Beryl Alderson nee Beardmore was born in 1929 in Marston Montgomery in Derbyshire and grew up in Fradswell on the farm her father ran on Henson Lane. It was a 36 acre council holding upon which they kept cows and poultry. She can remember the blackouts during the war, and hanging tilley lamps in the sheds in order to milk the cows.
During the Second World War the land next to their farm was targeted by a German bomber. A string of bombs landed not 200 yards from their farmhouse, and she can remember the house shaking.
Beryl’s parents took on two evacuees during the war and the neighbouring farms took on two girls called Mary and Jeannie Jones and a pair of twin boys. Edith didn’t stay very long on Beryl’s parents’ farm, but Muriel, who Beryl describes as a “lovable little girl”, stayed with them for quite a while. Beryl was happy about this, as she was an only child, and had somebody to play with. Even better, Beryl remembers with fondness the parcel of presents and sweets that Muriel’s father would send the two girls as a Christmas present for them to share.
She describes Muriel as a very laid-back character: