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- Molly George
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- 25 July 2005
‘Back of the sheds’ was a local term used for a small community in the Belle Vue area of Shrewsbury. Houses were originally built for engine drivers and firemen who worked for the LMS and GWR railway companies.
Many of our local lads had been called up. In order to send them regular food parcels, sweets, cigarettes and money, it was decided to start the Back of the Sheds Social Committee. Both my parents were on the committee, which proved to be very successful, forming a focal point for the local community. The committee met regularly at the Mission Room (Church Hall), organising functions, the proceeds of which went towards the parcels.
The Lowe family were very much involved in arranging shows. I particularly remember the ‘Babes in the Wood’ pantomime — I was a gnome. It was such fun practising and mothers were busy making the outfits. All the money taken at the door was used for the troops’ parcels. We became quite famous locally and other areas asked us to give them shows in their community centres. All the profit would go to their local boys at war. We had such fun. I remember having permission to go to school with my hair in rags to look pretty for the evening show.
After the show trestles were laid up with cakes and sandwiches. It was very exciting. We would all pile onto the coach back home, singing the songs we had performed in the show. The picture with this story includes the following children:Back Row: Doris Lowe, ? , Audrey Whittingham, Audrey Wilkinson, Rosemary Tipton, Betty Havard, Thelma Jenks, Enid Humphreys, Hazel Stringfellow. Third row: Veronica Walker, June Ellis, Eunice Thomas, Beryl Rosser, Molly George, Olga Stringfellow, Ivy Whittingham, Janet Wilkinson. Second row: Vida Tipton, June Taylor, Pamela Wood, Gordon Stringfellow, Rosemary Wood, Rosemary Jones, Janice Phillips, Maureen Donnelly, Sheila Donnelly, Donald Jenks. Front row: Tony Pugh, ? , Jean Griffiths, Allen Pugh, Stephen Ward, Ian Ralphs, Margaret Griffiths, Joy Nichols, Stanley Felton, Valerie Bales, Derrick Gough.
The Annual Fete brings back vivid memories. Fancy Dress was the order of the day. The most original idea was to make an outfit out of newspaper. My mother put me in as a ‘Doll in a Box’. On another occasion she used brown paper to make me into a ‘Squander Bug’. Many people will remember the Squander Bug, half devil, half rat with large angry teeth, hand plunging into an open handbag. I won a prize. Squander bugs were posted up at railway stations and in town centres with the slogan “Don’t squander your money’ in an effort to persuade people to put their money into War Bonds
Whist drives, beetle drives and socials were all arranged to help raise money. It was a very sad time for many people, but having a purpose of helping others kept us all very close and occupied.
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