- Contributed by
- BBC Southern Counties Radio
- People in story:
- Doreen Simson (nee Ward), Dennis Ward (Brother), Mrs Jean Sharpe
- Location of story:
- Borth, Wales
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 15 August 2005
I left the White City Estate, London in approximately 1941. I was four years old, and along with my older brother, Dennis were told by our parents, that we had to ‘stay together’.
We left from Paddington Station for Borth, in Wales. On arrival at Borth Station, we were met by grown-ups and children — with water to drink in jam jars. We were then taken to the station waiting room, to be ‘chosen’ by our foster parents. My brother and his friend were chosen by a farmer — leaving me crying. A ’Mrs Sharpe’ took me. We left, with me sitting on her bicycle seat, still crying, to a house on top of a cliff. We were met by her two young daughters, her mother and sister. They were a family of rich industrialists, who lived just outside Wolverhampton, but had decided to rent a house in Wales for the duration of the war.
I remember going to the beach and building windbreakers from the rocks and pebbles. If a parachute had been washed up, we would take it to school to untangle it.
A Welsh custom is that when there is a New Moon, you would go into the garden and ’turn your money over’. I am now, often reminded, of what the “Little Londoner” would say!.... “We have fousands (thousands) of those in London!”
I was one of the lucky ones, I stayed for three and a half years, and talked nicely on my return home. I have always stayed in touch and spent holidays at their home in Oaken, Wolverhampton. Their home was always full of flowers, and thanks to my evacuation, my profession is that of a florist.
Mrs Sharpe passed away four years ago, aged 92 years. I still see my foster sisters. If it had not been for the war, I would not have my other family.
This story has been entered on the site by Elizabeth Legate on behalf of Doreen Simson, with her permission. Doreen fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
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