World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                         Marion Jowitt 

Town Farm

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Marion Jowett, Hettie Illingworth, Ernest Illingworth & Mary Eastwood.
Location of story: Nether Poppleton, Nr. York
Background to story: Civilian

                                                                                                                                                           Me (Marion Jowitt) and May Eastwood


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Marion Jowett.

Reading the form given me to take home from school was written, “two barley sugar sticks” for the journey. Please say ‘yes’ Mum I pleaded, little knowing the price I was going to pay for “two barley sugar sticks”. So began the most impressionable journey of my life.

I was staying with my Grandma at Ackworth, reading a long awaited Beano,
the wireless was on. Suddenly Gran said, ”come on lass let’s get you home”. I couldn’t think what I had done wrong, so home to Leeds I went.

The greatest organised evacuation was to begin. Next morning
1st September, with my little case and a prize tin of Gibbs toothpaste, in a little metal box and a gas mask I was taken to Harehills School. There I had a label with ‘Marion Thompson’ written on, put round my neck. This was to become ‘Our Emblem’, it all seemed exciting. I had got my two barley sugar sticks. I spotted some friends, Estelle Vinburgh, Adele Taylor and

Donald Levison, and my best friend Pat. I am going to enjoy this day trip I thought. I was seven years old. I said ‘tara’ to my Mum, she didn’t tell me I was not coming home. We boarded a bus to Crossgate Station where we each were given a carrier. I can only remember a tin of corned beef. The train took us to York. We were then taken by bus to a Chapel at a village called ‘Nether Poppleton’ where we were looked over and picked to go home with someone. I was beginning to panic at this stage, it wasn’t exciting anymore. I had eaten my goodies. The lady who had helped me off the bus had a kind face, so I made my mind up I was going with her. After much coat tugging and pleading she said she would take me. She also took my friend Pat to a friend of hers so that seemed better. So off I went to start a new life at ‘Town Farm’. I was in awe of all the animals and met Uncle Ernest, as I was told to call him, milking the cows. They took me across the yard to show me the toilet which was just a wooden form with a hole in it. I was frightened I would fall through it. We got the water from a pump in the yard. They then showed me my bedroom; I unpacked with tears running down my face, I just wanted to go home. We all met up at school the next day, at Upper Poppleton. I had to walk a mile each day. We were never accepted, they called us Townies. All the evacuees who had come with me were taken back home after four weeks, so I was very lonely but I made friends with a local girl,

Mary Eastwood, who I spent all the three years I was there with. My Mum only visited me twice, I had a bad attack called “St. Vitas Dance”, I was very sad, especially when Vera Lynn sang, “Goodnight children everywhere”.

Auntie Hettie and Uncle Ernest were good people but very strict, I think one of my proudest memories was singing on the school concert, “There will Always be an England”. I can still feel the emotion I felt, whenever I hear it.

I know the evacuation scared me but I kept in touch with Hettie and Ernest until they died. I took my family for many years, they love to see where I spent my young journey but insist “No barley sugar sticks” Mum.