Issue: July 2019
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Next deadline: August 29


Written by
Published on January 2018

(1939) Middlesbrough was, and still is, a large port on the east coast of England.  It has important iron and steel plants, docks for seagoing ships and repair facilities for ships if the need arises.  It also has a huge industrial chemical plant in the area.  It is, therefore, a good target for enemy bombers.  All was quiet for a time, then one dark night the siren on top of the church started wailing.   This meant the enemy was on the way.    My Mum and Dad led my three sisters and I down to the shelter.  It was cold and dark.  No street lights as they had all been switched out for the duration of the war.  If you had a flashlight you were lucky.  Believe me, it was cold in that shelter. The bombers made a run on our town but did not do much damage.  They were aiming for the local steelworks (didn?t hit much this time).   Early in 1940 the local authorities decided to evacuate many children out into the countryside.  My sister Bessie and I were selected to go but not our other two sisters.  They being more mature and working girls were not eligible.  Within about a week my sister and I were duly labeled with our names, dates of birth and where we lived in Middlesbrough in case we got lost in transit.  We met with others at the railway station and with a tearful wave to Mum we were off to where, we had no idea..  As it turned out we were bussed as well and ended up in a small Yorkshire village called Reighton, well out into the countryside.   Accompanied by teachers we were taken to various hoped-for billeting.   Bessie and I were in separate homes but were quite close to each other.  I was introduced to my new guardians, shown my bedroom and other facilities, then promptly set to work washing up the dishes.  That was just the tip of the iceberg.   I was also shown around the pig pens and told that I would be expected to bring in their food and put it in their troughs.  They were huge pigs!  I'd never seen a live pig up so close, even when I worked as a butcher's boy!   The way they ran up to me when I went in the pen frightened me, and that's not all!   There were rats running around as well.  I was not very happy in my new home and when my Mum came to visit after a couple of weeks I told her and she took my sister and I home.  After about three or four weeks the air raids became more frequent and my parents decided we ought to be evacuated again with the next batch of children.  (<strong>Note</strong>: the line on the photo is pointing out Middlesbrough) 

Editor?s Note:  stay tuned for Part III expected for the July issue!  Ronald was good enough to send us some photos which will be appearing in upcoming issues of this Newsletter.  Unfortunately, there are people in the photos taken in Mount Uniacke upon Ronald's and Bessie's arrival here that we do not have names for and we are hoping that you, the residents of Mount Uniacke, will be able to assist in putting names to the faces.  We will try to get the photos up on the web site this month so people may view/research/name the people.

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