Castle seeks those who remember Second World War in Welshpool for project
Do you remember the Home Guard parade through Welshpool? Did you work alongside land girls on farms? Did your family open up their home to evacuees?
Staff at Powis Castle in Welshpool are looking for people who remember the Second World War to share their recollections of the local area as part of it ‘Worlds Apart in War' project.
The castle is concentrating at the moment on the section entitled, 'The Welsh Girls School’ exhibition.
From 1939 to 1946 Powis Castle played host to a group of pupils and teachers from the Ashford Welsh Girls School who were evacuated from Middlesex at the outbreak of war. They arrived at the invitation of George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis, who was governor of the school at the outbreak of war.
Robin Trimby, 84, a volunteer at the castle, went to a boarding school on the outskirts of London and is interested in the difference between the girls evacuated to Powis and his own experience.
"We would try and get out to crash sites to salvage the best parts of German planes to show off at school, I'd finish my homework in air raid shelters, and we'd run rings around our teachers, who sadly were often shell shocked from the war," he said.
"When the siren sounded, the whole family would sleep under the kitchen table.
""We were extremely lucky that a diphtheria outbreak at school meant we were at home when a land mine hit the dormitory where we would have been sleeping, but school staff lost their lives."
Emma Thompson, General Manager at Powis Castle and Garden said: “We know local people played a huge part in the war effort by welcoming and looking after evacuees, working on the castle’s surrounding farmland or even hosting prisoners of war. It’s important we capture this important time in Welshpool’s history.
"If you have wartime memories of Welshpool and the surrounding area we’d love you to be involved in the creation of an audio exhibition that shows the contrast between the lives of the Ashford girls and that of the local community.2
“We’d love people with local stories to come forward so we can record some of them and add them to the exhibition over the next two years. We want to give visitors the chance to visit time and time again to learn more about the local area and the important role it played during the Second World War.”
To share your story and have the opportunity for it to be recorded and played at Powis Castle and Garden, download a story submission form below or request a paper copy by calling 01938 551929.