Wartime memories of Redhill and Wrington                written by evacuee Christopher Coles from October, 2012 Wrington Village Journal
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Continued from part 1 I think it was weekly that a Bert Parsley would drive up from Wrington in his van loaded up with spares for oil lamps, charged up accumulators and batteries, which were necessary to work the old glass valve radios we had in those days, paraffin, and all sorts of household goods. His van was like a travelling Aladdin's cave. He would take back the run-down accumulators for re-charging. Health and safety could have had a field day with him. On occasions we would be marched by Mum from Redhill to Wrington to have tea with the Parsleys at their shop. I never knew why at the time, but have since discovered that Mary Ann Coles married Edward Parsley, so in a way we were related. My cousins from London and Southampton also came to Redhill and stayed with aunt Lucy Coles at Mendip View, a large cottage half way down the hill, now divided into two cottages. We all then played in the quarry, and the humpty dumpty field behind. Later we were told that Bernard and his sister had been killed in an air raid on London after they had gone back - very sad. Years later, my wife and I took her sister and her husband out to the airport to catch a holiday flight, and I took Brenda on down to Redhill and showed her all our old haunts. When we came to Gwen's cottage, I said, "Shall I knock on the door?" Well, I did, and Gwen answered. I just said: "Hello Auntie Gwen". She nearly collapsed on the floor. "God, I thought you were Bernard, come back from the dead." "No, I'm Christopher and this is my wife". "Oh, come in, come in", and she was calling for her sisters, "Look who's here..." We were plied with jam sandwiches and tea, and caught up with all the news. We learnt that Redhill Minnie Coles was now in a council house down at Langford, so we went there to visit her; her cottage had been pulled down to make way for new houses, but fortunately I now have a photo of it. Mentioning the airport reminds me: one day there was great excitement in the village. We were told a German bomber had landed at Lulsgate and the crew had demanded fuel. They were rounded up by farmers with pitchforks and the Home Guard, so the story went. So now all these years later, after I retired, I started researching my family tree, like lots of other people, and discovered that all the Coles at Redhill were related in one way or another: as a child I had often wondered why we were all called Coles. Having come to the end, I thought it would be nice if I could expand it with some photos, and that is when I found Emma on the Wrington website, and wrote to her, a complete stranger to me. What a lovely helpful lady she turned out to be. I have had several replies and photos and information too. One astounding piece was that Bernard was not killed in the air raid, and has since been back to Redhill. I can only say, long may the Journal prosper, and very many thanks to all concerned. I shall never forget Redhill and Wrington. Christopher Coles