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Host families interviewed

Context

For many children evacuation provided their first real contact with the countryside.

Many children helped with work, for example on farms.

The experience was often a complete contrast to life in the city and some children expressed fear of farm animals that they had never seen before.

Life was not necessarily any easier in the countryside, but food was usually less scarce and many children enjoyed more physical exercise than previously.

This is another interview from September 1939 and the BBC programme 'We have been evacuated'. As you'll hear, chips were as popular then as they are today!

Transcript

'I've been married 16 years with no children of my own...and I'm very glad to have these two girls...for I've always longed for two...and we've been over the hills, rambling and running about...and we have a girl, Frances, their friend with them, she comes and goes out with us...and on Sunday tea we had a party for them...Blind Man's Bluff and Hide and Seek...all the games we could think of...and I think they had a grand time. They're here with me now and they're thinking of going swinging this afternoon...enjoying their selves.'

'What does your husband think about it?'

'Oh he's glad to have them - he's just thrilled at having them. And he says he hopes they stay forever.'

And here's another housewife from the same town. She has two children of her own but she's no less ready to welcome the newcomers...

'I ask them what they'd like...and they just say that as long as it's home-cooked food they're satisfied...they've had a cooked dinner each day...I asked each of them yesterday what they'd like for tea and they said 'Oh anything' and I said 'Do you like home-made chips?' and they said 'Yes we love them!' They both had a second helping of them and enjoyed them!

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