BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

22 August 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


The Beginning - Part Three.

by Lancshomeguard

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mike Levens.
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 June 2005

Shortly after the beginning of the war, my Mother joined the Womens Voluntary Service, or (WVS) at the first available opportunity.
They started their duries by cleaning out large houses, requisitioned for Refugees, but the houses they worked on were never used for this purpose.

My Mother, in conjunction with the lady next door, started a savings club, but they soon tired of it and so I got landed with it. The savings stamps varied from either six 'Old' Pennies, or, Half a Crown, (Two Shillings and Sixpence). You could also buy a Savings Certificate which cost fifteen shillings. I went round collecting the money from people who were saving, twice each week, usually on a Wednesday and a Saturday, and I did that right through to the end of the war, except for the two weeks during the war, when we went away on holiday to Blackpool.

This job of collection Savings was quite a responsibility for a 7year old who had to carry around between Ten and Twelve Pounds a week, in all kinds of weather. Rain, snow and mountain mists, which led to problems for small fingers. When it did rain, the stamps, which were gummed on the back, used to get wet and tended to stick together. This meant that they had to be floated in a saucer of water, separated, dried, and

It wasn't without other problems. On one occasion I lost the purse with Fifteen Pounds and some stamps in. This caused panic and chaos, and that was just my Mum. My Father just went to sleep. But I re-traced my steps and found the purse in a heap of grass in the open meadow. It was a miracle. To me the loss would have been terrible, for in my mind I was trying to get enough money each week to pay the Pilot's wages in a Spitfire Squadron.

The Air Training Corps (ATC) found another way of raising capital. Yet again it was by the use of Saving Stamps. The ATC pulled a hand-cart around the villages. On the hand-cart was the tail-fin of a bomb. Locals were asked to purchase stamps and stick them on the fin. When they had enough stamps on it, it was returned to the Armourers who fixed it back on the bomb and then it was dropped on the enemy.

They also came round selling stamps to raise money to buy a Sunderland Flying-Boat.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy