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Memories from 1941-45 of a fellow evacuee!
As a pupil from 1941 - 1945 I have often
wondered whether I was a pupil of Kilburn Grammar School or Willesden
County as I joined from Grendon Village School, Northampton. I
came to Grendon in 1939 at eleven years of age with my mother and sisters
and I understood I got what was then called a 'free place' at one of the
schools. I travelled in by bus every day [that was always good
fun] with my two sisters who were at the Notre Dame Convent.
I was fascinated to read the article by M.W.K. in the 1950 magazine and it
certainly brought back memories, mostly happy! Having left in
1945 I never attended the schools in London, coming back to Kingston to
join the Surrey County Council's Highways Department in Guildford where it
had been evacuated [including my father].
Grendon is a village about 10 miles from Northampton and adjacent to
Castle Ashby. The York Bros. bus left at 7.45 am and arrived in
Northampton around 8.30 after calling at Castle Ashby, Whiston, Cogenhoe
and Little Billing. If we weren't at the bus stop when the bus
arrived somebody would pop up to our house and knock to see if we were
coming; many a time we ate our toast on the bus! When I joined in
1941 the school was still sharing with the Town & County [I think we were
mornings but not sure] so the bus just dropped me off at the building but
when the school moved to Vernon Road, in the latter stages of the war, I
had to walk from the town centre. I still remember damp morning
'cross country' runs [they were actually round the T & C playing fields]
with little pleasure.
When I got my Free Place I understood that I might go to the T & C but it
was full so instead KGS/WCG accepted me. I still have a vague
impression of being interviewed by the Headmaster but can't remember his
name. I suspect I was unique in that I was not officially
evacuated but living as a family in a rented house in the village where we
were treated as locals, so much so that we were invited back to Grendon
1994 for a 'History of Grendon Exhibition'. Both I and my sisters
with our partners went and had a great time meeting people we had not seen
for nearly forty years.
Although being brought up in a village at that time was wonderful it did
mean that I never really socialised with school friends in evenings and at
weekends, which again may be another reason why I didn't keep in contact
plus the fact that they weren't in their homes. I did join Squadron
5F of the ATC but again can't remember if any of the boys were also
members although I would be surprised if they weren't.