Last week’s article in the Maidenhead Advertiser ‘Homes act to keep elderly connected’ caught the eye of a lady living in Maidenhead, who wrote telling us how she was evacuated from London during the War. She thought her story may spark an interest in our residents and indeed it did! We were fascinated to read how she went to live in rural Nottinghamshire and some of our residents are now writing their own experiences, which we will share with Maureen.
You may be interested in reading her poignant tale.
If, like me, some of your residents are evacuees, it might be interesting to get someone to talk to residents about their experience. Being taking from home and deprived of Mum & Dad for childhood years is something no families had experienced before and will not experience again, so we should talk about how we were affected. This was a unique event and it worked for us, we are still here! I would like to start the ball rolling by telling you what happened to me.
I was 4 years old so do not remember too many details but I do remember arriving in a village hall with dozens of other children all “labelled” with luggage tickets.
Gradually people from the village came along and chose the child they wished to accommodate. No-one chose me.
Unusually, I had my mother with me I didn’t know why. We were the only two left. We were put in a car with a mattress & toted around the village, knocking on doors asking people to take us. Eventually at one house where the lady said ‘no’, her husband appeared and said to her, “if this was our Beryl we would hope someone would take her”. It was very strange to be told this was my new home & I had mixed feelings but the strongest feeling was wondering what was wrong with me that no-one else wanted me.
Anyway, this wonderful family, who really had no room, put me in their daughter’s room with both of us in a single bed. Then they turned their precious front parlour into a bedroom for my mother, who shortly after gave birth to my sister. This was the reason I wasn’t chosen – because of my pregnant mother although I didn’t realise it then of course, no-one talked to children about that sort of thing. I only worked it out many years later.
I was very lucky with my new family and my new school, so it was with mixed feelings that I came back to bomb-ruined South London where they took the mickey out of my “double-dutch” Nottinghamshire accent.
Maureen told us that her mother and sister returned to London soon after the baby’s birth, so she was then a true evacuee without any family with her. She had a happy time with the family who took her in, although she ironically was returned to London just as The Blitz commenced.