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ST URSULAS - 1941 VIRTUAL WALK in 2009

The first local history Spring 2009 event took place at St Ursula's on Friday, 13 February.
 
 Years 5 and 6 pupils (10-11 year olds) were taken back in a time machine to 1941 - 68 years ago - when Henleaze was a very different place!
 
This was a joint venture from June Munday (nee Hex) who was a pupil during that time, Sylvia Kelly who taught there until 1995 and Veronica Bowerman, the compiler of The Henleaze Book.
 
We were thrilled to see some of the children had dressed up as evacuees but they all really entered into the spirit of the Virtual Walk presentation 

 THE ROUTE OF THE VIRTUAL WALK IN HENLEAZE - 1941
 
NB If you have problems viewing this complete map in your browser please click on the subpage at the foot of this page marked PHOTOS FROM 1940s
- the Map can be viewed there - see attachment - No 4.
 

**We were fortunate enough to have been loaned various items for the event, including newspapers of the era, shrapnel, weighing scales, a milk carrier etc. Several of the boys were keen to try on the gas masks! Many were surprised that socks needed to be  darned in 1941 - often in different colours!

**Grateful thanks to local resident Julian Lea-Jones http://www.history4u.info/ as well as Sylvia Kelly and June Munday for sourcing so many 1941 artefacts for the pupils.These items made The Virtual Walk much more meaningful for them.

 
What the pupils encountered on the Virtual Walk
 
Each pupil left St Ursula's on their virtual walk to Golden Hill with June, who was six years old in 1941
They each had to imagine that they were taking June home to tea. Some of their tasks, sights and encounters en route were:
  • virtually  no traffic on the road
  • rationing - petrol and food
  • purchasing items in ounces such as bacon, sugar, margarine etc. with their ration book
  • queues of people waiting for food
  • air raid sirens
  • air raid shelter stop
  • the all clear
  • bombed houses
  • an ice house at Waterdale
  • talking to the ARP wardens at the Crescent
  • seeing nurses billeted at St Margarets School going to work to attend the wounded soldiers at Southmead Hospital,
  • collecting milk at Claremont where their family were registered
  • finally each pupil and June were able to eat oatie biscuits (made to a 1940s recipe by Sylvia Kelly), when they arrive to their make-believe home at Golden Hill!

There were also some special sound effects to go with the presentation which included queues of people talking,  air raid sirens, bombs dropping, cows mooing, dogs barking, swifts screeching, etc.

To given even more understanding of 1941 we included a visual powerpoint presentation which included copies of posters giving instructions such as the following:

  • Dig for Victory
  • Don't Waste Food
  • Carry your Gas Mask
Local resident Bob Powles, who used to run Powles Garage in Cardigan Road, filled us in with the history of the garage during World War II. Bob is now 90 years old, but has amazing memories of those days.

There was also some Wartime music playing including the song purported to be the Prime Minster, Winston Churchill's favourite - Rub Rabbit Run!

We hope this living history event will help the pupils remember the 1940s and often the difficult times local people encountered.  

If you would like to see more information on St Ursula's School here is the link to their website http://www.st-ursulas.bristol.sch.uk/