Evacuee returns to town

David Schofield back in Alnwick.
David Schofield back in Alnwick.

A pensioner who was evacuated to Alnwick during the Second World War made a special trip back to the town to watch this year’s music festival.

David Schofield, 88, was just 10-and-a-half when he was brought up to Northumberland from Kent, after a bomb destroyed his neighbour’s house in 1940.

He stayed in the town for a number of years before moving back down south.

But Alnwick had a lasting impression on him and he has returned several times.

And he was back in the town last week to catch the 2017 Alnwick International Music Festival.

David, who was born in Kent, said: “I love the music festival. It is brilliant and I really enjoyed it this year.

“I love coming back to Alnwick – it holds very special memories for me.”

After being evacuated to Alnwick, David lived with his grandparents in St Thomas’ Close.

He said: “It was peaceful in Northumberland. My brother, Mick, and I loved it and we didn’t want to come home. I went back to Kent when I was 14. My mother came up to get me – it took her 12 hours on the steam train!”

Sharing his memories of life in Northumberland, David – whose father had worked in Shilbottle pit and served in the Army – said: “I used to go to the cinema at the Corn Exchange and we used to slide down the banisters on the stairs which are outside the building.

“One time – it must have been 1941 – we went down to Alnmouth and found pencils, big tins of cigarettes and Chinese money which had come from a ship which had been blown up.”