The opening conversation of Helen Finch’s interview is about the government buildings in Dinerth Road which were originally planned as a hospital.
Helen has many memories of being in school at Lyndon during wartime. A chance meeting on the tram brought her Mother’s friend, a civil servant from the Ministry of Food tea department, to lodge at their house.
Helen remembers the American nurses practicing pitching tents on Rydal field. They also played basketball. They set up a ‘PX’ and American store to provide sweets, nylons and other things unavailable here. They gave the children sweets as an icebreaker. Helen’s only experience of the US was through the films at the Odeon,the Playhouse and the Cosy. The Americans had a Cold store for provisions at Glan Conwy corner, which still exists today. She discusses the availability of butter during wartime.
Her school, Lyndon, had to accommodate a great many children from Jewish families who evacuated to holiday homes in North Wales for the war. Many furriers had businesses in town. One family had a pig farm. Helen talks of other contributions by the town towards the war effort. The Townswomen’s Guilds were very active and the churches had knitting circles. Everyone had to be gainfully employed. She speaks of planes flying over town in the evenings, some jettisoning bombs, and the local people saw Liverpool on fire when an ammunition train was bombed. Many of the young evacuee children from Liverpool came ‘sewn into’ their clothes and had ‘nits’, a problem which still exists today. Wartime brought a new perspective with people working together to strengthen morale.
Helen was interviewed by Cindy.