- Contributed by
- Richard Teague
- People in story:
- Mrs Guy,Richard and Michael Teague
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 29 April 2005
This was the second evacuation period for my brother Mick and I.
Our mother had brought us back to Kilburn from Tiverton in Devon,following the end of the conventional Luftwaffe bombings,but the V1's prompted her to send us away again.
This time we ended up in Wolverhampton at the home of a Mrs Guy.
To us Mrs Guy seemed very old,had very few remaining teeth and those she did have were unlike our own in that they were yellow.She had a lisp and had lived alone until Mick and I arrived.
I know that she had one grown up son,and probably other children as well because she introduced the one son that we actually met as " Thith ith me thoon,me eldeth thoon and me beth thoon too".
Mrs Guy's eldest son made catapults for Mick and I and showed us how to use them,but not what to aim at.One of us promptly broke a window with one!
The son was summoned to the house by Mrs Guy and instructed to burn the catapults in front of us.
He performed the incineration in ceremonial manner while explaining to us that breaking windows what not what a catapult was designed for.
He wouldn't have known that we had just left London for the second time.
The first time we left London,buildings were buildings and windows were windows.
When we returned however ,we were surrounded by bombed buildings that became our playgrounds.
In those playgrounds we broke anything that was left to break,hurling bricks at remaining glass,using sash window weights dropped from the top floor of the carcases of bombed buildings to destroy the cast iron fire escapes at levels below. Everything around us was broken, so how were we to understand that Mrs Guy's glass was special to her?
This was not the only problem she had with us because I had acquired a bed wetting habit while evacuated on the first occasion to Tiverton. Mrs Guy didn't know this.
She was obviously not prepared to suffer any aggravation,having offered her home to two London kids for such small reward,so she kept threatening me with something she called "the Cottidge 'ormes".
I didn't know then and I don't know now what the Cottage Homes were,so the threat had no effect on my bed wetting.
Undefeated, Mrs Guy sent for a social worker.
This wonderful woman proceeded to tell me what a dirty little boy I was.She told me that I should be ashamed of myself.She had even trained her cat to use the toilet,so there must be something awfully wrong with me to be wetting the lovely comfortable bed that Mrs Guy had provided for me.
At the time,I had visions of her cat-all four legs positioned around the pan perimeter,dumping into the water below,and I felt thoroughly ashamed of myself.
I now realise that what she probably meant was that she had trained her cat to use a cinder tray.Whatever message she intended to convey at the time,I have to say that now, as an adult,I feel nothing but contempt for this woman whoever she was.
Mick and I were moved on to separate addresses in Penn!
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