First evacuated from Bethnal Green, London to Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads with the rest of Columbia School, Maisie Hamilton thought she was going on a holiday. She was the only one of five brothers and sisters evacuated and absolutely loved her time in Wroxham.
In 1940 they were told they would be moving on to Leek, and she can remember wondering whether the place was going to be ‘leaky’! Once in Staffordshire they were taken to the Pavilion in Rudyard for billeting, and Maisie was chosen by a couple who ran a guest house. In this audio clip you can hear her talking about her new hosts:-
After a while, her father sent both her mother and younger sister to live with her because they were bombed out of their home in Bethnal Green. Before long her elder sister and one of her brothers had moved in too and they all moved out when her mother managed to get them a house in Leek rent free. Her parents had parties for the American soldiers who were stationed at Hencroft. Maisie stayed in her billet for 18 months after her family moved out because she enjoyed helping in the café.