Fierce bombing started over again and I was evacuated a second time with the school group to Llanerchymedd, Anglesy, North Wales.
My foster parents were the Prichards who lived at Berthwn, Bridge Street. Mr. Prichard was a miner and they lived rather modestly as blue collar workers. The house was not large but they did take me and my friend, Reggie, to live with them. From their house we could see the flashes from the explosions and anti-aircraft guns in Liverpool. Reggie was not there long because he was a bed wetter, so he was sent home.
Mr. Prichard’s name was Hugh; I don’t remember hers. They had a son, John, who also worked the slate/rock mines. He was exempt from armed service because of a hand injury he had received in the mines.
School was much like before where Liverpool teachers held classes in church facilities. Mr. Eaves, my headmaster from former years came with the group. This is the same Mr. Eaves who gave me swats back in Liverpool a couple years before this. I sometimes hung out with a neer-do-well. One day we were shoplifting some items from a Woolworth’s 5 and 10. The police caught us and we were taken to court. The headmaster, Mr. Eaves, liked me, so he came to rescue us. We were just young kids so the matter was not pursued.
There were so many students, they divided us into morning classes and afternoon classes. One day a student became angry with the teacher and stood up using foul language at her. He was immediately sent back to Liverpool. I was astonished at his disrespect for her, especially because she was so nice.
I must have been in morning class because I remember fondly my days of roaming the Welsh hillsides. Mr. Pritchard had ferrets and hunting dogs with which he would hunt rabbits. I participated in that venture. We would put the ferret in a rabbit hole where it would fight and kill a rabbit. Other rabbits would flee from escape holes. Mr. Pritchard killed them to sell in a meat market in Liverpool. I think the company was Petty and Sons. He gutted them out; he didn’t skin. I used to do that myself but sold my in the village for two shillings a couple. That was my spending money.
In the evening, Mrs. Pritchard would go down to the pub and bring back a beer for Mr. Prichard and a Shandy (a soft drink) for me. We would sit in front of the fire and eat the roasted rabbit.
There was a thug after me. He was a bully who harassed me. One day he came to my house and the Prichards made me go fight him. I don’t know what happened except that I got some bloody knuckles. He didn’t bother me after that.
The Prichards spoke Welsh; consequently I learned some Welsh during my stay there. I now entertain my grandchildren with “Sospan Fach” in Welsh. Our version in English:
The hand of Mary Ann was hurting,
And David in the straw making hay.
The baby in the cradle is crying,
And the cat has scratched little Johnny.
A little saucepan is boiling on the fire,
A big saucepan is boiling on the hearth,
And the cat has scratched little Johnny.
The had me learn scriptures and Welsh songs at the Welsh chapel for which I earned some prizes. Gentle Jesus was one of the songs I remember.
The Prichard’s were quite nice to me and made me feel a part of their home. I remember taking over John’s bed. I don’t remember where he went.
Ahh a better time— I’m telling you— a book!!!
Ahh, back to you. Sweet but too much work and expense. ♥
Agreed but at least written down for the family
Bring out a book Oneta. Nice reading.
Historical fiction with Sammy as main character would be fun. I would want freedom to put words in mouths and set up situation to fit the real characters. But as I told Julie, too much work and expense.
Sometimes truth is more exciting than fiction.
Yes. But you need more than five blogs for a book. I’d like to know more about Reggie. But if I went any further with his story, it would have to be based on what Sammy remembers about his overall behavior and attitude. That would take me into fiction, wouldn’t it?
Same issue I am facing now. Every thing is based on my memory of fifty years back.
Umm-huh. But if we write about fifty years ago, it must be based on memories that might be faulty. We can find that in the newspapers every day!
Yes. So we don’t write?
Great reading. SO pleased you began this journey with us and sharing.
Thanks, Faye. It has been a rewarding experience. I have heard most of the stories but not in a chronological structure. This was nicer, and it has been fun to work it out with Sammy. He has been very cooperative. Sometimes he is not, at least with all the projects I dream up. 😀