Roger Pell was born in 1935 and lived in Westgate-on-Sea until his evacuation to Colton with his older sister Shirley. His father was a butcher and they lived over the shop in a street full of terraces.
He remembers his first day at school, when he and his new classmates were sent home because there weren’t enough chairs. And then, after a few more days of school he was sent home with a letter to tell his parents that they were to be evacuated. He doesn’t remember much about any preparation, but can remember being lined up in the playground and walked to the station, which was right next to his father’s butchers shop. He was with his older sister Shirley, and can remember that his mother and father waved them off.
Listen to Roger speaking about the billeting process in Colton:
He doesn’t remember many details about his time as an evacuee, and tells us that this might be because his older sister had to take charge. However, he does remember spending a lot of time exploring the grounds, where there were horses and trout ponds. He gives the impression of simply ‘going with the flow’ during his evacuation, although he can remember becoming, in his own words: “an insufferable little snob” because he was living in a hall when the rest of the evacuees were living in the village.