Evacuated to the countryside as a child, 1939
© Sylvia Hart
In the spring of 1939, parents were invited to a meeting at Firshill school to discuss the evacuation of children in the event of war. My parents decided that my sister and I would be evacuated. On the morning of the1st of September that year we said goodbye to them and went to school where we then boarded a special tram that took us to the station. We had luggage labels pinned to our coats and wore purple armbands. Children from other schools were also on that train. We arrived at Quorn and Woodhouse station in Leicestershire and were taken by bus to the village of Mountsorrel. We were given a meal in the Working Men's Club and a brown paper carrier bag with various goodies (ginger biscuits and a tin of corned beef is all I can remember) to take to our new homes. My sister and I were chosen by a very nice couple, Mr and Mrs Goodman, and taken off through the village to their house. We were so lucky to be with people who really looked after us and made us happy. They even told our parents that, if anything happened to them, they would adopt us.
At first we attended the village school but later we were found rooms at the Baptist Chapel with our own teachers from Firshill. Numbers gradually diminished as children went home. My sister left at Easter 1940 but I stayed on until August. The first bomb was dropped on Sheffield the night I returned.
After the Blitz on Sheffield (12 and 15 December, 1940) we didn't go to school for some weeks and then only from 11.00am to 3.00pm. We had to carry our gas masks wherever we went and were sent home from school if we forgot them. I shall never forget how terribly frightened I was when we had to go to be fitted with them, I was only eight years old.
Written by Sylvia Hart (nee Salt), November 2006.