Author of The Christmas Village and Return to Canterbury

Friday, April 17, 2015

P is for Pied Piper

Operation Pied Piper is the name of the secret plan developed by Winston Churchill to keep the children of England safe should the country go to war. The plan called for schoolchildren in the cities to be evacuated to the relative safety of the countryside because it was expected that the cities would become targets for German bombings (which they did).

During the first few days of September 1939, 3.5 million English schoolchildren were evacuated. My mother was among them.

You can read more about Operation Pied Piper HERE

Pied Piper is also the name of the novel I am writing that is inspired by my mother's experience.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Naughty

The Liverpool Blue Coat School for orphans and fatherless children was a very regimented and strict place when my mother was there in the late 1930's. Minor infractions were met with punishment that might include caning or "gating." Caning meant to be whipped with a cane and gating meant to be kept in when the other students were allowed out.. Of course, kids will be kids no matter the environment, and many found ways to have fun and be a little Naughty.

But remember, this wasn't a boarding school for BAD kids, this was a school for POOR kids. In most cases the childrens' fathers had died, or else they had been called up for military service. The mothers often had several children and had to work to house and feed them, so it was a blessing for those families to be able to place a child in the school, even though the child being placed may not have thought so! It was very regimented and the kids hardly ever went off the grounds. Former students from those old days often referred to their time there as "my incarceration."

The top favorite Naughty activity at the Blue Coat School, which was attempted by many but accomplished by few was:


Well come on, who could blame them! You'd want to do it too, wouldn't you??