08 March 2007

Auditioning this afternoon: priests, and villains of the piece. Every so often I catch a glimpse of this play I've written and think, How did that happen?

I had a reply to a request I sent to my Auntie T in New Zealand, I wanted some details about the Sharkey family's movements during the war. Absolutely fascinating. My long-held suspicion is confirmed - my Nan's house in Parbrook Close, Huyton, where I spent my first eighteen months or so (Mum and Dad moved in with his mum when they got married), had indeed been part of an internment/POW camp in the early years of the war. Hundreds of foreign nationals, including many Germans of Jewish origin, were rounded up when war broke out, and this half-finished housing estate in Huyton served as a camp - they just threw a barbed wire fence round it.

huyton1

Later in the war ('43 or '44, my auntie isn't sure) the prisoners moved on, the estate was finished and my grandparents moved in with their children, including my 7 or 8 year old Dad. Their neighbours were hundreds of other people made homeless, like them, by the bombing.

3 comments:

Ben Ellis said...

That's incredible. The simplistic formula of wartime astonishes. Likewise, according to the Peckham Society, there was a POW camp on Peckham Common during WW2; lots of people with Italian names, I think.

That picture is really fascinating because there appears to be someone like a guard with a rifle within the wire. Was that his job? Did he stand there all day? What did he think he was doing?

OvaGirl said...

Great to be able to find out these family ...secrets I was going to say but it's not so much I suppose...but the image of this place, fascinating as Ben says, and then and then YOUR FAMILY placed within it...like some huge stage set and the actors standing by...

May Queen is very exciting sbs, wonderful. And hope hellish flu completely gone. You must have been shocking indeed to miss B's party.

xx

sbs said...

The composition's so neat, Ben, I'm sure it's a posed jobby, for the Ministry files. Good though, innit.

Ova G, it is exciting. I was up there for a new play's press night and it was BUZZing.

There's a photo at my Mum's - I'll try and get a sibling to scan it and mail it to me so I can put it up here - it shows my Dad holding newborn me outside the house. He's got a short back and sides and sticky-out ears.