World War Two at our School
Mrs Robin Hayson
This is a picture of Mrs Hayson with Mr Davis on the day they came to our school to be interviewed about the war.
When did you start at this school?
Mrs Hayson (nee Tebbs) started here on 6 July 1940.
How many classes were there at Campbell's Bay school?
There were only 4 classes.
How big were classes?
Very small. We were given an apple each day and cocoa in the winter.
What changes were made to the North Shore?
Six foot high barbed wire fences - as high as a man - pillboxes and coastal guns, were put on all beaches, and there were water mines and subnets in the harbour, air raid drills, black outs and rationing. Rationing was where we were given coupon books by the Government and we used the coupons to buy food like sugar, butter, tea and eggs. There was not much food because it was all sent to the soldiers. For lunch sometimes I had sandwiches with fat and salt on them. Sometimes the soldiers would give us chewing gum.
What did your father do during the war?
He was the milkman from 1940 to 1962. With the blackouts it was scary. No street lights. No car lights. But not many people had cars. Dad was not allowed to use headlights, he had to deliver the milk in the dark to the back doors. To see, he had a carbide light. My two year old brother and I had to sleep in the back of the truck while our parents delivered milk from midnight to 8am. It was scary. Dad would sometimes give the soldiers some milk and cream, which was very special. His name was Mr Tebbs.
What do you remember from Castor Bay?
There was an active camp with lots of soldiers and their families and most of their children went to Campbell's Bay School. There were no proper roads. There were no sewage pipes - the night cart man came and collected the sewage. The senior male students had to carry the school's waste out to the gate for him to collect it.
The Home Guard patrolled the area and if you had lights on at night they would come and tap on your window and make you close the curtains or turn off the light.
On VE day, planes flew over the school leaving a vapour trail, and on VJ there was a big bonfire next to the golf course with firecrackers. They were the first fireworks we had ever seen. Everyone was very happy.
We got our news from the cinema, there were short items played before the movie - pictures from England and the war. We had no TV and not many newspapers as newsprint was rationed.
We buy our milk from the supermarket now. It comes in plastic bottles, not billy cans or glass bottles like it used to.
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