Memories of an evacuee

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Last week’s page 3 of Class Act on the Blitz brought back memories of the war years.

Our family lived in Pitsmoor on Carlisle Street East until the Blitz. I was the youngest of three girls, the oldest being seven years older and the middle sister just under two years older.

All three of us were evacuated to Leicestershire in a village called Syston. The oldest two went first and lived with a lovely elderly couple.

I was sent later, having reached four-and-a-half, but to another elderly couple.

When my older sister Sylvia turned 14, she had to return and start working.

Mavis (my middle sister), stayed, but when her time came to return post-war, she didn’t want to leave because she liked it so much and the couple wanted to adopt her.

Mum and dad agreed to her staying if she promised to visit Sheffield occasionally and not be adopted.

As for myself, I stayed until I was nine years old and returned to another home in Andover Street as the old two-up and one-down terrace had been bombed.

I was looked after while I was away, but I can’t say I was very happy – except for the one occasion when my dad came on leave from the RAF and brought me home for a week’s holiday with Mavis.

She returned to Syston and I’d go back at times for school holidays.

Mavis later married a Syston lad, had two boys and a girl, but sadly died aged 33 due to cancer.

The oldest sister to my sorrow passed away last year aged 87. She had two sons.

I’ve written this because there was no mention of evacuees in the article and I pondered how families would react now if such an ordeal was thrust on them.

P Scott

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