Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

Alumnae > Alumnae News > 73 Years Ago

73 Years Ago

From The Archives: War-Time Evacuation Ends
Badminton was based in Lynmouth, north Devon, from the autumn of 1940 to spring 1945
Badminton was based in Lynmouth, north Devon, from the autumn of 1940 to spring 1945

73 YEARS AGO: 
26th March 1945: BADMINTON PREPARES TO RETURN TO BRISTOL FROM WAR-TIME EXILE IN DEVON
At the end of the Spring Term 1945, Badminton’s period of evacuation in Lynmouth on the north coast of Devon was finally over. Below, Senior Mistress Miss Lucy J. Rendall describes the preparations to leave their war-time HQ at the clifftop Tors Hotel:

SOON after D-Day long months of anticipation began - just airy speculation at first as we heard of the terrific struggle of our armies in Normandy and France. Then confidence in the belief that the end of the war was in sight began to be felt everywhere and for us this meant a return to our old home. Some individuals showed signs of acting on this belief. One member of the Staff was caught with an enormous suit-case on her way home for the half-term week-end and on inquiry it was discovered she was removing the main part of her wardrobe in advance. 
During the Christmas holidays before the buildings and grounds had been de-requisitioned we paid them furtive visits - each time with increasing apprehension as to the condition they would be in when finally they came into our hands again, for we were having severe frosts with fatal results to water-pipes and radiators. 
Then the great day came when we were in possession once more. 
Plumbers, masons and carpenters moved in and began to achieve the minimum of essential repairs. 
At Lynmouth violent preparations for the removal were plainly visible on all sides. Wooden packing cases at every shop were at a premium, brown-paper and string were soon unobtainable. Those who had special friends in the two villages - village and Urban District I should say - scored heavily. 
On March 26th the School departed en masse from Lynmouth for the last time. Some of the Staff went for a few days' holiday, others stayed to help, hoping for a few days' rest later. 
Shortly after Miss Baker departed for her headquarters at Little Grange, from which to direct the formidable task of re-habilitation. 
Miss Webb-Johnson and I were left with our good helpers, Eva, Anne, Betty and Jarvis. There was a final, hectic packing of personal belongings and the furniture vans began to arrive.
The process of removal continued slowly and surely from April 3rd to May 4th. There was cleaning-up to be done as things were removed, there was the replacing of the Tors' belongings, which had been stored in our premises at Bristol. The horrible shortage was very obvious as much of it had been destroyed by enemy action. 
Thus the departure from Lynmouth took on the air of a solemn procession, filled with a sense of the inevitable. 
All that month a perfect Spring smiled upon us and Lynmouth was looking its loveliest. 
In seeking peace and safety for the School in this remote part of North Devon there are two experiences we shall never forget - the kindness and hospitality of the people of Lynmouth and Lynton and the beauty and variety of the scenery. 
L. J. RENDALL 

Similar stories

The "Sheep Dip"

The outdoor swimming pool in 1982 More...

Hard hats at the ready

Hard hats at the ready checking on progress. More...

Stanley Spencer with Unity, Shirin and Hilda Carline on the terrace at The Tors

Available to view again for a limited time - Old Badmintonians Unity and Shirin Spencer feature in BBC Arena documentary More...

Most read

Stanley Spencer with Unity, Shirin and Hilda Carline on the terrace at The Tors

Available to view again for a limited time - Old Badmintonians Unity and Shirin Spencer feature in BBC Arena documentary More...

Jenny Joseph

Jennifer Ruth Joseph, poet, born 7 May 1932; died 8 January 2018 More...

Clifford Gould - Headmaster of Badminton School 1981-1997

Badminton School is very saddened to hear of the passing of Clifford Gould. More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech