- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Mr & Mrs Seaman
- Location of story:
- Isleworth, Middx & Barnsley, Yorks
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 13 October 2005
This story has been added to the BBC People's War site by CSV volunteer Kate Langdon on behalf of the author Marjorie Chadwick, who fully understands the terms and conditions.
It was in 1942 and I was only about 7 years old. I was sent off to Barnsley in Yorkshire with the school - Spring Grove Junior School, Isleworth. We were allowed to take up to one doll or toy, our gas mask and a case or small suitcase. We were given a label with the name and address which was tied onto my coat.
When we arrived and got off the packed train, we went to a community centre and slept on mattresses; there were no beds or anything. The next morning people came to claim us. They took their pick depending if they liked the look of you, then took us to their homes. Places were allocated to us for school.
The family I stayed with were ok, it was like a Coronation Street style house, two-up, two-down, with the front door on the main street. They had two children of their own and their father was a miner. He would come home black after a day working in the mines. I was well treated and fed well. We would have Yorkshire pudding and gravy for tea. One of the boys from my school, who was on the train with me on the way up, wasn't so lucky. The home he went to was bad. A lot of people only wanted to look after us for the money they would receive because of it. But the boy was transferred to the family I was staying with.
My parents were invited by the family looking after me, to come up and stay for a holiday to get away from the bombing in London. They came up for two weeks, which I thought was rather nice of the people there. The bombing was bad on the Great Western Road (now the A4) which was about half a mile away from where I lived. A lot of the factories were making ammunitions for the war there.
My father was on the ARP (Air Raid Patrol) and also worked for the Water Board in London, so he was out most nights mending broken water mains. I remember I used to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs most nights for about two to three years. It was meant to be the safest place in the house. Many a time I was 'chased home' from school by a 'Doodlebug', which was like a rocket V1/V2 bomber. It didn't have a pilot or anything and it would suddenly just stop and drop out of the sky. It was scary at that age being followed by one of them.
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