Wartime evacuees to reunite at special event following Covid delays

Lowestoft evacuees 1940. Picture: Archant archives

Evacuees at Lowestoft Rail Station in 1940. - Credit: Archant archives

Hopes are high that wartime memories can be shared once more this summer as a reunion bounces back from Covid.

After a popular reunion of Lowestoft evacuees has been cancelled three times amid the continuing coronavirus crisis, organisers hope that friendships can be rekindled at the Lowestoft Evacuees’ Association 2021 reunion in July.

With two annual evacuees reunions held each year in Lowestoft - in June and December - both events were cancelled last year amid the pandemic.

And with the continuing restrictions, the summer reunion that was scheduled for this weekend is also unable to go-ahead.

Tthe information board displayed at the Lowestoft evacuees board. Picture: Mick Howes

The information board displayed at the Lowestoft evacuees events. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Chris Brooks, secretary of Lowestoft Evacuees Association, said: "We have had to cancel three reunions on our normal dates due to the pandemic restrictions, but hope that the 2021 reunion can now take place, albeit a month later than normal."


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In June 1940 more than 3,000 schoolchildren left Lowestoft on five trains on their way to rural Derbyshire – and hopes are high that new chapters can be told to commemorate the 81st anniversary.

Organisers have arranged for the Lowestoft Evacuees 2021 reunion event to be held on July 3 from 11am at Lowestoft station.

Part of the information board unveiled at the Lowestoft evacuees board. Picture: Mick Howes

Part of the information board unveiled at a previous Lowestoft evacuees event. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

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Mr Brooks said: "We are holding our 2021 Evacuees event a month later than usual, having had to cancel our two in 2020, and the one for this weekend, to conform with the Government’s roadmap of removing all restrictions by mid June.

"Although there is still some uncertainty we now target July 3 as our meeting day and at the Rail Station as our normal venue is not yet available.

"Inevitably there will be fewer able to attend so this reunion may well be the ‘last of the summer wine’ in our annual calendar; after all 81 years is a long time since the 1940 wartime evacuation."

The Mayor of Lowestoft, Alan Green, has been invited to greet any ex evacuees from Lowestoft who are able to attend with a friend or family member, assuming conditions allow.

Mr Brooks added: "At and around the date of the event, there will be a public exhibition in the Rail Station's parcels office of posters and photos of the evacuation and the work of the association through the years from 1990, when the first reunion was held on the 50th anniversary of children leaving the Borough on June 2 1940."

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