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Wednesday 19th January 2022  

Evacuees arrive in Quorn, 1st September 1939

Leicester Mercury
Friday 1st September 1939

How They Came To Leicestershire


Carrying their gas-masks and satchels thousands of the children arrived by special trains at 12 Leicestershire railway stations to-day.

At Quorn and Woodhouse Railway Station, the chief detraining station for the Barrow rural district, there was scene great activity.

The first train due to arrive at 10.20 a.m., was actually a few minutes early, having left Sheffield before schedule owing to the prompt assembly of the party.

Sir Robert Martin, chairman of the Leicestershire County Council, was at the station to witness their arrival, and also in attendance were Mr. W. E. Westhead. representing Leicestershire Education Committee, Mr. W. Donovan, detraining officer for the Barrow Rural Council, Dr Lawrence, M.O.H., and Dr Wykes, with police officers to supervise the marshalling arrangements.

Although over 700 were expected to arrive by this first train, the complement was only 200.

The train carried 25 mothers with 35 children under five years of age. The rest of the children were of school age.

Mr. E. A. Dearns, headmaster of the Carbrook Council School, Sheffield, who was in charge of the travellers, deplored the unwillingness of many Sheffield mothers to allow their children to travel. He felt sure that subsequent trains would be filled to capacity. His school at Sheffield has about 1,000 scholars.

All the children arriving to-day were examined by doctors and nurses, who found no serious complaint.

The evacuation scheme operated from Quorn station sent a number of children to the Anstey Adult School, Newtown Linford, Thurcaston, Rothley, Swithland, Syston, Barkbv, Queniborough, Quorn, Rearsby, Thrussington, Mountsorrel, Sileby, Thurmaston, Hoton and Birstall.

The children, who were mostly in cheerful spirits, stood patiently in the station yard wearing their identity labels and were conveyed by a fleet of buses to their destinations.

The second train to arrive from Sheffield at Quorn carried 265 women and children, whereas it was scheduled to convey over 700. The train was met by a band of volunteer helpers, who included Canon H. H. Rumsey, Rector of Quorn. Local residents distributed sweets, and the children’s buses were cheered local residents.

 Submitted on: 2020-09-12
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2411

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