Sam Burton, 2 Shillington Road Born 1930. Started school in 1935
Talking of coming of the evacuees :- “I don’t remember any vandalism until they came. For instance, on a Sunday after Chapel we always went for a walk. When they came, we took some along with us, but every telephone pole we came to, they used stones to break the porcelain wire connectors. After that I wouldn’t got with them.
We had some fights of course; but if they were chasing after us, we always ran into the nettles on Toot Hill, because we wore “bib and brace overalls” so we didn’t get stung. Coming after us in their shorts and sandals, they did!
But we did make friends and one or two stayed on in the village (even after the war), even after most went back to London.“I remember gas mask drill and air raid practices. We had to parade round the playground with gas marks on. (What a pity there’s no photograph of that!)“I was afraid of the H.M – most people were. If he was telling you off and started twisting his wedding ring around his finger, you could guarantee you were going to get a clout – and sure enough he would land you a four penny one!“We went herb picking for Ransome’s. We gathered poppy petals, nettles, rosehips, elderflowers and dandelion roots. They were weighed – you got a huge bag of poppy petals and it hardly weighed anything!”“There were quite a lot of air raid warnings and we sat under our desks in school.”“When the first doodlebug dropped in Wood Lane, I grabbed my brother’s Wellingtons and ran to have a look and to collect a bit of bomb. They were 2 sizes too big so I was near losing them, but I got there before my brother, even though he came after me.“We played rounders and sometimes cricket – we didn’t have football, because there was no man to take it. We had a Sports Day and at Christmas we always did a concert and had a marvellous Christmas party – I don’t know where all the food can have come from in those days of rationing.”