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Child population rose hundreds overnight 25th June 1965

child population rose25 years ago Bideford and Torrington districts received the biggest influx they had ever known.

Six consecutive nights long trains brough hundreds of children and helpers to the locality.  They were the first official evacuees to be received in the area.  Bideford Borough received about 1,100 evacuee schoolchildren in June, Bideford Rural district 750, Torrington Borough 280 and Torrington Rural district 1,220.

Not everyone responded to the voluntary billeting appeal and in a few cases compulsory powers had to be used but, more happily, some people who had at first declined to take in evacuees were so touched when the children arrived that there was a change of heart.

Inevitably there were misfits, but on the whole the children quickly settled happily in their new homes.

There are those on whom the locality cast its spell, who never went back and have almost forgotten they were "Londoners."

 

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