Ivy Field grew up in Birmingham with her mother, father and two brothers in an area close with relatives. Their terraced house on Roland Street was in the middle of a triangle of canal, railway line and large road and so was an attractive target for bombing during the Second World War. At the age of 10 Ivy and her elder brother were with a group of children from Garrison Lane School who walked to Bordersley Station to be evacuated. They didn’t know where they were going but she wasn’t worried as she had her brother with her and was excited to be going on an adventure.
They were billeted with two sisters-in-law in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire and had a wonderful time. All of the evacuees felt free to roam the countryside and stayed together in a big group of friends. Soon after, their mother came to fetch them home as their younger brother, who had suffered from medical difficulties and couldn’t be evacuated, was lonely at home by himself. She wasn’t keen to go home but Ivy’s life carried on much as normal back in Birmingham, albeit with fewer children at school.
Ivy’s teacher Miss Evans-Rose then told her about Pipewood Camp, a boarding school for girls soon to open in Staffordshire. Miss Evans-Rose was going to be running the camp and could take some of ‘her girls’ with her. Listen to Ivy speaking about the day they arrived at Pipewood by clicking on the link below:
At Pipewood, Ivy spent a great deal of time outside with the rest of the boarders, tending to chickens and her little vegetable patch, and attending the local church on Sundays. She can remember the monthly Sunday visits by her family, and received one or two visits from her cousin who was based at Hednesford. Ivy thanks her time at Pipewood for teaching her a lot of things she might otherwise not have had the chance to learn, like the typing course she went on, learning to fillet fish and dancing. She regrets nothing about her time there, and likes to visit occasionally to see how it has changed.
While she was at Pipewood her house received a direct hit, so she could never return to her original family home. Thankfully all of her family had been out of the house at the time, and so they were all safe. For Ivy, the only hard part about coming home was having to get used to family again. Hear her talking about this in the clip of her interview below: