Evacuation

A Memory of Appleby-in-Westmorland

I had lived with my family in Birmingham through part of the Blitz in the Second World War. In January 1941, the firm for which my dad worked moved their head office to Appleby and I well remember the snow was falling as we approached our new home in Bongate Hall where several families lived in the rooms above the offices. The times were both exciting and daunting. I was aged 11 and was starting at a new school, Appleby Grammar - an all boys school in those times. There were many boys from Birmingham and I well remember our First Year Form Master, Mr Boulton trying very hard to understand our 'Brummie' accent, just as we were having problems understanding the Westmerian accent of the local boys. As there were so many evacuees we were housed in almost every hall or room that had space in the town including, The Sands Methodist Hall, the Oddfellows Hall, as well as the Institute etc. We got to know the walk between the school and these halls very well and the bread shop on Battlebarrow called Edmudsons.
I joined the school choir and later played cello in the school orchestra where I remember some very happy days enjoying music.
I was a lazy pupil, but I am deeply grateful for the experience and the patience of a wonderful staff.
As I write these words it is hard to remember that I am now over eighty and much has happened between then and now.
Thank you Appleby - you will always stand out in my memory.

A memory shared by John Goode , on Feb 19th, 2011.

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