a feeling something was going to happen,” recalls Bobby. “She told us all to keep our clothes on when we went to bed, and made sure we all stayed together.

“John and Ellen came in, but John got fed up waiting and went home. I remember him saying, ‘ach, nothing is happening, as usual - I’m away up the road.’

“Just a few minutes later, the bomb hit.”

John was killed instantly in the explosion, which destroyed Kilmun Street, and much of the surrounding area.

More than 80 people died in the bombing on Kilmun street that night with a further 180 injured. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. The sustained attack by the Luftwaffe over the nights of March 13 and 14, 1941, which also killed hundreds of people in Clydebank, became known as the Clydebank Blitz.

“The day before, men had come to our building to install iron posts in the close, criss cross, right up to the ceiling,” says Bobby.

“I think those posts saved our lives that night by stopping the whole building from collapsing.

“All I remember was a terrible thud, and everything went black. Our living room door was blown off. My mum got us all out of bed and made us crawl through the hole in the door to get out.

“We went up to the football pitches, then the police came and took us to a school, where we stayed in makeshift accommodation for a month. Throughout it all, my mother was brilliant.”

There is an incredible footnote to this story, says Bobby.

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“My brother George was 12 at the time, and when everyone fled, he stayed with our aunt Margaret, who was blind. She was stunned after the explosion, nearly buried in the debris.

“Guided only by her groans, he found her in the rubble and stood beside her at the close mouth until she had enough strength to walk. Then they walked half a mile to the nearest rest centre to get help.”

Glasgow Times: Bobby and his son Russell at home in Possilpark.Pic: Colin Mearns

Margaret pleaded with her young nephew to leave her and get to safety but he refused.

“He was recommended for the George medal but nothing ever came of it, which is a shame,” says Bobby.

Bobby’s other brother Jim was at the dancing that night.

“He was in Sandbank Street and heard the drones and whistling of dropping bombs,” recalls Bobby.

“He had to hide, and took shelter in a coal cellar. Then, as soon as the all-clear sounded, he ran back to Kilmun Street, where he got the shock of his life – his house had been destroyed.”

Eventually, the Dinnie family, like many others, were rehoused. “Hitler got us a house in Possil,” says Bobby, with a smile. “And I’ve lived here to this day.”

Bobby’s memories of life in Maryhill and Possil, and of his time as Glasgow’s most famous football scout, have been turned into a book. The Scout: The Bobby Dinnie Story, is available on Amazon.