Childhood Memories Of The War Years

I started school in Rolleston at the age of five, this was a big adventure for me.

Our teachers were Miss Jenny Dobson, Mrs Cotton and Miss Redfern. As the war progressed, we at school all helped by collecting newspapers. The more you collected the higher rank you were given sergeant or field marshal, this was very competitive. Each Monday morning the teachers would be waiting for our collection, then we would be told our titles, and if the grades had gone up.

Friday afternoon was our reading class which Miss Dobson always took. She read us lots of lovely stories some of which I can still recall. While this was going on children who could knit were allowed to do so, scarves, balaclavas and socks, all for the men who were in the forces. My mum, who did a lot of knitting, taught me to knit on four needles, so I attempted to knit socks, she always turned the heel for me.

In Rolleston Club dancing classes were held every Thursday after school taught by Mrs Dora Parsons, the piano played by Mrs Maud Welch and all funds went to the Red Cross. We loved this as when we had practised enough a garden party was held to raise more funds, this usually took place on the vicarage lawn, or in the garden of Mrs Welch in Chapel Lane.

The big event of the week was a film, shown in the club room, I think that was a Tuesday night and there was never a spare seat in the house.

Friday night was a big night for most of the villagers, a R.A. F. band used to come to the hall and play for the dancing, a great time was had by all, young and old.

Dad was a local fireman. He used to do the night watch every Friday and Saturday. Their depot was the vicarage, Mr Bagnall was the vicar then. Along Brookside there used to be a small farm owned by the Darrell family, this being the parking place for the American bus which served the soldiers some of their own snacks such as doughnuts, sweets, biscuits and chocolate. If you were around when they came to park you always got the spares or left-overs.

The co-op shop owned by Mr & Mrs Whitfield, again a hive of activity on a Saturday morning when opening at 9am. It was coupon day for sweets, if you spent all of your coupons in one go you had to wait until the next Saturday.

Mrs Joan Littlewood (nee Fisher)

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This site was created by Richard Bush

Last updated: 8 March 2009