Friday, 3 September 2010


This was the day the Second World War began. I'd already been evacuated from London to Brighton, on the south coast of England, on the 31st August with my school, according to the writing under a photo Mum had taken.
I'm on the left, holding a straw bag stuffed with comics, which were printed on pink, blue and green paper - my Dad worked 'in the print' so was able to get these. The usual navy pleated gymslip but - no gas mask or evacuation label. I have the label somewhere but can't find it, of course!
The two girls are sisters together with their mother who came as one of the school helpers. They have their gas masks as does the mum.
We walked in a crocodile to Victoria Station where the train waited but all I can remember of the journey was the state we left the railway carriage in at Brighton - full of dismantled comic pages.
I wasn't at all worried about leaving Mum behind or my Granny who lived with us, and was lucky enough to be billeted in an interesting home. The three people in the photo and I were all in one place, an antique shop run by a spinster lady. I can imagine what her thoughts were when she knew three London children were going to be staying. But she'd been In Service all her life and had very strong ideas about behaviour. She was a bit scary to an almost 7 year old but she was kind underneath the exterior - having to share her home with four people must have been a trial. I have all sorts of memories from my stay in Brighton and Mum kept all the letters I wrote every week - I have a child's eye view of my time there in 1939 to the summer of 1940. Then I returned home in time to watch the aerial combat...70 years ago.

1 comment:

Micki said...

What an incredible pic and loved the story behind it!