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intro anne norman violet and lilian yvonne olive peter  
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olive on the trailOLIVE'S STORY

Olive was born in 1930 and lives in Hammersmith.

The only thing we had was a radio in the corner. We had no televisions or anything like that. We just used to listen to the news on the radio, so we knew whether or not Hitler was going to march into France and Poland and places like that. If he marched in on those two countries, we said we will go to war. And he did, so that was it.

oliveFor the first year, they closed all the schools. Because when the children went off on evacuation, a lot of the teachers went with them. So we had no-one to teach us. We used to go to the library and get a book and read up.

olive on railings
Olive when she was ten in 1940,
before the railings were about to be
taken away for the war effort.

In 1940, I was trying to swot up because in 1941 I had to take the scholarship because I was 11. What I did in the scholarship meant what school I went to later, so I used to try and teach myself ready for that time. But unfortunately it didn't work out.   When the day came for the scholarship, the Blitz was on. We had to take the scholarship in three parts. And when the third part came, I had measles so I couldn't take it. So I went to West Kensington Central and what was we called? Wonky Kids College.

In the beginning, nobody had Shelters, because they weren't prepared for us. We had a coal cellar underneath the stairs. My father cleared it all out and put seats in it and we used to sit under there. I wasn't as frightened as my parents. My parents were very frightened and they knew what could happen but I don't think I realised. Every time the bombs came down, I used to say to my Mum   "Are we going to die?" And she'd say "No, you're too wicked to die". And I'd laugh and go to sleep. Because she told me I wouldn't die and that was enough.

Barbers, wool dept.
Knitting Wool Department, Barbers, North End Road. "I worked there as a junior until 1948 when
I had my son."

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