North Yorkshire primary celebrates its link with wartime evacuees

A SMALL village school which took in 121 wartime evacuees on one day in the 1940s, helped children relive the era today (Monday, June 10).

Baldersby St James CE Primary School, near Thirsk, has been trying to trace anybody who was evacuated to the North Yorkshire school during the war years.

Whilst studying the Second World War, staff had dug out old attendance registers and discovered the school had taken in 121 evacuees in a single day. At the time it had just 30 students and consisted of a single school hall.

Since then, pupils have been researching life of evacuees and village children who shared their homes.

Today (Monday, June 10) the school celebrated its past by holding a 1940s day in the school. Children and teachers dressed up and held a D-Day garden party in the school grounds.

School secretary Fiona Williams, said the children had been given all kinds of experiences of the era, including diving under their desks when air raid sirens were sounded.

She said: “One of our guests is a special lady who celebrates her 92nd birthday today. There’s also a few older people in the village who have memories of those years which they will be sharing with us.”

The children’s parents and grandparents joined them for a 1940s lunch, complete with egg and bacon flan with baked potato and salad, followed by jelly and trifle.

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