Bedford in WW2
Evacuees and other Strangers
It all started in September 1939.Coming along the road was a Billeting Officer followed by hordes of apprehensive and somewhat frightened children, mainly from London, who had tearfully left their parents behind to face a blitz, which seemed a long time coming.
All householders were to declare how many bedrooms were vacant and accordingly my family were given two children and became in a sense, foster parents.
Rosie and Daisy were the ones who came to us, but what my Mother did not know, was that they belonged to a special school for children with health problems. Their school was to be situated at the Goldington Road Rugby ground and the classrooms were in effect in the open air.
The stand to the left of the main gate, only demolished in recent times, was used as a classroom with the desks positioned on the stepped floor of the concourse.
Daisy suffered from Asthma and as I too was an asthmatic my Mother said she could not cope with us both so Daisy was billeted elsewhere.
It all went quite well, but like so many when the air raids failed to materialise, the evacuees drifted back to the East End. Rosie went too.
Later we had a young boy from Owens Schools who used the facilities in the afternoons only, at the Bedford Modern School.
Eventually, we became home to a number of young women who worked at Bletchley Park.
Their hours were often anti social as the work entailed 24 hour manning and they sometimes walked to St John's Station as early as five o'clock in the morning. Their hours were often anti -social as the work entai"eo(
WAAF, WRNS and civilians staffed the Park and we had all of these services billeted with us at various times. It was not just in Bedford but towns such as Bicester and Buckingham, which housed the thousands, who worked at the Park.
Bletchley itself at that time was little more than a hamlet.