I don't want her, she's too ugly!
I lived in Nile Street at the beginning of the war. The people thought that Hitler’s bombers would attack British towns and cities, so to save lives the Government suggested that children should be evacuated to the safer countryside.
The journey was memorable. We were assembled by our teachers at the railway station in Newcastle. Each of us carried a gas mask and a little case of clothes. We all had a sort of luggage label attached to us with our name and address on it. Everybody was crying – mams, dads and kids, but there was a tingle of excitement when we got to Hexham. Here local officials had to find people willing to take us kids in. I was with my sister and brother and an official said to one lady ”Here’s a nice little family for you” and the lady said “I don’t want her, she’s too ugly. That was me; I cried.
Luckily, a farmer and his wife took us in. They were lovely to us. We kept in touch until they died. Life in the country was a bit strange. It was the first time I’d seen chickens, ducks and turkeys. I liked the farm, and after a couple of weeks I was ‘helping’ to milk the cows. Another funny thing was that the farm house had a bathroom and a flush toilet. We’d never seen one before. At first we went to the toilet every five minutes and pulled the chain. It must have looked odd, three little faces peering down the toilet bowl to watch our efforts being flushed away.