I was 6 when war broke out. I was evacuated within a few weeks and sent to Thorne in Yorkshire where I remained for 9 months. I was allowed to go home on an excuse and I refused to return.
Later I was evacuated for a second time to a small village in the Wolds when the bombing of Hull became heavy. This time I stayed away for nearly three years. I hated it, especially the second time. Both times I was alone, no other evacuee with me. The experience gave me emotional scars and was a key factor in my childhood and later life.
Looking back I see how my life was influenced by my presence in that second village. In retrospect one can clearly see the junctions where decisions were taken which led to the next crossroad.
I was born illegitimate in a working class family and never knew my father, though I did see him in passing twice. I have never felt the lack of his presence but it did make me sensitive about myself when I later realized the social implications, both for myself and my mother.
The war years were educational in many ways, particularly for children of my age, because we were witnessing and living in a period of great social change, though obviously one did not appreciate it at the time. Social barriers were being broken down and moral values changing. It has been observed by others more erudite than myself, that everybody (with some exceptions)
were together facing the difficulties and dangers of civilians in modern warfare for the first time in the country's history. Nothing would ever be the same again; whether it's better or worse than what it replaced is for social historians to judge. The immediate post-war years were exciting because change was something almost tangible. It opened up prospects which members of the working classes had never dreamed of.
Because of those war years. miserable as they were at the time, I siezed opportunities; life opened up for me, not always without pain or regrets. I met someone who was my partner for nearly 40 years, someone who taught me social niceties which were even then still relevant. Because of him I achieved great things.
I am now a retired former BBC producer and have just gained a BA (honours) degree at the OU after 6 years of study over 8 years. I left school at 14 without any qualifications so you can imagine my delight at gaining academic recognition.