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Wartime In Buckland As I Can Recall

A Memory of Buckland

Om my first day at the little school on the green I carried around my neck a box illustrated with Mickey Mouse. It contained a mask smelling horribly of rubber and talcum chalk.
I was left in tiny classroom dominated by a very 'tall' woman called Miss Owden. A door led into a cloakroom and on into the senior room. This room was dominated by a much smaller woman with shiny flat hair and pale grey eyes. Her name was Miss Euston.
When the warning siren was heard we were collected together and led across the green into the rectory and quickly drilled with the masks and told to crouch down close to the floor. Even at that age I wondered if that could not have been done in the school. But it was a break away from tedium. Nothing more. War seemed to a child very far away from the little paradise of Buckland.
During lunch time two children were picked, given a burlap sack and told to go and gather rabbit food. Some children resented doing this because it meant going without lunch and in their haste to fill the sack they 'padded' it with anything, including thistles. Their reward was a caning.
My favorite place of all was in St Mary's church especially in front of a golden eagle. Being there at Harvest Festival was the most enchanting time for me. I would enter the church through the porch and be dazzled right away by the different vegetables. Also around the altar and even around the base of the beloved golden eagle.
I am in my seventies now but I still have a penchant for travelling back in time to Buckland. Despite the war it was an enchanted place to be. At least to a child.

A memory shared by Tony Westbrook , on Nov 17th, 2010.

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