Twenty Double Deckers

Both Len and Peter were in the Scouts, so I was used to them getting ready to go to camp, and so it seemed that they were off again.  Dad was busy on the sewing machine making rucksacks out of old white cotton sheets, and then one morning, with their rucksacks on their backs, we all walked up to the shops at Riverview.           

What a strange sight confronted us, double decker buses as far as the eye could see, and it was not scouts because there were kids of all ages there, and girls as well.  I stood on the green painted iron bench by the phone box, and tried to make sense of it all.  There were more kids here than I’d ever seen before, and where were they going?  If it was a Sunday school trip, why wasn’t I in on it?

Len and Peter said goodbye and got on the bus, then with much waving and calling, the buses moved off until the street was quiet and empty.  Then mum and dad turned and silently walked home.  I jumped off the bench and followed, would no one tell me what was going on?

Later I learned it was called evacuation, Len and Peter had evacuated to South Wales to escape the bombs.  What bombs, there hadn’t been any bombs?  This was the phony war.  But wait a minute, if they were evacuating all the school children, what about me?

Well the Open Air School just went on as if there was no war.  Their only concession was an Air Raid Shelter, and tape on the windows.


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