Memories of Evacuee, Ron Vickers

Ron VickersFrank May was co-owner of the quarry (it seemed funny that everybody pronounced it 'Anter, unless that was a slang name for Hantergantick!) I was never aware that Charlie May was a co-owner. From what I remember Harry was the main man, Mabel did all of the paperwork, and Frank managed the quarry, Charlie did work at the quarry though. Harry lived a few doors up from the Champion house and I believe that it was called "Hillcrest," and Charlie lived diagonally opposite the Champion house.

I am enclosing a photo of myself and the Mays taken on the front lawn of now named "Eldon". (This house was then called Libreville and I was told by "Uncle Frank" that it was the name of a place in Africa where he worked; he also worked over here (USA) as a stone mason in his early years). I visited them almost every year in the summer after the war until 1951 when I was drafted into the RAF, when I was discharged I found out that they had moved to Eton to be with Ivor. I visited them in Eton just once as they had both passed away shortly after.

My last visit to St. Breward was in 1976, I knocked on the door of Mrs. Jack Teague who had billeted my sisters (Rita and Gloria), she opened the door and without hardly a word said "hello Ron," I just didn't believe that she would have remembered me, I figured it had to be 35 years since I last saw her! We (my wife and I) had a long visit with her and then dinner with Monica (nee Hancock,) who also took in my sisters later on. Her Father, and known to all as Father, worked at the clay quarry, and I would sometimes go with him there to start the engines. One of my sisters had been billeted with the Headmaster's Family (the Dawes.) I also met up with Ivor again at that time, he was living in St. Austell then, he had a bed and breakfast place, and he also passed away shortly after that.

In regards to the names of evacuees; I remember quite well Johnny Johnson, as Uncle Frank and I would pass by the cottages on the way to "Anter," I would sometimes go there and help out. Other names that might be on the list are Alan Keane and Mavis Godwin or Goodman; I kept in touch with them after the war, they both lived in Lambeth, London. I forget who Alan was billeted with but I'm sure Mavis was with Harry May.

The house that you can see next to "Eldon" belonged to Miss McCrea; she was a wonderful old lady that had returned from China doing missionary work, she was almost 90 when I arrived at St. Breward.

Other memories are pumping the organ at the chapel on Sundays of course and choir practice, I actually got paid for that.

Quite a few of us also helped out on the farms, one in particular was the Finamore, no tractors of mechanical devices of any kind, just horses, for that we got apples!! And loved them, also the pasties in the fields after harvesting ………………. Great!! And the other one of course was the bombing, I think I told you before though, I was actually biking around the road in front of the Sunday School when the planes came over, I hid in a corner opposite the shop, I could see the pilots faces as they flew over ……….Not so Great!

Hoping this has been a little more information for you. I have fond memories of St. Breward, they were wonderful people in sad times, they did an extraordinary thing and I will never forget.

Sincerely, Ron Vickers

   Thursday, 17 August, 2017    © St Breward History Group 2017