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They taught us and we taught them

by Genevieve

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Muriel Edwards and Mrs Marjorie McMahon (Nee Morris)
Location of story: 
Pant Glas, Shropshire
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
10 October 2005

School for the evacuated children must have been different. It would have been a great deal smaller: there were only two school rooms. It was marvellous though — the evacuees taught us rural children who didn’t go very far things like going to the cinema on a Saturday, swimming, and we taught them things like climbing trees, getting dirty, they used to go down to the farm of course, which was on Lord Harlech’s estate at the time, and they worked there any moment they could. We ran miles and miles and miles, we played and we were healthy and had fun — I don’t think we can explain quite how it was because the wartime years were very special and unique.

Years went by of course, and many things happened to us. One day Muriel and I decided that we would get a tan and there were walnut trees growing in the park and there were plenty of walnuts around, so we thought we’d paint ourselves with the plant surrounding them —and we did — all over. There was only one snag — it didn’t come off! When we got home our families weren’t too pleased —it took about a fortnight to wear off and it was a horrible colour.

It was fun when it snowed as well, because of course being in a city they hadn’t experienced snow as we had. We introduced them to sledging and then we all had an absolutely wonderful time.

Why the evacuees didn’t take the 11-Plus I don’t know. Perhaps they were supposed to be going back home to take it there, but that doesn’t really make sense so I’m not sure. Anyway, we were split up and that was sad.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Becky Barugh of the BBC Radio Shropshire CSV Action Desk on behalf of Muriel Edwards and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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