- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Sylvia Weatherhead nee Colson
- Location of story:
- Potters bar,Liskeard and Durham
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 27 September 2005
This story was entered onto the peoples war web site by Rod Sutton on behalf of Sylvia Weatherhead, the author, with her full permission. She fully understands the sites terms and conditions.
In August 1939 I was living with my parents at Potters Bar. They decided it would be safer for me and my paternal grandmother to go by train from Paddington Station to Cornwall and stay with my maternal grand parents at Rilla Mill.
We went to church at Upton Cross on September 3rd and during the service we were all surprised to see the local policeman walk down the naïve to tell the clergyman that war had been declared.
I attended Liskeard County School. Later I moved into Liskeard to live with a family and my paternal grandmother went to live in Webbs Hotel.
I used my bicycle in Liskeard to get to school, visit my grandparents at Rilla Mill and get about the county. As it was wartime all signposts had been removed and the beaches barricaded in case of invasion. Food was rationed and this continued into the 1950’s.
At school we had to practice wearing gasmasks in the classroom and learn what to do if there was an air raid. We were told to run down the road and hide under the hedge in a ditch. This did’nt happen as the school soon had internal walls built for protection.
The Americans, black and white, and Canadians arrived. For entertainment there were dances and the cinema to go to.
In 1943 I went to Durham to attend Whitelands College for teacher training. This Church of England College had been evacuated from Putney, London. There were Polish servicemen in Durham and the city had a canteen for the troops. Sometimes I helped in the canteen and during half term went out to a farm to help gather in the crops.
In 1945 still only nineteen I accepted a teaching post in Kingston-upon-Hull. The war years had been an education in themselves.
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