Alan attended the Church Walks primary school then later went to school in Eirias Park during the war. ( It was then called the County School.) He remembers vividly the evacuee intake. There was apparently some upset initially and a shortage of teachers since so many had enlisted. He says the Liverpool children generally went to Central School (Pendorlan). He was 10 years old in 1940.
There were Jewish children and the taunt from the locals to them was ‘Do you come from Cohen Bay or Llanyidno?’ But all children integrated well. Alan’s mother took a lodger from the Queens Hotel, Ministry of Food a CEO, (Chief Executive Officer,) So there was no room to take evacuee children at home. When Alan returned to the school for an open day years later he was dismayed to see no photographs of the pupils from wartime in the corridors of the original building and mentioned it to the headmaster.
When he was 15 the Ministry of Food personnel came to the school looking to recruit staff and he sat an exam and passed. He first worked at the Queens Hotel for Wartime meals, a department which organised all the British Restaurants over the country. Sir Bertram Chrimes led the task, he had been head of ‘Coopers’ of Liverpool. Alan remembers his daughter Eileen who became a doctor and married Dr Henry Davies. The couple later had a practice on Nant y Glyn Highway. Alan was transferred to the Pwllychrochan Hotel and then to the Metropole Hotel, where he worked at Eggs Finance. The work consisted of checking orders.
After the war his work experience led him to a position in the ‘Salvage Division’ in Liverpool. The factory sorted animal food from that fit for human consumption at a government depot. Food was brought in from America by boat and graded.
After his spell of working in Liverpool Alan lived in the Colwyn Bay area for many years, settling in Betws yn Rhos where his wife’s family were from. He was a keen local historian and wrote a book on the history of Betws yn Rhos.
Alan knew of local families who relocated through their wartime civil service careers, one woman named Roberts from Pen y Bryn Old Colwyn had met an officer and emigrated to the USA after her marriage. Her husband became an attorney – possibly a senator – There was also a corps of US nurses who were billeted in houses all along the Conway (main) road in boarding houses near to Rydal school, who on arrival learned how to pitch tents on Rydal field.
John, Alan’s friend, was also recruited to the Ministry through the school and after the war he relocated with his family to Guildford, Surrey, and settled there, visiting Colwyn Bay often and keeping in touch. There are many other families who relocated from Colwyn Bay and settled in Guildford for the same reason during that time.