BANGOR (Evacuation)

We've finally got around to adding a page to our Site to cover the time spent when the school was evacuated to Bangor in North Wales.  As yet, we only have two items which are shown below.  We realise that some members may not even be aware that the school was evacuated, but then, maybe others may know of people who were actually involved.  In any case, further memories will be very welcome

Please Note:  The following is a copy of a letter has already been printed in our "Letters" Section.  So, here it is again :-.

G. Evans Letter

From: Gerald Evans - ( 1937 - 1943 )


Sent: April 3rd, 2011

Dear Sir,


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)

The following is a reprint from one of the 1940 copies of The Esmeduna Magazine :-

L.C.S.  BANGOR (Evacuation).

When we met for our first assembly after the Easter holidays, the most unobservant could not but notice how our ranks. were thinned. While some forms were not represented at all, not one form was there in· its entirety. More fresh timetables were made out and except for the "Prep." forms at County School, Friar's was the only building in use. New forms were made of the remnants of two or three forms. fierce arguments resulted over the. question of what names the new forms were to bear.

For the first week boys, were returning singly and in groups, to Liverpool, but we soon settled down to work again.  Several facts were soon noticeable. Despite the grouping, the forms were mostly smaller than usual, and the work of both boys and masters was simplified . For the same reason, more personal contacts were possible between boys and masters. There was, too, an air of expectation, since most of us were looking forward to their own return at Whitsuntide. ·A great improvement in the weather showed us the Bangor of last September; the seasons of sweeping wind and rain were over, and we saw a long-lost friend, the sun. In order that we might enjoy to the full, this, and the cormpany of the youth of Bangor. Mr. Kneen kindly relaxed the curfew, making it 9 o'clock. Whether it was the longer evenings or zeal for duty which aroused the Prefects to greater activity, who shall say, but they met and dealt with more customers than ever before this year.

Our smaller numbers made us a more manageable body· for School expeditions, of which two were planned and carried out with great success and enjoyment.

At about ten o'clock one Thursday morning we left Bangor by 'bike' and 'bus, with the promise of a perfect day, for the ascent of Snowdon. We left our transport column at the top of the Llanberis Pass, and took a track whose gentleness led us to expect an easy climb. It was not long before we found our mistake, and began the ascent in earnest. We left the main track and attacked the mountain-side. Panting and perspiring we reached a narrow. track. Slowly advancing, in single file we reached the. end of the gorge. The promised sun had not yet appeared and a damp mist was swirling round us. We scrambled across and up a slope of sliding pieces of rock until we reached the railway track and firmer ground.  A short step took us to the summit which was nearer than we realised. The more adventurous spirits, who had come up by the stiffer Crib Goch route, soon joined us with their leaders (Messrs. Heys, C. L. and J. B. Morgan. )

The mist was lifting rapidly and before we left the peak we were rewarded with a magnificent view of the surrounding country. Small farmsteads, lakes large and small, and the mountains fading away as far as the eye can see, and further. The main body followed the railway track down into Llanberis, where some of us took the opportunity to look at the Falls, a sight well worth seeing. The cyclists went down the way we had come up, and rode back the fifteen miles to Bangor, if more tired, no less happy than the rest of us.

About a week later a somewhat smaller party visited Bethesda Slate Quarries. The guide seemed rather afraid of our numbers, and seemed to develop a violent affection for Mr. Kneen, to whom he gave all his attention.  We saw some of the processes of splitting the slabs of slate and a few of us were permitted to try our hand at the job, with very varying success.  The climax of the afternoon was of course the blast, but its effect was much diminished by distance.  Before leaving we explored the shed where slate is crushed into powder.  The dust and noise were such as few of us had ever experienced.  Our debt of gratitude is indeed great to all those who made these excursions both possible and successful.

Whit-week was upon us almost before we realised it.  On the final Thursday we went into Friar's assembly, where, after prayers, Mr. Kneen, in a short and informal speech presented a cheque to the Headmaster of Friar's in token of our debt to his school and to Bangor, for their kindness to us.  Mr. Williams replied that should the need arise again he would welcome us back, promised to fulfil the condition of using the cheque to purchase a school trophy, and challenged us to an annual football and cricket match with Friars.    The ceremony was soon over but it gave many of us time to realise completely our debt to Friar's School.

On the following day the train drew out of Bangor station, leaving behind about fifty boys (under Mr. Langton), to maintain the tradition of the Collegiate in Bangor.  We wish them the best of luck and hope that circumstances will soon warrant their return.



"Bangor !" - A memory for you; a reality for us. At School we still do the same things. We are late - we forget our prep - we write our theorems - we hear rumours of a Fifth Column led by that engine of war, the Tank, and routed by our French Evacuee. We have even broadcast to the Troops. Once, sometimes twice, a week we have a morning's cricket. We have even raised eleven people and had an uproarious game with the Friar's Fans. It looked good - "Collegiate Strollers" versus "Friar's Fans". It was good when Rossiter bowled out their last five men for nought and gave us a one run victory.

From the Hostel we have heard of galloping dry rot. It seems to have caught them all. Small wonder - Bloddie is in complete control, and what cooking: One of the staff (He came at Whitsun) has already thrown in the towel. He talks of sherry trifle and strawberries with cream. The other is stoic. He can take it, but we wish he wouldn't. It makes him snore. Boys too, have paled at the fare, and sought elsewhere. Brougham runs a private kitchen in the woods, where cats and eels and rabbits and berries all go into the. common pot. G____, too, has a private affair in the woods - but not a kitchen. It has a dog and we see flashes of red through the trees.  They say . . . . One hears . . . . Well, ask Joe."