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Evacuees in World War 2: Evacuees from Manchester interviewed

Context

The Evacuation was an extraordinary achievement, but it was certainly not without problems. Hundreds of children arrived in the wrong places and in some areas there were insufficient host families to look after all the children.

Then there was the emotional trauma experienced by many children, which often began when they were lined up in the local village hall for selection.

Thereafter evacuee children had contrasting experiences: some enjoyed happy, care-free times with a second family. But for others evacuation remained a painful experience and, for some, a time of mistreatment.

Olive Shapley of the BBC interviewed these evacuees near Manchester for a programme broadcast in September 1939 called 'We have been evacuated'.

Transcript

'Now what about you two...what's your name?'
'Cynthia Green.'
'And you're...?'
'Francis Ravenscroft.'
'And you were both evacuated on...?'
'September the first.'
'You know about all that! How are you liking it? What do you think of it all?'
'I think it's very nice, we've been taken into the homes of the people and made very homely on the first night...'
'Everybody speaks to you.'
'Is it very different from town life do you think?'
'Oh yes, oh yes, it's a lot nicer than the town life...the country air's a lot different than the town air and...a lot nicer in the country than in town...especially Manchester!'
'You don't feel homesick or anything?'
'No! Not got a chance for that!'

'Hello Mum and Dad. Don't get worried about us...we're all very happy here and I don't think anybody wants to go home yet. We go on the moors nearly every night and watch all the cows...and sheep...grazing...and the river flowing...we're quite near it now. And we go playing football on the football pitch...and watch the colliery. Last week the boys and girls had a match of netball...and there was 14 girls and three boys...but the girls won us!'

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