September 1st 1939 was the date that changed my future. At 8 years old, for reasons I didn't
understand, my Granda took me to the street next to where I lived. I had a small case and a box
on a string which held a gas mask, not that I knew what it was for.
It was Sunday morning and the buses were being boarded by girls from Elswick Road School.
The seats were wooden, latted, and not very comfortable. We waved to the people on the
pavement, and Granda had tears running down his cheeks, I didn’t know why!
The journey took about an hour and we arrived at a humpy backed bridge and there in front was
a large house, it was our destination - Wallington Hall, the family home of Sir Charles and Lady
As we left the bus, there seemed to be lots of girls all with cases and stringed boxes.
We went to a long building, up some stone steps to a room full of camp beds.
This was our new home it was very exciting but not awesome. My friend and I were next to
each other, and at the end of the room was a curtain behind which there was toilets.
This was the beginning of my stay in this beautiful house. After 2 yrs I returned to Newcastle to
go to Dame Allens Girls School, and I am sure the experience at Wallington Hall set me up for
my future life and gave me the independence that has carried me through to this time. And my
Grand-dad with the tears left me happy memories of my time with him in his garden, picking the
caterpillars out of his cabbages.