On Thursday, children in Classes 4 and 5 arrived at school with a mixture of nerves and excitement running around their tummies. Over the Autumn term we have been studying the events of World War II and the effects these had on the children of Britain. We started the day by walking up to the local Town Hall where we met Mr and Mrs Hanson the Billeting Officers. We made sure we were all labelled up and were provided with our own Ration Book and Identity Cards to carry througout the day. We listened to speeches by Princess Elizabeth and sang some songs before taking part in a gas mask drill.
We then made the short journey down to the train station where we were waved off on the platform by many of our parents and grandparents. The children gained a first hand experience of the feelings and emotions that children during WWII would have felt when they left their parents for safety. On arriving at Hellifield train station, we were greated by our 'pickers' who didn't hang around in picking us. We spent the afternoon getting to know our host families, learning about where we were going to live and the kinds of things we would be doing when we got there, before writing postcards home to our own families.
The day was an amazing experience for the children and they thoroughly enjoyed everything it had to offer. We would all like to say a huge thank you to Anthea at the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust for planning and organising the day for us. We would also like to thank Bentham Town Council for the use of the Town Hall, Gerald Townson of Friends of Bentham Station, Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership, Northern (Aviva Rail North Ltd), Ian Fleming at Yorkshire Dales Community Archives and all the volunteers who helped to make this event possible.