Part of an old map showing a railway station Show image info

Section from Ordnance Survey map of Bath, sheet XIV.5.20, 1885


Written in 2019 by a member of a creative writing class, through a collaboration between Bath Record Office and the St. John’s Foundation.

We were all wearing our coats.
We’d been told it may be a while
A lady pinned a label on me and said don’t lose your gas mask

We were ushered on to a big train with steam
I’d never been on a train before
I saw green fields and cows from the windows
I’d never seen a cow...nor a field.

When we got off, a lady with a clip board met us
She called out the names and grown-ups collected us
My name was called and an elderly couple came forward
They looked nice but different to my Mam

Their house was a Palace ...I was sure of that
They had velvet curtains ...Oh, the feel of soft
I’d been given a colouring book
Don’t colour in it until you are told said the First Lady.
So we put it behind the clock.

My sister ran away
I stayed ...there were eggs for breakfast
And new clothes...brand new.
They said call them Auntie and Uncle
They were very kind but stern.

I was five, so I went to school with the other boys
I always had tea when I came home
We did nice things
I had a garden to play in and Uncle made toys
Auntie made good cakes

The war ended
I didn’t go home
No one called
So I stayed

At fourteen my parents wanted me back
Boys could get jobs then
I didn’t want to go
So I ran away
Uncle made it all right
So Mam and Da went away

I stayed on at school and then went to work
First I was an apprentice
Then I was an Engineer
I played football and tennis
I was in the local team

My life was great
I had a girlfriend
She was the Carnival Queen
She too was an evacuee
Neither of us had gone back

Anon, February 2019