Please Note: The following letter was sent in as a reply to a Request that was published here for memories of the Evacuation to Banger, North Wales, in the early forties. Further memories will be very welcome. With sufficient response, we intend to put the whole set in a separate section.
G. Evans Letter
From: Gerald Evans - ( 1937 - 1943 )
Sent: April 3rd, 2011
I WAS AN EVACUEE - SECOND WORLD WAR - 1939 to 1945
Some time immediately after the announcement of hostilities with Nazis Germany, it was deemed prudent to evacuate schoolchildren to a safer place rather than remaining in Liverpool. Those affected, I seem to recall, were schools within the Inner City and having Queens Drive as the boundary.
For the Collegiate, Bangor, North Wales, was the place chosen. So off we went by train, complete with gas masks, limited possessions and identity papers. I was in a third form.
I recall waiting `in line` at Bangor with due apprehensiveness for me and my fellow schoolmates to be allocated to foster parents. It was not very nice standing there like sheep at a livestock market, and especially for me being a quiet child.
Eventually I was allocated to a family having a multi-storey house and I recall living in the main on a diet of fish and chips with tapioca for afters. I did not stay there too long, being moved on (with another boy) to different foster parents, namely, Mr. and Mrs. Parry, who did not have a family of their own. They looked after us well.
Mr.Parry was a bus/coach driver and he owned a Morris Minor car. On a few occasions they took us in their car to visit relatives of theirs, who lived in a cottage further west along the coast. Although Mr. and Mrs. Parry were bilingual (English/Welsh), their relatives spoke only Welsh. Consequently, as the conversation was in Welsh, my friend and I had no idea what the others were talking about - so we just sat there like motionless puppets. However, the home made scones and Welsh farmhouse butter were good. All the illumination in the cottage was by oil lamps.
Education was difficult. The Collegiate School had to share school premises with the Bangor pupils of Friars School. The boys from Friars School had lessons in the mornings and we had afternoon sessions. Our Education, therefore, was somewhat fragmented.
In the mornings I do not recall much organised activity. We appeared to be left to our own devices. This usually involved playing football - in our every day clothes. Mooching about the main shopping area was another pre-occupation, including visits to the new Woolworths shop.. Now and then, to break the monotony, we did a bit of fishing off the Pier - accomplished with a length of cotton and a bent pin for the hook. We caught baby fish but I do not recall what they were.
Some time later,to ease the situation, the lower school boys were transferred to Llanfairfechan. we were billeted in big multi-storey houses, with about twelve to fifteen boys to each house. I think that some houses had a school master with them - ours was the last house on the line and was without a master. Consequently, after the evening meal, bedlam was the routine.Pillow fights were the usual sport with an occasional pillow going through a window.
At least, at Llanfairfechan, the education was somewhat better.
Sometime later and following popular parental demand, the School returned to Liverpool. Shaw Street was a welcome sight. We knew we were home when one caught the whiff of sulfuretted hydrogen coming from the Chemistry Laboratory on the ground floor.
Ironically, sometime after the School had returned to Liverpool, the German High Command decided to bomb the City and we had the May blitz to contend with. But that`s another story.
That`s the lot. I am now in my mid eighties and the recall is somewhat limited.
Gerald Evans 1937 - 1943 (first two years in Preparatory School)