Frances Cooke

Frances Cooke moved to Grace Street in Leek from a housing estate in Carlton Terrace. They thought they were in heaven, with a large bay window, toilet and garden. Many of the evacuees that Frances was aware of were from Ancoats, Manchesterand she really believes that having them in Leek for a while gave them a better quality of life, even for the short time they were there.

Even though there were already a number of people in the family home, Frances’ mother opened her doors first to two boys, who were sent for from home, and then to Maureen and Douglas (Dougie). They were from Ancoats, and Frances can remember thinking they looked a bit dirty. Their mother tried to give them a bath but they hated it because they weren’t used to it. Their mother visited them once whilst they were billeted with them, and she can remember thinking she looked a bit ‘scruffy’, too.

Frances remembers that at infant level the local schools taught both local children and evacuees, who were incorpotated into school life well. She can’t realy remember there ever being any trouble between the locals and the evacuees and thinks it did them a world of good to get some fresh air.

Click on the following link to hear one of Frances’ favourite memories of Maureen and Dougie sealing the fate of her favourite doll…

Frances talking about Maureen and Dougie

Transcript of Frances’s audio clip

 Click here to read Frances’ elder sister’s version of events.