NOSTALGIA: As evacuees we learnt to budget

The Westmorland Gazette: Greta Romaine Greta Romaine

Greta Romaine, nee Clark, who was evacuated with cousin June to Natland Mill Beck, Kendal, to live with her Auntie Olive, recalls contented times


Cousin June and I were wartime evacuees from aged eight-13 and in five years Auntie had quite a responsibility looking after us and keeping us well and happy.

Our parents wrote to us each week and we had to sit down and reply. We were always doing adventurous things so our letters were re-assuring.

My mother would sometimes make me a nice dress to send with little treats for birthdays and Christmas.

We were sent a little pocket money each week – just enough for coins in the church collection box on Sundays and our Friday treat to the cinema with chips in newspaper bought on the walk home.

Possible left over money was kept in the sideboard top drawer and labelled, so we learnt to budget our money at an early age.

We were resourceful and made our dolls’ houses from cardboard boxes and its furniture from matchboxes. We had no wish for anything more.

Family made us warm jumpers as our knitting skills left a lot to be desired. We learnt to knit, sew and darn at school so we tried to help.

With no TV or phones we listened to the ‘wireless’ and heard the news daily to follow the advancement of our troops.

We were allowed to stay up on Mondays to hear the entertaining ‘Monday Night at Eight’ as a treat.


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