Alice Hudson in the Forest of Dean.
Phil wrote: "... seeing a picture of a group of women in the Whitebrook Pin factory makes me think about the story of my mother Alice Hudson nee Wood. I have three photos which tell an interesting personal story of her life in the Forest".
"My mother was born in the East End of London in 1927 and like thousands of children she was evacuated to the country in 1939 as the war broke out. Within a few months she ended up in Bishopswood along with 5 of her younger siblings. They were assigned to three families in the village and enjoyed a quality of life they would have struggled to have within a poor East End family. The photo inset (top) shows my mother Alice (back right) with her 4 sisters and 1 brother when they were living in Bishopswood c.1940".
"Alice then went into service in 1941 at the age of 14. She went to live with sisters May and Dolly Selby in Clearwell and worked in Newland House for a number of years. In about 1945 she started work in Lydney at the American Army Stores depot........Pine End I believe. Apparently her job involved taking the uniforms of soldiers, repairing and cleaning them prior to returning them into use. The bottom photo shows a group of women within Pine End c.1945. My mother is in the middle (slightly damaged image unfortunately). This photo was taken shortly before she returned to London to rejoin her family".
In 1947 my mother decided to return to the Forest to live with the Selby sisters. She found work at the Whitecroft Pin Factory and the top photo shows her at work (far left of photo). This photo sits nicely with the other photo of the Pin Factory boxroom on your website".
"My mother subsequently married my father Wilf Hudson in 1952 and lived in Redbrook for a number of years before settling in Monmouth and then Caldicot where she still lives".
Dorothy Bundy recalled (August 2009): ... the family being evacuated to Bishopswood. Alice and Rose were billeted with Captain and Mrs. Finlow at the Grange Bishopswood, and Eileen and Florence (Flo) were billeted with Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Jayne at Kerne Bridge. (thanks also to Margaret Wilce)
Thanks to John Wilcox who added (August 2009): "The bottom photo looks very much like 'the black sheds' as they were known on the main industrial estate at Lydney rather than Pine End. My father always referred to the industrial estate as 'the dump' which I took to mean it's American amunition connections. Also the black sheds were used for storage by the pin company and J. Allen Rubber well into the sixties".
Marguerite Young. added (August 2009): "... I am sure the
Evacuees Reunion Association would be interested in the photos and
comments. There will be a commemorative service at St Paul's Cathedral on
1st September 2009, people are coming from as far away as New Zealand,
Australia, Canada and the United States as well as all parts of the UK.
Contact address is:
The Evacuees Reunion Association,The Mill Business Centre, Mill Hill, Gringley-on-the-Hill, Nottinghamshire DN10 4RA. Tel:01777 816166"
Jo Watkins added (August 2009): "The Pine End article about repairing and cleaning the American uniforms, sounds very similar to what my mother and her friend Daisy McOwan was doing. Mum didn't work at Pine End or anywhere else on the estate, but lived in Mount Pleasant, Tutnalls a couple of miles away, so it sounds as if the work was available to the locals as well. Harold McOwan, Anne Dobb's father used to take the clean uniforms parcelled up on the back of his bike to the camp and return with more. This is why mum was given the badges to replace if necessary".
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