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     Joyce Hardy Age 76 years

 I was an evacuated from Birmingham

                                                      Joyce Hardy Age 7 years

 

Recorded on 14 -2 -2007

 

My name is Joyce Hardy.  I am 75 - 76 in July [Born in 1932] and I was born in Birmingham in Ladywood, err I was born in a back-to-back house in Eham Court Road.  It was behind shops. In those days it was in a street sort of with trams running through, but it was behind the shops although it had nothing to do with the shops.  When I arrived they’d got an elder sister who was about 5½ by then, Mary.  Within about 2 years I had another brother named Freddy, he came along.. Then I think my mother must have been pregnant another couple of years after that because suddenly we were moving to a council house in Yardley.  I don't know really how far Yardley was away but because when you're a child you don't really know distances like that.  We moved to Yardley in about 1935 I would say. I remember starting school and I remember the Coronation and, err I remember my brother being born Billy, he came along and his pram was on the LMS railway lorry, I remember it being delivered. Though I always said I don't know how it was paid for because we hadn't got any money. My Dad worked on the LMS as well as his brother Bill. It was his brother Bill that delivered the pram.  

 We were quite happy you know, I don't think we'd, I know we hadn't got a lot but err. I can definitely remember playing there and having a bit of a garden which we'd never had before and I remember having a party when I was 6 and asking all the children at school if they would like to come, as long as they brought their own cup, because we hadn't got any cups.  They all stood outside the gate with their cups in their hand waiting to be let in.

 There was a park quite near us to where we lived, and we used to go round playing, we alus had to take the baby with us and wherever we went we had to take the baby, which we didn't like at times you know. I said I don't remember, realise, really know how we cared for him you know cuss, it was a bit of a bind really. My sister she actually earned a couple of pennies for some of the houses were new, and she went in and scrubbed out for people when they were moving in so they gave her thruppence or three pence for scrubbing out, but I never did because I was not old enough.  

 Then one day, err, my mother was a barmaid by the way. She was always out serving the beer in the pubs, there was a pub on every corner in Birmingham.  One day I came home from school and there was some furniture on the garden, on the front garden and I went in you know, there was this old chest of drawers we’d got, and I stood looking through these chest of drawers and all the kids sort of coming up to the gate and looking, and I was sorting through the drawers as if you would do that normally, looking  in the drawers on your front garden. When my big sister came out from school, she went to another school err Mum came out and said that we'd got to leave unless she paid the rent. Apparently she hadn't been paying the rent although me Dad had gave it to her, so it was just that err, she had spend it, she was a bit of a spend thrift.  She said we had to take Billy and Freddy down to the park and wait until someone fetched us back, till they'd sorted something out. So after we went down to the park with the baby, we played there for ages I think we were really dirty because me sister she washed our hands and faces in the fountain and umm then she dried us on the lining of her coat because we hadn't got anything else.  We didn't believe in handkerchiefs in them days.  

 

Then the man who lived next door come down to fetch us. He must have come home from work, and told us the tale, that we 'er being thrown out, and he'd came to fetch us and he said I am fetching you up so you can have tea at our house with us, and after that my Dad's brother Bill came in the LMS lorry. We loaded all the stuff in and off we went.  It was dark by this time; it was sort of a moonlight flit really, because we could have gone back in I think if all the rent was paid, but we couldn't so we sifted off without paying the rent.  Where they'd found this other house I don't know, it must have been while we were at the park. When we landed at the end of the journey we landed back in, quite near the city centre. It was Birmingham 7 really, the postmark. It was five or six minutes from the Bull Ring, and the Rag Market so we were quite near. We'd gone down market we were still living in the back-to-back houses again. A big long road again with trams shops one side but back-to-back houses on the other.  

 Well anyway we settled down in this back-to-back house it was, four doorways in the entry in each house had got four doorways, two doorways at the front one on the left and one on the right was like the rooms for the other people.  The further ones back in the entry was for those that lived behind them. Those at the back were lucky because they'd got back doors into the yard. We had one yard between us; it had got a washhouse one side and a toilet the other. Well, when I tried to count up how many it would be; six of us in our house at the back, and on the other house on the other side at the back was a couple with one son. Then the front one had got a couple with one daughter and I think the couple on the other side living in front of us they'd got three children so quite a lot to share the yard and the toilets.  At the top of the yard was a big err laundry, so we'd got the sidewall of the laundry blocking the yard making it really complete.  We played in there didn't think anything of it, we didn't go to the park, we went on err tram.  

 

We used to catch the tram in the road for a penny and go to the Lickey Hills for the day. We always had to take everybody with us, and I was always travel sick, and me sister alus use to say here comes the tram and if you are sick I'm going to give you one. So I used to race up and sit up stairs and sit on me own on the open end part to get the fresh air so I wasn't sick and we'd be there all day.  I remember once, I fell over at the Lickey Hills scrazed in the gravel all the side of me face and me nose and it was so bad the next day that I had to go to the doctors, me mum took me to the doctors. He said, I was very, very lucky because all the gravel was all in, still in it, you know it was all weeping but um we'd been there all day, we dare'd come till the end of the day when we were told to go.  

 I started at a new school there of course, and Freddy started school there. My sister went to another school cos she was bigger, by this time she was about thirteen or so.  We were quite happy.  Billy was still being pushed about in a pram, me mother looked after the pubs, kept us going, worked there as well, and she had different friends come, take her out for a drink, or accompany her to work which we called uncles. We didn't realise till years after they weren't uncles, they were her friends. Me dad must have had his eyes shut I think, but never the less it made us smile after when we realised about it.   

 By this time it was about 1939 and the war was being talked about and we had letters from school Freddy and I and Mary, but Mary was to old to go according to, cause she was ready to go to work nearly so she would be missed.  So Freddy and I had the forms to say what clothes we'd got to take and for me Mother to sign her name on and, err she did.  I took them back to school, and it didn't seem long before, we actually, err it was September the first, ready to go to school. I remember wearing these lace up shoes to be evacuated in they were err sort of a charity thing done by the Daily Mail of Birmingham for the poor children. They came round to the school and measured you up for shoes and err I hated them because, everybody knew they were from the Daily Mail but I  did  actually come to Burbage in them and um. I'd got a pair of sandals that did not fit me but I would sooner have the sandals that me feet were all screwed up in rather then err wear these shoes.  But any way when they got us all ready to go to school, we had to go to school to start up with.  We had a brown carrier bag each. They used to have them in the 1920 - 30s with sting attached for handles.  We put the clothes in there that we'd got to bring and we'd walk to school with them and collected our gas-mask and put a label on um. Mine said Joyce Reynolds cause my name was Reynolds then, and we walked from school in a big long crocodile all the children that was gooing and some had got cases, they was probably a bit richer, I don't know.  

 

We'd never heard of cases, or cases for holidays. So we walked with our brown paper bags, and we walked through the town centre.  I can remember the town centre all the shops in the town centre opening the upstairs windows and throwing pennies down at us and waving, Lewis's, Woolworth's all the big stores.  When we finally got to the station that, err Birmingham it was chaos really that many children, we were all sorted out into our little groups and classes then, err Bournville came round and gave us some Cadbury's Chocolate, a bar each which we hadn't got to eat until we'd got on the train.  When we'd got on the train we'd eaten it immediately. But I still wasn't with my little brother Freddy, he was with his class and I got on the train and I never thought about him really, it was one big adventure I was very excited and err.  Me Mother never said stick together and look after Freddy never mentioned it, so I didn't, I was with my friends in my class.  We seemed to be ages on the train, but it wouldn't be far, even on a steam train from Birmingham to Burbage, but I didn't know I was coming to Burbage, Hinckley. I didn't know where I was coming to and when it pulled up at Hinckley half of us got out and half went to Nottingham I think, and the other half got out onto the station, and half of that half got on the Robinson's bus to take us to Burbage, and the other half walked to the George Ballroom as it was then in Hinckley to be distributed round the town. So I got onto Robinson's bus, but I don't know how they decided who was going where. I got on the bus, one big adventure I was really, really excited cos we'd never been to the sea so I thought, um it was like going to the seaside.  

 

When I got onto Robinson's bus I was sick cos I was such a poor traveller, it wasn't long to Burbage. I remember they brought us to the Co-op Hall in Church Street. We all got out and went up the stairs into this big hall over the shops.  The ladies of the village was waiting for us, the committee, I imagine it was like an evacuates committee that they'd got up before hand, and been an asked everybody who would have anybody, they must have had some organisation doing it.  Then they offered us all drinks, something to eat, some sandwiches we sat there, and Freddy did sit with me then.  We didn't know we were going to be chosen at that time but after we'd eaten, the ladies of the village started to appear to collect people you know. 

 

Those that wanted boys would look at the boys and would have a boy, and those who wanted a girl would have a girl, it was because where ever they lived, it was convenient for bedrooms I suppose. But Mum never said that me and Freddy had got to stay together, so when Mrs. Smith from Lychgate Lane came and collected me, I didn't think that Freddy had got to come with me, but as it happened Mrs. Edge lived next door to Mrs. Smith, she had Freddy so there must have been some thought about putting us next door to each other.  So we walked down to their houses and I went in with Mrs. Smith and I thought no more about Freddy really.  She'd got one daughter Mrs. Smith, she was a lovely little girl, I would imagine she was about five.  She'd got lovely long hair all curly I thought she was beautiful like an angel.  Mrs. Smith said play with Marlene, her name was Marlene, while I go up stairs and unpack for you then we'll set the table and Mr. Smith will be home for tea, because he finishes earlier tonight.  He worked on the Council painting and decorating he came home on his bike well, Mrs. Smith had gone up to unpack and when she came down she said my goodness she said have you seen the size of these pyjamas she said they are so big they would fit me.  Well, I looked at her and I must have been cute even in those days because we were cute being bad off you had to look after yourself, and I said, oh no they are my big sisters she thirteen I says I bet she put them in by mistake.  Well, years after when I used to visit Mrs. Smith when she got older I used to go and have a cup of tea with her and take her some flowers.  I said to her do you remember those pyjamas Mrs. Smith you said were so big and I said oh they are my sisters, I said I told you a lie, I said they wasn't. She said I know they wasn't cause they were men's, and I never knew until that day when I was visiting her years after that they were men's.  

Anyway soon after Mr. Smith came and Mrs. Smith was setting the table, he was a nice man Mr. Smith was. Mrs. Smith set the table then, she walked in with a two-tier cake plate, full of cream cakes. Think she'd had them from the Co-op when she came to fetch me, and I was looking at them all cross the room, while she walked them across and put them on the tea table.  Mr. Smith must have seen me watching he said to me "You won't want one of those will you" and I said No, no. So when we'd had our tea, I can't remember what we'd really eaten, but I do remember those cakes were passed round on this two tier cake plate he said here you are take one and I'd remembered I'd said no I wouldn't want one so I said " Oh no thank you no" and I wouldn't have one because, I wanted one but I wouldn't have it because I kept thinking I told him "I didn't want one" So we'd just finished the tea, I didn't have a cake but a message came round from Mrs. Edge, would I go round because Freddy was upset. Well I went round and Freddy sat at the table, I can see him now.  He'd got soldiers, bread and butter soldiers with egg and he was holding his teaspoon and he was sobbing, He couldn't eat his egg he wanted to go home, and I thought why does he want to go home because we're right down in the country, the last two houses in Lychgate Lane, great big gardens with fields at the back and fields and all round us.  What do you want to go home for we'd got it made here, but he did cry, so anyway I sort of settled him down but when I think back although I say he was two years younger then me and I was eight and he should have been six he wasn't six till the October he was still five so he was only a baby really. But anyway I left him, I think he'd settled down. He went to the infants school and I went to the juniors up Wesley Walk in the village, so I settled down there I loved it.  We'd got a playing field to play in; we'd only had a playground.

 

 I don't know how long I was with Mrs. Smith. I know I used to go across the ladies opposite, I think we called her Mam Fletcher because her name was Mrs. Fletcher, and we called her Mam Fletcher and I used to go and have me tea, I never wondered why I was having me tea there.  Mrs. Smith said in later years when I asked her why I had left her house. Well I wasn't very well at the time and I'd started out to work with a job because of the war was on to help out and I’d got Marlene, and she said I was paying Mrs. Fletcher half a crown [twenty five pence] to give you tea every day and take you in from school, and I was only getting ten shillings [fifty pence} anyway from the Post Office, from the government cos the government gave everybody; any evacuates ten shillings [fifty pence] I think the parents were supposed to subsidise with the clothes.  But mine never did, my Mum never sent anything, not anything, and err any way.  going back to school I was playing in the field, and someone said "There is two ladies here they want to see you" and when I went running to the railings, looked through the railings at them in the Wesley Walk one was the lady from the err committee at the evacuees, and the other lady I'd never seen before.  They were asking me questions and they were saying " Do you like it at Burbage and, do you like coming to this school," and I said "Yes" and they said "are you happy here" and I said "Yes " and I never thought why they were asking me all this, and then the bell went so I said " I've got to go now because the bells gone and I've got to get in lines for the class, so I said "goodbye" 

 

When I came out of school that day, at four o'clock didn't come home till four, then this lady I did not know, this stranger, she was waiting outside.  She said "you are coming home to stay with me at our house" and I said "Oh am I"  like, you know, I didn’t make any fuss, I went off, quiet, like a little lamb really.  We walked down, she said I live in Sketchley Road at the top number 14.  She says "my names Mrs. James so I am going to be your Aunty Ada, Mr. James is at work he is going to be Uncle Tom to you and I said "alright" and we walked down. I never thought I shouldn't go, there would be up roar these days if you, if anybody did that with the children, but I went down. She said to me " have this glass of milk and these two biscuits we are going out again straight way we are going to see my mother and her name is Mrs. Beasley want you to call her Mam Beasley when we'd had a cup of tea with her and a chat, Uncle Tom will be coming home at six o'clock.  So he will pick us up from work so we'll walk home back home to Burbage again".  I did not realise that Mam Beasley lived along the Hinckley Road and over the London Road Bridge and she kept a little shop just over London Road Bridge it was like err the front of her house made it to a shop room. She sold little nick-knacks and I think she sold cigarettes and matches, candles and all sorts of things. Some times when we used to visit every week, she'd let me serve the candles or the matches and I thought while see watched me I thought that was good.  Very nice old lady, later on she found an old dolls pram in her attic must have belonged to her daughter, she'd only got the, me Auntie Ada, the one daughter.  It was like a Victorian dolls pram, it was lovely really, I don't know what happen to it but walked it all the way to Burbage and used to walk it up and down Sketchley Road with a doll in it I remember that. 

 

After a while I went to the ‘Congs’ [Congregational] Chapel, cause Mrs Smith had started me there cause they belonged to the ‘Congs’ and err I was doing the sermon, so I know I had a sermons dress, it was linen and a straw hat with buttercup and daisies round it.  I got a photo with me aunty when I was wearing that on a Sunday when I came from the sermons.  We had a letter from your Mam first letter I had and umm, I came home from school and me Aunty Ada said "I've got something sad to tell you I've had a letter from your Mam and your dad's gone to live with Jesus, and I thought no, he can't live with Jesus because he works on the railway and they need him there, you know.  That is how she put it that he'd died. That was not many months after I'd been here, so I never saw me Dad again you see after I left to be evacuated and then about twelve months later, another batch of evacuates came to the village, and it made it that it was to many at school so  we had to go across to the Methodists school room to be taught everyday and we had big trestles they were very rough and they rubbed your frock and made it all pull threaded. We were there for a year. I missed one of the classes at the school, and while I was there, there was a girl at the top of Sketchley Road, named Beryl Johnson, her name was, she came from the same school as me and she lived up the road so I played with her at times and we were quite happy, she sat by me by these trestles, as the year dwindled on so did the number of evacuates. They all gradually went back home, so there wasn't many of us left so at the end of that year, we knew we were going back to the school to the class at school.  But just before that, me Aunty wasn't well so me Uncle Tom said I want to take your Aunty to the doctors and err, I want you to stop at home, we'll lock the door, I felt very big cause I was about ten. I'll lock the door and you can read your book, I was an avid reader cause I'd read any think and err he say we sharnt be long. It was up the Grove Road the doctor's was it was at his own house he had a room at the front. So I stopped a home and feeling very grown up reading this book it was Uncle Tom's Cabin very sad book it was really I think I cried about it. When he came back about quarter to seven, he didn't go till about six I think when he got back about a quarter to seven he said Aunty is very poorly and she's got to go in hospital.  So he said you can't stay here with me because I've going to do fire watching some nights and you would be on your own.  So I am going round tomorrow to see if my Aunt Kate will have you, and it was his real Aunt Kate she had seven sons and they were all, some were in the army and they were dotted about, one lived at Sapcote and a couple at Hinckley and err a couple at Burbage but err she lived in Victoria Road so I don't know how long it was but, I was took round to Aunt Katie's and me clothes and then me Aunty went into hospital.  I went back to the school.

 

After the twelve months and I went in the Hinckley girl's school in Holliers Walk and we went on the bus then all of us it was a free bus so that was alright.  I used to come home for dinner because me Aunt Kate said " she was cooking a dinner at home at dinner time, lunch time, so she did not see why I should stay at school for dinner when there was a dinner on the table" So in fact I'd come home on the bus and go back again at half past one, on the half past one bus. Meanwhile Aunty did come home, but she wasn't very well, and I used to go round and see her and looking back she was really ill. I think it was cancer but they did not mention that in those days and she did die so I didn't come back from me Aunt Kate's. I didn't go to her funeral whether they thought I wasn't old enough or anything in those days. I still stayed with me Aunt Kate, I hated it at me Aunt Kate's, she didn't hit me or was cruel like that, but quite strict and that, and she only had boys she took advantage because I was a girl.  I used to have to scrub the kitchen floor and the out side toilet and when she'd done the washing I had to swill the copper in the kitchen and bail it all out and put it in buckets, swill the yard down and brush the yard and clean everybody's boots.  Her brother lived with her cause he was disabled. Got in some sort of accident in a mine in Australia, so he lived with her for a little while, then he lived with his other sister for a while so he wasn't there permanently, but err I used to have to put his shoes and socks on for him, boots not shoes and socks and his collar and tie. I often wonder who did it before I went because that was my job but I still went to school.  I used to mangle every Monday, turn the mangle; she used to hit the roof, the ceiling with the yard brush cause I slept over the kitchen.  She used to hit the ceiling roof with the yard brush handle,  and I’d do the mangling.  You used to put the washing out rain or fine in those days. Then I used to run down the Victoria Road to the bottom into the Coventry Road to catch the bus just about catching it you know by the nick of me teeth.  I can't say I was really happy there, although as I say she never ill-used me. If any of the relatives were to say anything there would say well you were alright weren't you, you know.  She was very kind to her own grandchildren, and one day I came home from chapel cause I had to go three times a day and err if I came home from chapel and she was giving three or four of her grandchildren who were visiting with their Dad a glass of Tizer, it was Tizer in them days, don't know if they still have Tizer now but err and she said to me " I suppose you want one don't you" and I said "Oh yes please" and she gave me a wine glass full.  I really felt humiliated because I was sort of thirteen by this time and umm, you know I felt really hurt. 

 

Well I was alright at Hinckley Girls School and one day when I was getting nearer fourteen, the war actually finished when I was fourteen so I had, by the time the war finished I had six years at Burbage. Six years was a long time in a child's life to be in another village so I didn't think about home, and me Mother did a sort of write. Well she did write when I was at Aunt Katie's she said I am writing to say I am coming on Saturday and I have got you a new Dad and I'm bringing him, and  she brought him to me Aunt Kate's and err, I didn't like him like, but err I think he was a bit of a funny osity anyway, but err but she probably thought he was alright.  She was living in another house at that time, with this chap who owned it who was poorly apparently, me elder sister told me this, she'd had all his furniture and everything and umm.  She hadn't married him but she'd moved in cause me sister had had to go as well. Well she met this other chap you see this man who owned the house and all the furniture died and me mother still stayed there you see, so I think she thought she was on to a good thing.  I never saw me stepfather again after that one day, and she went back home and I think she write once more after that.  But she never ever gave me a hap-penny or bought me any clothes or anything. Me Uncle Tom seen to what I'd got apart from the ten shillings. He came round every Saturday to Aunt Kate's to pay the money, so I knew he did that, and he came to see me, and I used to go round to see him but then with me aunty dying he was living on his own .  

 

While I was at school one day, before I'd finished school, this girl in another class that I did not know came to see me one day and she says you know your Uncle Tom, he is going out with my mother and they are going to get married.  Well, I was really astounded, I never heard a word about another woman I suppose in a way he was embarrassed to tell me. Any way when it all came out and he knew I knew he came round and he said I'm getting married and, are you going to come to the wedding and you will be with Margaret that was her daughter, who was twelve months younger that I was.  So, when  they went on honeymoon in Scotland  this new Aunty, her name was Doreen but they called her Doll, so she was me Aunty Doll and she said Margaret's going to her Auntie's for the week while we go on our honeymoon so you can go with her and stay with Aunty Gert and you will get to know one another so I was thrilled up cause it was like another holiday, it was only in Hinckley.  I went to Aunty Gert's with Margaret we had a lovely time for a week and then I moved straight back into the bungalow again in Sketchley Road and I lived there till I got married and this Aunty was lovely with me so I was lucky with both the ladies in Sketchley Road that I called Aunty, and Mrs Smith was kind originally because she was kind to me although I didn't stay there long but um but this other Aunty, Aunty Doll she was lovely, she did start to work a bit, Uncle Tom wasn't pleased about that cause his wife had never gone to work, his first wife, he was a really old fashioned man. He'd got a car and we went out in car, and then he died, he was only in his seventies, and err the difference between them must had bin twenty, twenty years she was a lot younger than him, and if she'd  said she didn't want me he would have, I think, he would have said alright, I'm not quite sure, because he did love me I know he did.  But he was totally besotted with his second wife, and if she'd have said I can't manage another one, but she didn't and I went to live with her and Uncle Tom and her daughter and she didn't treat me any different.

 

As I say I got married from there and Uncle Tom gave me away.  I must have wrote home to ask for permission, cause they'd got my birth certificate and me mother sent me a photo because I've only got one photo and umm. Then me Uncle Tom died then me Aunty sold the bungalow and she went to live in a council bungalow for old people.  We used to go down Margaret and I taking it in turns cause we were married with children of our own.  You know each night you used to go and help her, if she was ready for bed and all that, get her tea, and she was so kind.  She'd got three grandchildren with her daughter, and my three children, they called her Nanna the same. She treated them all the same and when she died, I did not know she'd made a will, but she'd made a will and she'd left my three children two hundred pounds each, and her own grandchildren two hundred pounds each, and then she said we'd got to pay the funeral expenses and everything and what was left was to be divided between me and Margaret and we had about three thousand pounds each which I thought was great. There was no need to give it to me because; it was her daughter I thought should have had it. When I said to her daughter wasn't it kind of your Mum to give me the money, she said well why wouldn't she you were a daughter to her you looked after her the same as I did and she said perhaps if he'd had never married my mother you would have had the bungalow anyway.  Well I mean you didn't get a lot for the bungalow in them days I know she didn't so it was nice. I'm still in touch with Margaret and she calls me her sister.

 

 Meanwhile if you would like to know what happen to Freddy, I found out, me Mum did come to see me once she came with Mary and Mary's school friend and she said we are visiting you and we are going round to see Freddy. I felt quite strange with her I wasn't at ease with her because I'd been away from her.  Anyway after Mary and her friend had left, Mary tells me this then, Mary always kept in touch she'd wrote to me and we kept in touch and we visit and she comes for holiday here and everything and we all went to Australia to see Freddy because he did emigrate. But when she went round to see Freddy, they'd got Billy of course; they brought him because he was not of school age and when it was time.  This lady that lived in Church Street she'd got a lot of children from London and everywhere, and when it was time for them to go me Mum said get your coats because its time to get the train from Hinckley we'd got to walk it. Mary got up to get her coat and me Mum said "No you are staying I have arranged it with the lady of the house, I can't remember her name, you and Billy are going to stay here for a while and you can help look after the children.  So me Mum went back on the train with Mary's school friend and Mary stayed.  Mary was quite shocked because she'd got no clothes or nothing. She looked after these children and she used to take Freddy to school everyday and walk it round with Billy.  She could not believe it, what they were doing, they even cooked at one stage and boiled water on like a little Primus Stove because Billy actually did knock the saucepan over and he scolded his arm. I think that is what made Mary decide to go home, the children wanted to go home.  The lady used to say lock the door at seven, because I've got to go out because I'm on war work its secret, nobody must know, and err Mary used to lock the door, she never told anybody that the woman went on secret war work.  We thought about it after and Mary said She was on secret war work it was up at the barracks with the solders entertaining them, she didn’t want anybody to know you see, so she said it was secret war work. After a while Mary and the two boys wanted to come home so Mary said OK I'll take you home.  They walked to the station got on the train went into New Street got off the train there nobody stopped them, nobody asked for tickets, and she walked home, we wasn't far from the town six, seven, eight minutes perhaps ten with the children and walked home and the first thing me mother said to them when they walk in "what have you bought these two back for" and Mary said " they wanted to come " you know "so did I ". 

 

Freddy started to school and by this time Billy was about school age and so he started. Mary started to work, and Mary was at work and umm and one day she came home from work and me Mum said "go and get the boys ration books from the corner shop because I want them for tomorrow because they are going to be evacuated again and they are going to Nottingham. Mary couldn't believe it, anyway there was nothing she could do. She fetches the ration books and the next day off they went to school and they were evacuated to Nottingham and both of them stayed there for quite a few years and they never came back again. Well Freddy, when he came home he lived with Mary then he went to live in Australia. Billy married a girl out of the same street and he still lives in Nottingham. We all keep in touch but it wasn't through me mother so, she died some years ago. The family all keep in touch all the brothers and sisters which are still alive now.

 

Interviewed & Transcribed by David J Wood

Editor Jean Wood                                                               Top