Newspapers - 1940s
HAPPY EVACUEES COME TO DERBYSHIRE
DERBYSHIRE gave a warm welcome to the children who arrived in the county yesterday, evacuated from the south-east coast.
Special trains brought 1.600 happy youngsters to Belper from Southend, and nearly 500 arrived at Ripley and 800 at Ashbourne from the same town.
Omnibuses were waiting to take them to the "distributing centres" and soon they were making friends with their guardians in billets in the district. The cheerfulness of the 1,600 children —many still under school age—who arrived at Belper was infectious. Broad smiles and loud chatter and laughter spoke volumes for the happy spirit of the children who have been temporarily separated from their parents, elder brothers, and sisters.
AWAKE SINCE 4 A.M.
Many of the children had just completed their first long train journey, and for some of the younger ones the excitement proved too much, but the enthusiastic reception on their arrival soon made them forget their troubles.
Two special trains were run to transport the children from Southend to Belper, which was the detraining, point for both the urban and rural districts, and private 'buses provided by the Ministry of Transport conveyed the children to the districts in which they are to live.
The first train arrived at Belper shortly after midday, carrying 777 children and a number of teachers and helpers. Of that number 494 were boys from Westcliff Secondary School; who are to be billeted in Belper.
Most of the children who arrived in the first train had been awake since four o'clock. They reported at their school at five o'clock and entrained two hours later. Some of the younger children looked a little weary, but apart from that they seemed happy and content.
Each child carried a large rucksack and gas mask, and many also had small cases. Older children made themselves responsible for the younger ones.
One master to whom I spoke (writes "Telegraph" representative) assured me that the children from his school were perfectly happy and had been looking forward to their visit to Belper. "They are looking on this visit to Helper as a holiday," he said. "They were all very excited on the journey, and although most of them had had very little sleep they spent most of the time looking at the scenery, which is new to many of them."
Apparently the word had gone round at Southend that Derbyshire is not only a county noted for its beautiful scenery, but also sports some good fishing for two boys with the Westcliff School group arrived complete with rods and tackle.
Plans for the reception of the children the station had been well made, although the billeting officials were not told the time of the children's arrival until late on Friday afternoon. Everything passed off without a hitch—-a credit to the organisers and their helpers.
When the train came to a standstill the children filed out carrying their possessions, to take up positions assigned to them on the platform. After being passed by Dr. R. C. Allen, the Medical Officer, they were taken to private 'buses waiting outside the station and then conveyed to the distributing centres before being taken to their new homes.
In some districts the children were provided with light refreshments before they left the distributing centre, but in other places they were taken straight to their new homes.
The happy spirit among the children, particularly the younger ones, soon captured the hearts of those who witnessed their arrival, and many inquiries for boys and girls were made by families who had not previously registered.
Ripley station, which has been closed to passenger traffic for some years, was opened for the arrival of a train of 14 carriages last night. This train brought from Southend 476 evacuees, who will be billeted in the urban district. Their ages range from three to 15 years. All were from Hamstel Schools, except the three-year-olds, who were brought only on the condition that they were accompanied by an elder brother or sister. The children all had gasmasks and most of them carried small cases or cloth bags. Mr. H. Fortescue, headmaster of the school, who had a large rucksack strapped to his back, told a "Telegraph" representative that the children "had been fine" and that the arrangement s both at Southend and Ripley had gone without hitch. Marshalled by policemen and special constables, the evacuees were taken in small batches to the various clearing centres, where they were given tea and afterwards medically examined. Most of them proved to be in an extremely healthy condition, and there were very few who were stated to be unfit for billeting. Omnibuses were used to take the children to Waingroves, Heage, and Ambergate, where they became acquainted with their new guardians.
IN ASHBOURNE AREA
The 800 children who arrived at Ashbourne were met by reception officers, doctors, nurses, Boy Scouts, and Girl Guides. Refreshments awaited them at local elementary schools. More than have been billeted in Ashbourne and the rest have been accommodated in villages nearby. Trent omnibuses took the children to their billets and the arrangements worked smoothly. Altogether 932 children and 86 teachers and helpers were sent into Belper rural district, and were allocated as follows: Alderwasley 22, Shottle 20, South Wingfield 87, Horsley 27, Turnditch 27, Crich 80, Denby 100, Dethick, Lea and Holloway 48, Pentrich 19, Duffield 106, Hazelwood 26, Holbrook 47, Horsley Woodhouse 50, Idridgehay and Alton 28, Kilburn 50, Kirk Langley 45. Mapperley 40, Quarndon 30, Smalley 63. The numbers were made up from the following four schools in Southend and district: Thorpe School, 248, Chalkwell, 414; Southchurch, 81; Fairfax, 189.
So far the alternative' plans for educating the children are not complete, but a "Telegraph" representative was informed at Belper Rural Council offices to-day that discussions with the education authorities were in progress. The children, it was pointed out, would be absorbed into the parish schools as soon as the arrangements were complete.
Children received at Turnditch came from Westcliffe-on-Sea. They had refreshments at the Turnditch and Windley Women's Institute, where they were received by Lady Inglefield and other members of the W.L The billeting officer for Turnditch district was Mr. Herbert Soar, of Station House, Shottle.
FUNERAL OF MRS. R. PLEMING
The funeral of Mrs. Rosina Pleming took place yesterday at Denby Parish Church. She was the wife of the Rev. J. Pleming, Vicar of Mapperley for 25 years. For the last three years the family has been living at Denby Village.
The following members of the family were present: Rev. J. Fleming (husband), Mr. and Mrs. Norman Pleming (son and daughter-in-law). Rev. and Mrs. Percy F. Pleming (son. and daughter-in-law), Mr. Albert E. Pleming (son), Rev. Horace R. Pleming (son). Miss Evelyn M. Pleming. Miss Violet D. Pleming. Mrs. Marjorie Bullock. Miss Rosalie M. Pleming (daughters).
Among those present at the service were: Mrs. George Spencer (Stanley), Dr. and Mrs. Adams (West Hallam), Mrs. F. G. Robinson (Ilkeston), Mr. and Mrs. W. Townsend (Somercotes), Mrs. Taggart (Denby), Mr. N. Horsley (Denby). Mrs. Udall. Mrs. Hobson, Mr. W. Birkin (Mapperley).
EVACUEES TO BE MOVED FROM MAPPERLEY
FOSTER-PARENTS of Southend evacuees, who have been in Mapperley village, near Ilkeston, for about 12 months, have been ordered by Belper Rural Council to give up their charges to-day.
About 20 children are affected.
Mr. G. A. Dawes, Chief Billeting Officer for Belper rural district, told "Telegraph" representative to-day that the children were being sent to other parishes in the area.
WELFARE OF EVACUEES
Recently circumstances had arisen which made it eminently desirable that all children billeted at Mapperley should be removed.
"We are concerned with the welfare of the children, and it is only their interests that are thinking of in this case.
"Their- movement should not, for a single moment, be regarded as any reflection upon any foster-parent in Mapperley.
Children Weep On Leaving
Southend evacuees wept as they left Mapperley village, near Ilkeston, yesterday, after a 12-months stay, for new homes Kirk Langley and Quarndon. They travelled by the service 'bus to Derby, and from there were taken by a special 'bus to their new billets. They were seen off the villagers, the Vicar Mapperley (the Rev. A. E. Swain), and Mr. A. Bancroft, Billeting Officer for Mapperley.
Although Mr. G. A. Dawes, Chief Billeting Officer, has pointed out that the movement of the children should not be regarded as any reflection upon the foster parents at Mapperley, the Rev. A. E. Swain told a "Telegraph" representative: "The children do not want to go and the villagers are not at all pleased, because they feel it is a 'slight' them."
SEAMAN GETS 15 MONTHS
Counsel defending George Sutcliffe (61), seaman, who was sentenced to 15 months' Imprisonment at Derbyshire Assizes yesterday for offences against three young girls at Mapperley, told Mr. Justice Oliver that although he had been torpedoed and mined at sea during this war he was anxious to get back as soon as possible.