St.Margaret's News June 2021 - Page 6

Family Histor

On 1 May 2020 , I received an email from a Heide Luker saying “ I was excited to find your website and like how it puts your birth into context . For my project I am trying to gather memories and stories in order to put together a short monologue from the viewpoint of an expectant mother and her journey from London to stay in Derbyshire during wartime . This will be performed in the castle we hope in December . I am wondering if your mother ever shared stories of what it was like being in Willersley Castle with access to it ' s grounds . What were the nursing staff like . Also if she stayed with a family in the local community before going into labour , how was it ?”
Why was I contacted ? Because it was about the experience my own London mother had when she was evacuated to Willersley Castle to give birth to me during WW2 . Mum was one of the many expectant mothers evacuated there from London .
COVID put an end to Heide ’ s plans to perform the short play at Willersley Castle ( although they still hope it may be possible ), but I had an early start on 10 June 2021 when I tuned in at 5 AM ( 3.2 degrees outside ) to the digital premiere of “ The London Mothers ” on YouTube .
I got a huge surprise near the end of the video when one of our family photos of mum ( holding me ) and dad appeared on the screen . I had provided the photo to Heide Luker back in 2020 , but had no idea it would appear in the videoed performance of the play she had written . If you happen to have seen my post about this on my Facebook page , you may have seen how many people have been blown away by it all .
A discussion session after the video - with Heidi Luker , and Adrian Farmer from the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site - revealed some things I hadn ’ t previously known so that was most interesting .
St Margaret ’ s News 6 June 2021