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Question about WW2 evacuees in Neston

Published: 11th January 2009 13:57

 A question from a site visitor - do you have any information that would help?

"I was evacuated to Neston with my 2 brothers during World War II.

"We came to Neston by train from Watford Junction, The train was pretty full. I remember that we were housed the first night in a village or church hall where we were fed and watered before being bundled next morning into cars and escorted by volunteers, we were then driven around to look for people to take us in.

"I am trying to find records to find the dates when we arrived and left to return to London. Is anyone able to suggest where I might search in order to find this info? Thank you."

Tony Reynolds.

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Rob Ward
At 18:09 on 12th January 2009, Rob Ward commented:
in the book 'Neston at War', by Burton and Neston History Society, Chapter 2 written by the late Geoffrey Place, is called Evacuees and Refugees. Three waves of children came to Neston: from Wallasey in 1939, from Guernsey in 1940, and from London in 1944, from July onwards. Presumably Tony Reynolds would have come in 1944.
Katie Robson
At 17:29 on 13th January 2009, Katie Robson responded:
Our correspondent, Tony Reynolds, has supplied some more information. Hopefully this may jog some memories?:

"The lady that my younger brother and I stayed with was Mrs Smith she had a young child. Her husband was an RAF airgunner, we only saw him a few times as he was away fighting the war. My elder brother stayed at a different address a few houses away. Something in the back of my mind tells me that the house was on Leighton Road. The railway on a raised embankment ran across the back of the houses just a short way from the rear garden, we used to play along the bottom of the embankment. The house was terraced and built on a spur road which was a dead end section running parallel to the main road. There was a bridge nearby where the trains crossed over the road. The area was somewhat wooded ,I remember that we were required to take Hessian sacks and fill them with wood chippings that had been left from the cut trees, these were for fire wood which we had to fill before tea time. Mr Smith was my hero, so smart in his air force uniform, a nice man, it was probably him that inspired me to join the RAF as a boy apprentice when I reached the age of 15 , but that's another story. We were taken care of before being billeted by WVS ladies, who being so meticulous must have kept records.

Thank you again."
Katie Robson
At 22:11 on 4th March 2009, Katie Robson responded:
Here's another email received from a site visitor who was evacuated to the area:

"I have just read your “About CH64” website, and like Tony Reynolds, I too was evacuated with my sister, to Parkgate in 1944. I was then living in Harrow, so we may well have travelled on the same train from Watford Junction! I have been back several times, Parkgate hasn’t changed all that much, except the marshland is much bigger and there are no fishing boats. We stayed with Mrs. Barker in Manorial Drive. I tried to find the house recently (just past the bend by the Cricket Ground on the right) but without any luck. It may have been demolished, as there are several newish looking houses. I can remember walking to school in Neston, but again cannot find any trace of it. The school was rather small, about two classrooms, with a large skylight, as I remember. I was only seven at the time, so the memory may not be quite accurate. There was a “dummy aerodrome” on the sands a mile or so south along the Dee, a decoy for enemy bombers I was told. It seems odd that children were evacuated from one target area in north London to another close to the Mersey Docks. Mrs. Barker had a daughter about my age named Hannah? and next door was a boy named Godfrey? I think.. My sister and I were cared for very well. We had lots of outings including visiting Chester Zoo, Liverpool via paddle steamer from Birkenhead, the Overhead Railway along the docks was particularly exciting. Sad it’s been demolished. Then to New Brighton, along the Coast to Hoylake Marina and even to north Wales. I too would apreciate any help on tracing anyone with information. It would be nice after all these years, just to thank any relatives of Mrs. Barker and others who were so kind to my sister and myself. Best wishes to all Parkgate Residents. Brian Russell. "
Katie Robson
At 20:51 on 11th March 2009, Katie Robson responded:
For the benefit of other site visitors who may happen upon this thread...one of our regular contributors, Andy Williams, has very kindly sent Brian, via email, copies of some old picture postcards he has of the area, to help Brian remember the area he stayed in.

At some point Andy is hoping to upload some of these pictures onto the website - aren't you Andy??? ;-)
andy w
At 09:42 on 12th March 2009, andy w commented:
Sorry carrie i've got a memory like a sieve,yes i have scanned them all in ,some of them have copyright written on them so i will remove them and send the rest on to you,will hopefully bring back some memories for a few people on here.Incidently if anyone wants to take pictures of belmont cottage before it is demolished they start on it on monday,this is one part of the changes in neston i was not in favour of.
Katie Robson
At 16:19 on 12th March 2009, Katie Robson responded:
Thanks Andy.

I've just added a new section to the site to contain information and photos relating to the Neston Town Centre Redevelopment.

Click on "Villages in CH64" to find the section. We warmly welcome photographs from members of the community.
null n
At 14:53 on 18th March 2009, null n commented:
Hi Carrie It seems only sensible to register with your web site. Thank you so much for the information that I have received from your correspondents as well as yourself. Your web site is fantastic. I have attempted on more than one occasion to seek information re billeting officer records from Cheshire county council, their response however has not proved helpful. The assistance from your web site [Real People] is interesting and much more helpful than you can imagine. Thanks to the correspondent that advised about the book "Neston at War" I have at last obtained a copy which I have found to be very informative, an excellent publication, well done Burton & Neston history society.
I note the correspondence from Brian Russell and feel sure that we did travel on the same train,we came from the same area and probably drank milk from the same churn that the kind ladies on the train hauled around so that we all had a drink. My brothers and I also walked to school,probably the same one. I am now fairly sure that I was billeted on Leighton road very close to the brick works. I wonder if the same works are still there and indeed the very house, I remember that access to the brick works from the road was through an archway under the railway.
Thank you so much again, an further information or help in retracing my boyhood steps will be most gratefully received
Best wishes. Tony R.

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