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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
CSV Action Desk/BBC Radio Lincolnshire
People in story: 
Eileen Naylor
Location of story: 
Walkeringham, Lincolnshire
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
02 September 2005

This is the certificate of appointment for Mr GT Brown as a salvage steward

This story was submitted to the People’s War website by a volunteer from Lincoln CSV Action Desk on behalf of Eileen Naylor and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Naylor fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

On Sunday 3rd September 1939 we listened to the broadcast given to the nation by Mr Neville Chamberlain saying that Britain was at war with Germany. It was a very solemn occasion. Our parents lived through the First World War. Dad, George Brown, served with the Machine Gun Corps and returned to Walkeringham in 1919 and opened the High Street bakery. He recruited the local men of the village to form the Local Defence Volunteers (LDVs) who were later known as the Home Guard, and when some of the younger members were called up for military service they said how much they appreciated the basic training he had given them. He also arranged premises for the collection of waste paper, cardboard, etc and was created Salvage Officer. He was the Group Organiser for distribution of petrol coupons to local farmers and small businesses in the neighbouring villages.

The village had no street lights but residents had to ‘black-out’ their premises. Motor vehicles had headlight covers with 3 slots focussing light down to the road.

The church and chapel Evensong services were held at 3 pm during the dark evenings. The wireless was the news link, along with the newspapers, and broadcast from 7.00am — 10.30pm.

There was no piped water, no ‘fridges or washing machines, very few vacuum cleaners and mostly only business people had a telephone! Water was boiled in pans and kettles and in the copper on washday and bath night.

When dad opened the bakery the well water had to be passed for human consumption by the local authority and piped to the bake house. The hot water tank had to be re-filled at the end of each day with a hand operated semi-rotary pump and took approximately 45 minutes. The ovens were coke fired and rarely went out, even on Sundays.

The local telephone exchange was at Misterton and had real operators who asked which number you required there was no direct dial. The numbers were double numbers only. The local garage was 18, post office 15, greengrocer 67 and GT Brown 48.

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