As we celebrated #VEDay last week, some of our residents’ thoughts returned not just to the day they all celebrated the end of the War, but of the years before, when many of them were evacuated. We read again Maureen’s letter, sent to us recently by a lady living in Maidenhead.
Resident Janice shared with us her fascinating book, in which she’d chatted with many Marlovians, capturing their thoughts and bringing their words to life with their own photos.
Barbara and Lucy then wrote their own memories for us to share with everyone.
I was 17 and working as a Civil Servant in the headquarters of the P.O.S.B. at Holloway. All me and my friends thought about was the latest red lipstick forbidden by our parents. It cost my weekly pocket money – 2/6d (2 shillings and 6 pence).
This suddenly became very unimportant, because we were all presented with a letter explaining how we were to be transported to Morecambe – where on earth was that?
Far away from our Mums and Dads!
Of course, we dearly loved our parents, but it was a chance in a lifetime – to be like the heroines in our latest magazines.
‘But I’m going to Rhyl’, said Dad, ‘and you are supposed to be evacuated with me’. However, this naughty daughter won the day!
So off I went shortly afterwards and met my friends on the platform at King’s Cross station.
After a few tears saying goodbye to our parents, we suddenly realised we now had to look after ourselves!
Part of the platform was set aside for the Civil Servants and was full of uniforms.
Getting seats didn’t worry us – the train corridor was full of H.M. Forces.
We found a corner where we could wave goodbye and off we went.
Suddenly, all the lights went out and everyone rushed to watch the two planes fighting it out. I really don’t remember seeing what happened to the planes, I was smothered by the arms of a young naval officer and was being kissed rather vigorously – I wonder what happened to him?
Anyway, my friend Helen and I eventually arrived in Morecambe after many changes of trains and eating sandwiches at several stations.
Eventually, we found ourselves in a small bedroom in the home of a very pleasant elderly lady.
We were given special seats in a nearby restaurant that night for dinner – fish, chips and cabbage.
These people were foreigners to us.
They used words we had never heard before, but we accepted that and it was OK.
After this, we were eventually settled down in our new beds. Helen and I had to sleep together and after tossing a coin I was on the wall side of the bed.
The next day was Sunday and we were free to roam the town with meals in our new ‘digs’. The next day was the start of our new office work – and lots of fun, experiences and tears.
I had just passed my driving test, so was very proud to be able to go to the village green with other drivers to help with distributing evacuees. But there weren’t any …
It had been decided that our village was too far from a railway for a big influx of people. Later we had mothers and young children. Recently we were visited by a woman who, as a child, had been billeted at our house. My mother was away from home most of the time, working on the South Coast, evacuating elderly people from Southampton to Bournemouth.