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by Newcastlelibrary

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mary Jobson
Location of story: 
Newcastle upon Tyne Whitehave, Cumbria
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 July 2005

I was about 7 years old, when I was evacuated from Newcastle to Whitehaven in Cumbria. I can remember being at Newcastle Central Station with lots of other children. I had a brown label tied to my coat with my name and age on it. Parents were not allowed into the station, so mothers were saying their tearful goodbyes at the portico and allowed no further. My two sisters were being evacuated also, and we walked away carrying the few belongings we were allowed to take with us, along with our gas masks.
There was a teacher in charge of each carriage, and when the train arrived we were all shepherded onto the train and we had to sit in our seats and behave. The train took us to Carlisle. At Carlisle we got off the train and we were divided into various groups of those travelling to different destinations. We were each given a brown paper bag containing a sandwich and an apple, and given a little bottle of milk.
My sisters and I were to travel on another train to our destination in Whitehaven. When we got there we were further transferred by bus. Luckily enough my sisters and I were all put with families in the same street. In fact the families were all related, and there were no other children. It was very quiet and rural in Whitehaven compared to the bustling life we had left behind. I called the couple I was living with Auntie and Uncle, and they were very kind to me. They were older than my parents, and I think they enjoyed having a youngster around. They took me to many places like the Lake District, and the seaside. We had picnics in the country. My two sisters who were not in good health did not settle very well, and due to their illness had to return to Newcastle, but by then I had settled and adapted possibly due to me being younger (and maybe a little bit spoilt)
Food was not in such short supply in the country, as there was always eggs, milk and some meat available.
My mother visited me on a couple of occasions, and my dad who was an Air-Raid Warden came and stayed for a week. I stayed in Whitehaven for five years until it was deemed safe to return to the city. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an evacuee, and I was lucky that the couple I was placed with were such a pleasant friendly pair. I kept in touch with them for many years after returning home, and I returned again to visit

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