Geoffrey Smith

An Evacuee’s Experience

During 1941 my husband Geoffrey Smith and his older brother Walter were evacuated to Ullenhall. He was not part of an official scheme for evacuation. It appears that his mother answered an advert in the newspaper offering a place for two children. His mother took him to Ullenhall by train. They were later joined by the other ‘vaccies’. My husband & his brother were living in Tyseley, Birmingham & they attended Yarnfield Rd School in Tyseley before being evacuated.

They were billeted with a Mrs James at White Pump Cottages, White Pump Lane. The cottage they were in was one of a pair. Mrs James rented the cottage from a Mr Cox (a farmer) for 1 shilling and six pence per week. She also paid the rent of the cottage next door so some of her ‘vaccies’ could sleep there. Two other brothers, Stanley Dilkes and his brother, lived there as well. They came from Sparkbrook in Birmingham. Two sisters Shirley & Gillian Lewis from Yardley, Birmingham lived there. The girls slept next door. Mr & Mrs James had three children of their own.

My husband recalls fetching milk from Mr Cox the farmer who was the owner of the cottage. He thinks the Bakery shop by the village hall was run by Cotterills. A petrol garage by the school was run by the proprietor Mr Morgan. The Post Office by Roberts. Another shop was run by either Impey or Wimpy.

A gentleman by the name of Roberts worked repairing roads but also cut the boys’ hair at a cost of 6d a cut!

He recalls a local schoolgirl by the name of Jean Summers, and two local boys Thomas Lamb and Robert Lake.

They came home before the end of the war. My husband enjoyed village life & developed a lasting love for the countryside as a result of his stay.