An Evacuee’s Journey

Source; 13 year old Leslie Jones’s contribution to The Long Marston School Magazine SCOOP, 1940 edition.

Leslie rises early to meet his fellow pupils outside school and they march down the road to Chiswick Town Hall. There are fifteen buses waiting. During the journey, Leslie enjoys seeing other parts of London for the first time, passing Kew Gardens, seeing two aeroplanes with engines roaring outside an aerodrome, joining the North Circular Road, passing Watford before arriving in Berkhamsted.

Once in Berkhamsted the bus driver is told that his destination is a village called Wilstone. Waiting there is a Mister Savage who tells the children that he is Headmaster of the school in the nearby village of Long Marston. He takes Leslie and two other boys in his car to a house just outside that village.

A nice lady called Mrs Lee greets the children and tells them that she has dinner ready; they tuck in to roast beef, cauliflower, potatoes and suet puddings, followed by blackberry and apple pie with custard. Mr Lee then plays cricket with the boys and, after a rest in the sunshine, they go blackberrying. After then collecting eggs and feeding the chickens, their first day in the country is completed by a walk to Astrope and Wilstone, followed by a hearty supper.

Leslie thinks to himself that this is a day that he will remember for many years to come.

There will be more comprehensive coverage of the evacuees’ time in Long Marston in a series of articles to appear on the website shortly.

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