MEMORIES came flooding back on Thursday for a mother and son tartgeted by Hitler's war machine 60 years ago.

On March 15, 1941, a German Luftwaffe pilot dropped a bomb on Loftus. It seriously damaged the Newton chapel and several of the houses on the other side of the road, but nobody was killed.

Redcar and Cleveland Coun Eric Jackson and his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Jackson, aged 91, lived at 5 East Crescent, directly opposite the chapel. The house took the full force of the blast.

Coun Jackson was only a baby at the time, but his mother still vividly recalls the day the bomb fell.

"They dropped the bomb at quarter to five," she said. "It was a frosty morning. I was up, looking out of the bedroom window.

"My late husband, Matt, heard the bomb coming down and dragged me back on to our bed. I was very lucky, as the bomb shattered the window and the glass went flying.

"There was a huge explosion, the windows came in, the front door slammed open, sandstones from the wall were on the bed and there was glass everywhere. I could only see Eric's eyes, because he was covered in soot from the chimney.

"I got a cut on my head and Eric, who was only seven or eight months old at the time, was bruised."

Mrs Jackson believes that only the sturdy stonework of the house saved them from worse injuries.

"Stones and slates from the roof came flying in, and the wall was pulled away. We could see right into our neighbour's bedroom. But if the walls had been brick instead of sandstone, it would have been a different story."

She recalls how they clambered out of the wreckage and went out to see if their neighbours were all right.

"George Lines lived at number six with his mother. His sister, Hannah, and her son, Marcel, were staying with them, having already been bombed out in St Peter's Port, Guernsey.

"At number four, Mr George Pennock had been shaving in the darkness. He was saying: 'Am I the only man alive?'

"My husband Matt told George he wasn't, then went to number three, Mrs Harrison; she was a bit deaf, and was shouting: 'Have the Germans come?'"

Mrs Jackson celebrates her 92nd birthday on Monday - in very different circumstances to her birthday after the air raid.

"It was a horrible birthday, just four days after the bombing," she said. "We were homeless. We came up to East Loftus and a friend of mine who had moved here with me from Whitby put us up.

"But I had Eric and two other lads then under three years old, and they couldn't cope with three. Eric had to stay with us, but our Tony went to a family in Whitby and Peter went to Staithes."

The Jacksons returned to Loftus in 1942.

The chapel, built in 1876, was deemed unsafe after the bombing and was torn down that same year. Two bungalows stand there now, along with a plaque commemorating the bombing raid