Collecting for the war effort

During the war Mrs. Gerald Wiley of the White House organised war charity collections. A few girls from the school, including Jean Highe, Kathleen and Hazel Rice and me, all of us around the ages of 9 or 10, were asked to become War Charity Collectors and each given a round of various roads throughout the village. Our job was to call on every house in our areas to collect money. My area was Witton Lane, Blofield Road, Little Plumstead Green, Water Lane. the houses in the grounds of the hospital, and two of the cottages on Salhouse Road. Possibly once a week after school, with the tin dangling from the handlebars of my bike, I would cycle round and call at every house to collect. I don’t ever remember people refusing to give something, even though it may have been in some cases only twopence or threepence – some of the richer people might give a shilling or even two (five or ten pence in today’s money). We then had to take our tins to the White House to be emptied. I remember going to the door and being admitted by the maid, dressed in a black dress, frilly apron and cap, to the large kitchen where we would sit round the table to unseal our tins, empty them and count our takings which would be recorded in a book. Our tins would then be re-sealed ready for the next collection and I think we were always given a biscuit before we left. Would children be allowed to do such a thing these days?


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