Another Letter from Bedfordshire
After we moved to Kings Avenue, life for our family improved a great deal, especially for our Mother, no more to light on Mondays. no more tin bath, and a toilet across the yard. War soon arrived and we all suffered a harrowing time in Rye, I remember going down to the Mint to fetch our gas-masks. I should think the boxes became the start of graffiti – the things we wrote on them! We didn’t go to school for many weeks, many having gone to Bedford.
Last year we took Joyce Winstanley to Renhold where she stayed as a young evacuee. A local man directed us to a house whose occupants were local from birth. Joyce told the man of the house she could only remember one name from school there. Imagine our shock when he said “I am that boy”.
Like a lot of people from Rye, we were evacuated to Chard in Somerset. We arrived about midnight and slept on the town hall floor. The next day they billeted us at a boys boarding school, (the boys were on holiday).
A notice above the beds in the dormitory was a great source of amusement to my Dad. It started, IF YOU NEED A MISTRESS IN THE NIGHT – RING THE BELL. However Chard did not provide us with many laughs, although we were put in a nice house afterwards. We were glad to leave after about 12 months.
The raids continued of course. Our dog always tried to beat us into our Morrison table shelter! After we moved to Winchelsea Road in 1947, life became a little more normal, that is, until the day I set fire to the house with a Swan Vesta match, and all through smoking. I haven’t smoked for 15 years thank goodness neither has Geoff.
We are now in our 49th year of marriage and as I said before, Bedfordshire has been good to us, we have always been in work and also ran our own band for many years. Geoff is a darned good drummer, and I became a fair organist. We took a pub near Wisbeech for 3 years but it was spoiled by our tragedy in 1975. Our opinion still stands that hanging is a fit punishment for murder, where proven. However Nicks killer hung himself in prison in 1992, so we still got justice.
We both did many years Psychiatric nursing and the tales we could tell would warrant a book on its own. “Rye’s Own” will come to our household for many years to come, we hope. How nice it was to see Geoffs cousins Colin, Phil and Jean in the December issue. Dave Browns letter (November issue) also gave us a good laugh . Geoff teased me for days, but then he always was a tease. He once pulled my hair in the Boreham’s fish and chip shop in the Mint. Leonard Boreham obviously disapproved and said to him – “One day Jack you will meet your match”. He did Leonard – he did!
We both hope to come to Rye next year.
Rona M Sheridan
Rye’s Own February 2002 (Copies still available Tel. 01303 814 874)
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