Cynthia’s Diary – Evacuation from London to Alfold, September 1939, page 3

They managed to find a spare old fashioned iron bedstead, which they put in the library; also they managed to procure a large crib for Wendy.  Renee was to share the room for me.  We had lots of fun and once in a while got a bunch of candy etc., and had a midnight feast.  The only thing was Renee loved to sing, and would wake me up in the early hours of the morning, after talking far into the night, singing over and over some blues song!

Eventually our parents were informed as to our whereabouts.  So Mummy could finally send me some fresh clothes, and eventually come and visit us.  The Rector and his wife couldn’t seem to get servants to stay, and with such a large house-hold and only a cook and char-woman left, we were all assigned various tasks, such as doing our own personal washing, keeping our rooms tidy etc.  Owing to the abundant supply of flowers, an old maid of whom no one seemed to know much about, and didn’t bother to find out, took on the daily job of picking and arranging flowers.

Once in a while the Rector’s daughters would come down for a visit from London.  They were both attractive looking, one blonde and the other brunette.  The latter looked like Jessie Mathews, the dancer and film star, and knew it, as Renee and I found a bunch of photos of the daughter together with several of the film star.

We finally settled down, attending church morning and afternoon if possible.  The village church was a beautiful little place, right next door; in fact the church graveyard was separated only by a brick wall from Renee’s and my room, which we thought rather spooky.  The Rectory was supposed to be haunted anyway, but our many efforts at routing out the ghosts, did not yield very much.  We used to play a kind of Ouija board and had many messages, but always suspected one another of moving the glass.  Our teacher and his wife informed us, that as they were sleeping in the haunted bedroom, that it must be the ghost who rattled their iron bed-posts.  We were sleeping directly under their room and several times heard a few weird noises in our room.

Renee, Barbara, Cicely, Peggy, Cynthia, Margaret, Wendy, Dorothy at the Rectory

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