Malhamdale Local History Group
The Hoare children, Nick and Annetta Hoare, friend Pauline Harris, Barbara and Noel Hoare, came with their mother from Liverpool.
Memories of Barbara Purcell (nee Hoare) - An Evacuee
In 1940 my family lived at South View Cafe with Mr and Mrs Barratt and her mother, I don’t remember her name. We had a front room downstairs and one bedroom for my Mum and five children, myself aged 8, brother Nicholas 6, brother Noel 4, sister Annetta 2 and my best friend Pauline Harris aged 7. I have no memory about leaving Liverpool or actually arriving at Malham, we just seemed to be at South View Cottage. My Dad would come to visit whenever possible, he had to travel on train and bus, no car in those days, so his visits were quite rare.
Myself, Pauline and Nicholas went to the school half way between Malham and Kirkby Malham. Our teachers were Mrs Hawkins (headmistress) and Miss Cockerill. They taught children from 5 – 14 years in just two class rooms. I think we integrated very well.
During the winter when it snowed hard it could be 2 - 4 feet deep and the snow plough would clear the road, probably from Skipton to Malham so that the bus could get through, allowing people and children attending the grammar school to travel to work and school. This would also have meant all the children could walk to school from both villages. I think we took spare clothes to change into in case we got really wet. Twice a week there was a second bus at 10.30am for villagers to go to the Skipton market. The return bus left at 3.30pm which meant grammar school children were home earlier.
During the summer we had a wonderful time. We used to be taken for nature walks by our teachers and summer holidays we would sometimes help with the haymaking on some of the farms belonging to school friends, this was very exciting for us. There were cattle sales behind the Lister’s Arms Hotel. That was very new to us, sometimes quite frightening – cows are so BIG.
The W I used a room at the library for all sorts of things. My mam joined. They used to put on a play and sometimes a concert. The children were always included. I remember seeing a film with Margaret Rutherford, “The Lady Vanishes”, it was really scary. When the plays, concerts and films were shown and performed, I think it was in a room at the back of the Buck Hotel. Is there a village hall there somewhere?
There is still a blacksmith’s forge by a little bridge, and whoever was the blacksmith in 1940–41 was responsible for some of the happiest times we remember because he made us a real snow sledge. During the winter weekends we all had such fun with it. We used it in the field on the right hand side of the green, opposite the Lister’s Arms. I don’t know who the field belonged to. We would play out there for hours – go home and get changed into dry clothes then go out again. Mostly at weekends of course as it was too dark during the week.
We left Malham I think in 1943. There were still bombing raids over Liverpool and we used to go to the shelters to sleep every night if the sirens sounded.
I have been back to Malham a number of times, with my friend Pauline once, and with my sister Annetta and her husband for a day visit about 28 years ago. My husband and I spent our honeymoon there in 1953, we were still travelling on the train and bus, no car.
In April 2002 Nicholas, Annetta, her husband and myself spent 4 days at the Buck Hotel. We had dry weather and walked to Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar. We also managed to walk up and over the Cove, down the steps. You might well ask WALKED but we did take our time and were very careful.
Read the Wartime memories of other Malhamdale residents:
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