- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Adrienne Priest
- Location of story:
- Bristol Area
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 07 May 2005
This story is submitted by a volunteer on behalf of Radio Bristol Action Desk at City of Bristol College.
Adrienne, (8 years old) was evacuated with her cousin Eunice in May 1941 from Southmead to Misterton, nr Crewkerne. Althought Adrienne's mother was unsure about the evacuation, her father, who was in the fire services thought it was the safest option. It was quite a culture shock to move from a housing estate in Bristol to a Georgian Vicarage in the countryside. Recollections of going from working class dining arrangements to almost silver service, antique furniture and large gardens.
The vicar and his wife were very caring however they were unused to children. They appeared to have a gentile background and life was very formal. Two years were spent in Misterton and parents visited once or twice a year when they were able.
Social life was limited as the foster parents were trying to bring up the girls as ladies. Mixing with other children was not encouraged even at or after school. This made Adrienne extremely homesick. The contrast between homelife in Southmead and living in this household was traumatic. Although the carers looked after the physical needs for an eight year old their was little love.
At the end of the evacuation the foster parents were really upset and it was the first time any emotion had been shown towards the girls. It was thought that they wanted them to stay.
Adrienne recalls a new nurses home being built in Southmead and in the distance from her Misterton home she could see another similar looking building.During homesick periods she convinced herself that this new home was not far from home.
Even after the traumatic experience Adrienne and Eunice kept in touch with their foster family until they passed away.
Returning to Bristol after the two year abscence both girl were amazed at the width of the streets and it took a while to re-adjust and be accepted back into the community.
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