An evacuee

By Janet Adler

I first came to Kettering as a "baby evacuee" ie with my mother.  We remained for the duration of the war, my father having first been a billeting officer and then called up for active service.   We were first billeted with some people whom I do not remember then with a lovely man called Tom Wright who, as I was so little was to all intents and purposes a surrogate father.  He was a widower and had generously offered his little two up two down house in Green Lane as a haven for evacuees.  After a year or so the bombing was growing worse in London and he was persuaded to take in two more children from a family in Catford (it should have been 3 as two were inseparable twins but there was just not the room and one twin slept with a neighbour).  How my young unexperienced mother coped I do not know.

My memories of that time are somewhat vague - I remember the cattle market (now a car park I believe) and, of course, Wicksteed Park.  After the war we remained in touch with Uncle Tom and visited him at Easter and he with us at Christmas time until his death in 1953.  However, our links remained as my Uncle had a clothes factory in Kettering and his son carried on the business.

That's another story.  I often wonder if the monkey puzzle tree in the front garden of the house in Green Lane is still there!

I have no pictures I'm afraid

This page was added by Janet Adler on 19/11/2008.
Comments about this page

I have currently moved into Green Lane and was researching the area and came accross this lovely story. Its nice to know the history.

By victoria
On 18/12/2008

Janet, We are the children who shared with you!
Jean and twins Maureen and Alan.

Jean 1/11/09

By Jean
On 06/11/2009

I am a historian researching the life of Captain Ellison Miles, USAAF. On Christmas Day 1943, the chaplain of an airbase (possibly Podington) arranged for 50 evacuee children to spend the day with the airmen. Captain Miles became friends with a little boy named Michael Keeling. Michael wrote Captain Miles a lovely thank you letter after Christmas, and Captain Miles told his parents all about their day together in a long letter home. (It seems that Michael was wild about the ice cream made from powdered milk and the American candies!)

If anyone knows Michael Keeling or knows of him, please leave a comment.

By Lee
On 29/04/2013

I was 5 years of age, that would have been 1943 when I had my accident in Wicksteed Park and was in hospital. I remembered having a Shredded Wheat packet given to me at Christmas, with gifts in, which I thought was from the airforce and this confirms it.My treasured possession were a pair of navy blue socks that were in this gift.

By Janet Ireland
On 04/06/2013

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MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council