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Stories from 1939

1. From Alan Rogers, son of Hilda Rogers - received 28th May 2009

My parents lived in Barking, Essex in 1939 so how she got to Brocket Hall so long before the bombing of London started is something of a mystery.

As most East-enders I have met at reunions report - she remembered her days at the Hall with some pleasure. The acres of lawn and the fine trees were in stark contrast to the urban environment she lived in.

 

2. From Alan Lowe, the very first Brocket Baby - received 20th September 2009

I attach a short note which my mother wrote concerning her experiences at Brocket Hall.  I have no idea why or to whom they were written, but presumably after the war, going by the last sentence!  I found the note while going through her papers after she died in 1996.  They are reproduced as they appear (Italics are mine).

Please click here

 

3.  From Alan Lowe the First Brocket Baby (Gorran, Cornwall) - received 15th March 2013

It's Alan Lowe, Brocket Baby numero uno!  We haven't spoken for a while, but it just occurred to me that when I originally put myself down on your list, I forgot to mention that my middle name is - wait for it - Brocket!  My mother's idea, of course but it did cause some nicknames over the years, like Sprocket, Rocket, Pocket Rocket and some rather unflattering ones which I won't go into here.  Also, after I bought a personal number plate (B7ABL) I was thenceforward known as "ABL" in the office!

A Follow Up From Alan Lowe - received 14 January 2015

The following letters were written within days of war being declared by Neville Chamberlain on September 3rd 1939.  I found them in my auntís house in Greenwich when I was clearing it out a few years ago.  Luckily, she was a terrible hoarder and never threw anything away Ė Iíve only just finished going through it!  All three letters were written to my maternal grandmother, living in the Greenwich house at the time with my aunt (my motherís sister Daisy).  I was born by Caesarian section on Sunday 3rd September, the first birth at Brocket Hall and the first day of the war.  The first two letters were written by my mother from Brocket Hall and the third letter by my father from our home in Worcester Park in Surrey.  My father was 35 and too old for call-up at that time.  He was an officer in the London County Council and was away from home, and from my mother, escorting trainloads of evacuated families to Somerset.  I feel the letters go a little way to showing the worries people had at the time.  Even though this was right at the beginning of the war, there was a common fear that the Germans might already be planning to come across and drop bombs.  Luckily, at that stage anyway, Hitler hoped he might make peace, and nothing happened for quite some months.  That, of course, was the Phoney War.  Incidentally, whether my father did the journey indicated in my mother's second letter, I don't know, but to leave Worcester Park, pick up his father in Fulham, then his grandmother and sister-in-law from Greenwich, travel up to Brocket Hall and then return everybody before dark (don't forget the blackout) all in a 1936 Hillman Minx, woud have been quite an achievement!  All comments in italics are mine.

Mother's First Letter

Mother's Second Letter

Father's Letter