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Former wartime evacuees reunited at Lowestoft Station

Former wartime evacuees have attended their annual summer reunion at Lowestoft Station.

Each year, the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and Lowestoft Central Project hosts the reunion event at the station, the very location those evacuated departed from aboard a number of special trains in June 1940.

The event, on 1 June, gave former evacuees and family members a chance to catch up and reminisce over 80 years since more than 3,000 school children and their teachers were evacuated from Lowestoft to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, away from the imminent threat of invasion and bombing.

Over 600 of those evacuated found safety in and around the High Peak town of Glossop, with the links formed between the two communities all those years ago still celebrated today.

Special guest at the reunion was Neil Williams, chair of the Friends of Glossop Station. Neil has been working to preserve the memories and friendships made between Glossop and Lowestoft, hosting tours of the town for former evacuees and their families and, like Lowestoft Station, Glossop also has permanent history panels retelling the events of the evacuation.  

The town also recently hosted a heritage weekend where the story of the 600 children and their teachers from Lowestoft who found sanctuary there was retold in a special exhibition.

Former Lowestoft evacuee Alma Mingay with Neil Williams, chair of the Friends of Glossop Station.

Neil said: “I’m so pleased that both our communities continue to cherish these important memories and that the friendships made are not only still celebrated but are now being retold for future generations.”

Jacqui Dale from the Lowestoft Central Project added: “It is always a great privilege to host the reunion and to enable former evacuees to meet up and reminisce about their time away. We were thrilled that Neil was able to attend and give an update on what is happening in Glossop, especially as so many were given refuge there during the war.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from the Wherry Lines CRP via their website.