Evacuee Wants to Trace her Billet Family From Ely - Can You Help?
A PENSIONER from London who was evacuated to Ely during the war is hoping to be reunited with friends from the area. Phyllis Krolik, 77, nee Garrett, was billeted in Ely in September 1939, when the Government evacuated more than 800,000 youngsters from Br
A PENSIONER from London who was evacuated to Ely during the war is hoping to be reunited with friends from the area.
Phyllis Krolik, 77, nee Garrett, was billeted in Ely in September 1939, when the Government evacuated more than 800,000 youngsters from British cities at risk from German air raids.
Mrs Krolik, who returned to her East End roots after four years in Cambridgeshire, is now hoping that someone will remember her and her older sister, Muriel.
She was sent to stay with a widower, Mr Ada, and his housekeeper in St Mary's Street.
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She said: "They were very kind. I think Mr Ada was an accountant, he worked for the council. He also played the organ - he was a very talented pianist."
She continued: "I remember leaving London very clearly. I was only seven. My school was close to Liverpool Street Station and I remember walking to it in a crocodile. We had a cardboard case on a string around our necks, with our gas masks in, and we all had labels on our coats in case we got lost. It was really awful. It must have been worse for our parents, being left behind to face the bombing.
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"When we first got to Ely, they didn't have enough places for us and we had to go to Wisbech. A week or so later they had found us a place in Ely, so we could go to school.
"For us, it couldn't have been a greater contrast to where we were from. We lived in Brick Lane, which was lively and full of immigrants and full of life. Ely seemed such a quiet place and so different.
"Here, we had to go to chapel three times on a Sunday and we weren't allowed to play with toys; they kept Sunday as a very sacred day.
"I also remember going to the cinema on a Saturday. The cathedral is so much a part of our history too.
"Mr Ada bought us a dog, a spaniel, which was very nice of him. Children adore animals and it really made things easier for us. It wasn't always easy for us. Some of us children were a bit scruffy, coming from the East End of London, and there was a bit of rivalry."
If you remember Mrs Krolik, have photographs or your own memories of the evacuation in East Cambs, write to the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, CB7 4LS, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01353 645697.