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Post by Maywalk on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:00 pm

The following tale is not an old one but does go back nearly 7 years.
I used to look after my granddaughter when her Mum went back to work because I was just retired when Tami -granddaughter - was born and it was a pleasure to look after her.
Tami even went to school in my local vicinity after her daddy had dropped her off in the mornings and he used to pick her up in the evenings to take her home. I think this is what has made such a wonderful bond between us and although she is now at Chester University she rings us every day to see if we are OK.
This incident below happened when she was about 12 and off school during the summer holidays.

I asked her if she would like a ride into Nottingham to go shopping and she jumped at the chance and asked me if she could take a friend.
I didn’t mind this because I knew I could sit on a seat in the Broadmarsh Centre and let the girls go looking in the shops together.
If anyone has been to the Broadmarsh you will know that it is all covered in so if it rained it was still a nice place to shop.

We arrived and went for an allday breakfast and then went on our tour of the shops. We went up the escalator to the top storey to have a look at the other shops.

Upstairs also houses the entrance to Robin Hoods Caves.

Both girls wanted to go down and see the caves but I opted out to go for a coffee while they were down there.
I was just about to order my coffee when they came running back saying that they could not be admitted without an adult.
I wasn’t too happy about this because I was not over thrilled at going underground. I had spent enough time in my life imitating a ruddy mole during the London blitz. The Shopping Trip  396108
I also did not want to disappoint the girls so I pushed my fears at the back of my mind to accompany them down the caves.

Many tourists were waiting to go in and during their conversation I realised that we had Americans, Canadians and Australians among us as well as English.
There must have been about 20-25 in the party as we made our way down to see where the supposedly Robin Hood hung out in days of old.

The courier taking us round would be about 40 years old and was telling us that this was where Robin Hood had all the hides cleaned from the animals to make the clothes for his Merry men.
The courier asked of his audience whether they knew what a man was called who cleaned the skins of the animals.

Silence reigned.

Then my grandddaughter said “ I bet my grandma knows. ”
He looked at me expectantly and I could not let my granddaughter down so I said “ Yes he is called a tanner BUT there was another tanner too. This was the name of the old sixpence that we had when we had pounds, shillings and pence for our currency ”
He was quite intrigued by this and said that he had never heard of it but he would remember to tell any more folk he took down.
We carried on and went further down the caves taking in this mythological place that Robin Hood was supposed to have lived in.
The tourists were intrigued and it was a pleasure to look at their faces to see the wonderment on them.

As we got further along I stopped dead because I could hear the WW2 air raid siren sounding. Many memories came flooding back as I stood stock still wondering if my mind was playing tricks on me.
I must admit it took me by surprise and as we came from the caves although still underground we came into a mock up of an Anderson air raid shelter.

My granddaughter said “ Does it bring back bad memories Grandma?”
Before I could answer the courier heard what she said and said “ Has your Grandma been in one of these then before.”
Granddaughter answered and said “ Yes she was an evacuee from the London Blitz ”
He promptly said to me “ It’s the very first time I have had an evacuee from the blitz so would you tell visitors what it was like because I too would be most interested.”

Everyone started asking me then to tell them some stories about my experiences especially the tourists.

I did start telling them what it was like and reliving the horrors of that time and I must have been talking to them for a good ten minutes.
During the time I was talking it was SO quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
Even the children were as quiet as mice.

After I had finished I felt a right twit when they started clapping and shaking my hand.

When we finally got back to the entrance the tourists once again thanked me and shook my hand saying that it would be the highlight of their holiday because they had spoken to and heard some stories of WW2 from a real live evacuee. Shocked

I felt like a relic that had been dug up. Shocked

When we got home my granddaughter could not wait to tell her Granddad all about it and her parents.

Best bit was when the courier asked me if I could go again. Embarassed
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Post by Tan on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:13 pm

Well done to you for going down there with them, bet that took a lot to do that, but as it turned out you made the day for them all there and I got laughing again about you had, had enough being a mole, and when you said you felt like a relic that had been dug up, I guess you felt young in heart going down there, and sort of aged when you came out, hehe..The Shopping Trip  391610

I could imagine how you felt initially when you heard the air raid siren, it's amazing isn't it what one noise, note, tune, smell or anything like that whisks us back many years..

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Post by Maywalk on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:19 pm

Hi Tanooma.
YES that siren really caught me unawares.
I was whisked back in time with the sound of it and it must have shown on my face for my granddaughter to say that to me. :|
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Post by Tan on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:25 pm

Yes as much as we all try and hold things inside, our faces are a dead give away, but I'm sure they really felt so very proud of you with all that you told them that day, plus those other people had their visit made much more interesting too and that was all down to you, so well earned was the applause and mean't so much as well..

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Post by Maywalk on Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:47 am

It was certainly an unforgettable and embarrassing time Tanooma.

I realise that to have been in that terrible war and being able to talk to folks who had only read about it and bringing the truth of it home to them must have been quite a moment for them. Something to talk about when they got home choose what part of the world they came from.
I should have felt honoured not embarrassed. The Shopping Trip  139109
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Post by Tan on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:49 am

Yes you should have, and well deserved too.

Feel honoured here as I felt honoured that you took the trouble to share this with us.. The Shopping Trip  1164420573

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Post by Maywalk on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:55 am

Aaww Bless you for that Tanooma and thankyou.
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Post by Tan on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:59 am

You're very welcome Maywalk.

So hope your day is going well, and the weather is better than how it has been here in Lancashire.. The Shopping Trip  117162 The Shopping Trip  4180588441 The Shopping Trip  117162 sunny

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