Evacuation During Ww2 - a Memory of Westmill.
I was a student at the Norwood Technical Institute which was evacuated to Coles Hill House, Westmill. The house itself belonged to a military officer, and I guess it was taken over for evacuees. At the time I was there, there were 48 girls, a Head mistress, and I think about 4 teachers, a Matron and an Assistant Matron. Being during the war, we were all allocated our rations and the schooling consisted of our lessons, which were - cookery, our meals, housework, general upkeep of the house, gardening, growing vegetables, etc. We also kept chickens, rabbits and a goat (for milk) This experience was invaluable in later life as the staff were quite strict that everything should be done "properly". I understand that the N.T.A. is no longer in existence, now called South London College. I often think of those days and the companionship of the other students. Each year we used to host a Garden Party for the local residents, which was a lot of fun. The only physical sign of the war was when they phoned from the village to say that there was an air raid siren in progress. I have visited the house quite a few years ago, and the owners were very kind and let me roam through the house. It hadn't changed that much but it sure bought back memories of midnight feasts and other things that we managed to get up to. I still remember quite a few of the girl's names, but have not been in touch with anyone since leaving.
A memory shared by on Sep 19th, 2011. Send Eileen Griss (Nee Collier)E a message
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