Maisie Finney's Story

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I have belonged to this group for quite a while and have never yet  entered  any form of bio. So here goes....

I was born in South Harrow. A little before the war started, and due to my fathers work, we moved to Southend on Sea a couple of years later. Where I started into school. My brother joined the air force and trained as a rear gunner. He was shot down in 1943 and remained on the missing list until after the war. Due to the fact that they used the Pier in Southend for shipping  military in and out, we were told that all children must be evacuated, so my older sister and I were sent away to Mansfield [just outside Nottingham]. We were terribly miserable there. We were billeted with this woman and her young son. She really only wanted a girl about 10 or more to help with the housework, but as my mother had stated that we were not to be separated, she wound up with the two of us. There are many tales to tell of this time even though we  were not there longer than 6 mos. I continued to cry myself to sleep every night. In fact, one of the strongest memories I have is of the day that my Mum came to fetch us home. All day I sat in the street waiting to see her come and then when she appeared I fled into the house and cried and cried and wouldn't go to her. It must have broken her heart  Short story of life after that: I became a Pro. Ice skater in 1951 travelling around England and several other countries with various ice companies, until I met my husband and came to America. I have 3 grown children and a total of 8 grandchildren , quite happy here in Iowa, which for you who are unfamiliar with the States, is smack dab in the middle of the country. It gets hot and humid in the summer and really cold and snowy in the winter. Enough of me.  Maisie

I truly do not have a problem with my evac. days, I was only 5 and other than crying myself to sleep for many nights; I soon adjusted to life with this family. My sister who was 9-10 wasn't so lucky, she was made to do an awful lot of housework, while I played with the only child the family had, a boy, who of course, as the child of the family, everything we played was his way or else. I learnt a lot about planes that flew over us as this was his favourite game, we strung paper airplanes all across the living room on cotton thread. I remember walking to school across cow fields, I remember, before we left Southend, the German planes flying over us as we ran for the dugout shelter! The scores of troops marching down to the pier to embark onto ships waiting at the end of the pier. The air raid warnings, sleeping in the Anderson shelter/. My brother coming home on leave from the AF before the big bombing raids. Wow. so many things flood back, once you open the gates! Remember "There'll be blue birds over"? Ma! I miss your apple pie? Lili Marlene? Oh there were so many songs that would cause a tear to fall.