Wendy’s Story

Wendy Elsbury

Sitting on the wall in Torquay. I was six years old when I went with my mother and grandmother for a holiday in South Devon. The journey from Cambridge via London by train was very exciting. Traveling from London to the west country were quite a lot of serviceman and I was surprised and a little worried about two soldiers in our compartment getting up on the luggage racks for a lie down. I wasn’t sure if it was safe for them or us but everybody seemed very jolly and chatty. It happened to be VE day when we were there and lots of flags and bunting were out on the sea front. My mother said I should wear something red white and blue so I had a red and white striped dress and a ribbon in my hair to match. It was difficult at that time to buy new clothes because everyone had clothing coupons. My dresses and coats were second hand or made by my mother.

The street party was in Cottenham . It was for all ages of children living in half of the High Street. It was held in the garden of what we called the big house. I’ve never been to anything like it before, sharing lots of sandwiches and cake and having the older boys and girls organizing us. I think there are lots of parents there serving the teas and organizing the seating. I seem to remember singing songs and all having a present. I had a red tennis ball and I kept it for years. I wore the same dress, red and white stripe, which was suitable for the patriotic occasion! I’m sure I wasn’t really understanding the significance of the day.