Evacuees

evacuees.pngIn 1938 the government, due to the forthcoming threat of heavy bombing raids, set in motion plans for the evacuation of children from Britain’s large urban towns and cities.  Reception centres were set up in rural areas of Britain, where there was less risk of bombing raids, in order to receive the evacuees. In towns local authorities were made responsible for organising the billeting of the evacuees and volunteers were recruited to take the evacuated children (and families) into their homes. In 1940, due to heavy bombing in London, known as the Blitz, large numbers of people were evacuated to rural areas of Britain, including Marsden.


The journey from London, by train, seemed to take a very long time and we were very tired when we finally arrived at Huddersfield railway station. We went to Dean House near Holmfirth I was so pleased to be sleeping in a bed because it felt a long time since I had done that I lay awake in bed while the other evacuees slept. Pat

Peggy.jpgThe Mayor of Huddersfield was on the railway platform to meet all the evacuees from London. There were also women with clipboards at the station whose job was to allocate accommodation to all the evacuees from London. We stayed at Dean House for three days before being dished out to stay with people in Marsden. The family was split up, I went to stay with Mrs Field at Lane Ings, she was very kind to me. Peggy

Our first family home here was up Chain Road it was one down and two up. I used to go up the moors and get the spring water about two hundred yards away. You were very sparing with your water, there were five of us so we had stand up washes. We’d come from a house with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom and toilet. It was a trauma.  Being a child I thought I’d rather be in the [air raid] shelter. We went in the shelter every night at seven [in London] oh yes it was a way of life.  We never used to think about the war here, well we knew it was going on we listened to the wireless, but it never affected us. I mean after having bombs over you every night, to come up here to nothing you sort of felt cushioned. It didn’t affect us. It was the trauma of coming up here that was the worst although everybody was nice and welcomed you it was still like coming across to the other side of the world really. Peggy