Cynthia’s Diary – Story of evacuation from London to Alfold, 1939, Page 2

Cynthia and baby sister Wendy at the Rectory, 1939

Page 2

committee began sorting out the children to be billeted with the local inhabitants.  I waited and waited, until just Wendy and myself were left.  We then learned we were to be billeted at the Rectory with my school-teacher and his wife.  I had seen the Rector pacing up and down, and heard him saying something about they were rather in a muddle, having just arrived back from their holidays in France.  Anyhow off we went.  The Rectory was a huge rambling place, with a beautiful garden and orchard.  We learnt later that a former minister of the church who had resided there years before had planted an apple or pear tree for every child his wife bore.  The result an orchard of 22 trees!  I was asked to wait in the lounge with Wendy.  As I stood there in the middle of the floor, and looked slowly around ending up looking at Wendy’s and my reflection in the mirror over the fire-place, I suddenly felt lonely, lost and depressed.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  What a pitiful looking sight we were.  Footsteps sounded along the hall, and I blinked back the tears, and almost tripped over a moth-eaten looking tiger rug, which Wendy didn’t like at all.  They showed us to a cosy looking little bedroom.  Then Wendy started to howl, she wanted to go home.  We had been told to bring only the absolute necessities.  As my Mother was working in a tobacco and sweet shop, it was left to little old me to pack our bags.  The results being, I didn’t have another thing to wear for either of us, and no night-clothes.  What an unpractical dreamer.  Mrs. B., the teachers wife bought some flannelette and made Wendy some night-gowns.  Later in the day more children were brought to the Rectory:  Dorothy and Margaret, 10 year old twins, and Renee from my school, which made me feel a little better.  The next day, we awoke to the twittering of birds, and wonderful country air.  A young parson’s wife and 2 year old son arrived to take up residence, where-upon I was removed from my cute little bedroom.

Dennis, Eileen, Kathleen, Phyllis, Louis, Dorothy, Margaret, 1939

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