Grandma Talks

Episode 6: Grandma Audrey

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Sunday, August 23, ‎2021
Qualicum Beach, Canada
đź“ž Vancouver, Canada

Mom was talking about your experience and it sounded like that’s what kind of happened?

Yeah. Well, have you ever seen that one? Goodnight Mr. Tom? Did you ever remember seeing that? 

Yeah, a long time ago…with you.

Yeah. A long time ago yeah. Well, that’s the same sort of thing. I don’t know if this was, where they children were evacuated right? And placed with families and each each family was, that…I don’t even think you had to have a bedroom to be honest. I think every family had to, I think every family had to take at least one evacuee. Cuz I slept out on a…umm it was like a little landing, as you went up the stairs and there was a landing there. That was quite quite a space. It was quite a big space. There was only two, there was a bedroom and the bedroom that side and then there’s sort of landing. I call it a landing in the middle, right? That was it. That was my bedroom for… Well, that would have been my bedroom for probably three years anyway. Maybe, no, longer than that. 

What? Oh my god.

Yeah. Whatever, three years? Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that for ages. Umm what happened was my aunt and uncle that I was with, I called aunt and uncle, even though they weren’t relations at all, because I knew them better than anybody when I grew up, right. And they got booted out of their house because the government wanted it, the army wanted it because they had a, I think it was a 12 bedroom. Originally, their house was a 12 bedroom house, a huge, great place anyway. And the army decided they wanted it for their headquarters in 1941. So they said out, we, we’re going to take over your house, find yourself somewhere else to live. So what they did was, I suppose was good at them. They let them have two rooms in the house to put all my furniture in, back it up and they got me army to help us do all that. So they got all their they saved and got all their nice furniture and everything in this two bedroom, there stacked up wall to ceiling. Then trying to find some way to rent and this was the only little cottage that there was to rent in the village at that time. So they rented it. And they decided they would take me with them. Because the other the other evacuees that were all there, then went to different homes right. I think there were. I think by that time, there are 12 or 15 of us there. Anyway, I however many it was. Yeah. And so they said, well, we’ll take Audrey with us because they knew they had to have one, right. Ahah You have to have the token one right. So I was the token one.

Okay. So they didn’t volunteer. Like they, everyone just had to, like the family’s…

In wartime honestly, in wartime, especially Britain. At that time, you didn’t get a choice. You were told what you were going to do by the government. And even, even Yeah, I don’t think I’m in say with rationing or anything. That’s all sort of you know, That’s all you ever allowed to have. You couldn’t…Yeah so very different.

Did they have kids too?

No, no they were brother and sister.


So they weren’t, they weren’t married ahah…still lived together. My aunt actually was one of those casualties of World War One. Who had had a fiancĂ© or at least had a love affair in World War One. In World War One, you may not know that or remember that, the people or the soldiers that volunteered the most were from the upper middle classes, because it’s, it was sort of the done thing to do. You know, you just you just signed up in the in the army, and it’s quite a good thing to do, you know, well, they got slaughtered so they always say it was sort of almost the whole generation of that sort of level, the best brains and the best whatever in the, in the country were or, you know, they lost their lives. The slaughter was terrible. But anyway, so she lost her fiancĂ© like that. And then of course, what happened was there was no men to marry these women. So you have a whole generation of spinsters or unmarried women, and she was one of them…Poor thing. So yeah interesting times. OK bye my love. 

Ok love you.

Bye darling.


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Grandma Talks is an online audio archive of anonymous phone conversations between grandmothers and granddaughters. The intention behind this archive is to allow the listener to witness the transforming experience of womanhood, captured in the exchanges between generations of women.

This website was created by Sonya Mladenova and Alexandra Knowles with the Digital Originals Canada Arts Council Grant.

Thank you for contributing to the archive – we are eternally grateful.

Sonya + Alexandra
September 2021