Today we were extremely lucky to have a visit from one of Kiera's relatives, Norman who was evacuated during the Second World War. We were able to find out about the past through asking questions, of which we had many.
Here are some of the questions we asked and some of the things we found out.
We would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Norman for giving up his time to visit us and share his experiences as an evacuee.
Georgia: What food did you take?
Norman: We didn't know what was going on. I was just 9. We were walked to the railway station in Newcastle and sent away. We were taken away from our mam, dad and everything we knew. The government decided to take all of the children to Carlisle, in the country. I can't remember taking any food but I can remember we each got a tin box with biscuits and chocolate in. They were supposed to be rations but they were gone by Hexham.
Megan: What else did you take with you?
Norman: a gas mask which had to go with you wherever you went. Grown ups got very annoyed if you didn't take that everywhere. Not much is the answer.
Lucy: Do you think the evacuees were a good idea or not?
Norman: That depends. If you were an evacuee you were frightened because you didn't know where you were going. However, it was a good idea to get us out of danger because the bombers wouldn't have as much fuel to get further into the country.
Kiera: What was your favourite part of the evacuation.
Norman: Coming back. Corbridge was nice and I was spoilt by the people looking after me. I got treats and it was a nice house but coming back was the best bit. It's nice coming back home.
Jamie: Was there anyone with you,
Norman: Yes, there was a lad called Alan who I hated because he made life horrible for me. Alan had his brother and his mother near us. He made my life a misery. I've remembered his name for over 70 years.
Lola: when you were evacuated, what happened to your family?
Norman: they stayed, my father worked in the hospital and my mam in What is now John Lewis.
Lucy: Did you learn anything new when evacuated?
Norman: yes, milking a cow. I had to milk one cow every morning on the way to school. Sometimes the cow would kick the milk over and I'd have to start again. I'd have to milk it again when I got back from school. I also learnt how to ride a horse.
Kate: When you were evacuated, were the family nice?
Norman: The first family were not they were farmers who bred horses. They had a big house. I remember being told not to play the piano because evacuees don't do that. We weren't allowed to mix with the rest of the family.
My second evacuation was lovely, like being at home with my mam and dad?
Millie: When you came back had any houses been bombed?
Norman: Yes. Lots. The station was bombed one night. The goods station. My dad took me there after the bombing. There was lots of flour mixed with water, covering the streets in a horrible smelling sticky paste. Lots of houses were hit as well. Bombs were dropped on West road. A warning went (called a siren) which was frightening. When we heard it, you had to get in a shelter. We didn't have one so had to go under the stairs. We used to sit in there and listen to the bombers and the bombs which made a whistling sound in the air. It was very very frightening.
Libby: Did you see any friends on the train or did you make any new friends.
Norman: yes my whole class travelled together but unfortunately I was sent to the farm with Alan. Unfortunately I didn't know a lot of people.
Tom: What was it like on the train?
Norman: Mucky. They weren't trains like today, they were noisy with lots of smoke, the seats were so dirty that when you sat down there was a puff of dirt. On old trains the windows opened so wide you could stick your head out. Smoke coke easily get into the train.
Faye: Did you see a German plane?
Norman: not immediately. The war starters September 3rd 1939. People expected the war to be over by Christmas. As the war continued, we did see German bombers, they weren't a pretty sight. You knew the planes were out to get you; to kill you.
Kieran: Did you have any relatives fighting in the war?
Norman: yes. Quite a few. I hold a grown up cousin who came over from anew Zealand. He was a fighter pilot. He took me to the science museum in Newcastle, there was a model of a plane and he showed me how everything worked. He flew a plane called a mosquito which was shot down 6 months later.
Sophie: Did you ever use a gas mask?
Norman: we had practices but never for real. We had to know how to put them on quickly because it was tricky. They were rubber and you felt enclosed. The bit you looked out of steamed up. Not a nice experience.
Jacob: did you or any of your friends have a diary?
Norman: unfortunately no. Diaries are a good thing to have but I didn't keep one. I should have done and it would have been interesting.