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Wartime memories of Frome evacuees

Children and grandchildren of workers evacuated to Frome during the Second World War have come together to watch a film about a firm relocated to the town during the war. 

Family members of those that worked at Evans Engineering during the Second World War watched a film about the firm that was recorded during WWII.

The company itself was evacuated from Portsmouth where there was heavy bombing, to Frome.  It occupied he Adderwell works of Butler and Tanner and made mainly aeroplane parts.

The film showing was organised by Home in Frome, a community group  who record, share and celebrate the changes in Frome through time.

The managing director at Adderwell during the war was called W J Evans and he was a cine film enthusiast and later Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. He ensured wartime events at Adderwell were filmed and includes a lunchtime musical show and visits by Queen Mary and Sir Stafford Cripps, Labour MP for Bristol East and Minister for Aircraft Production in the wartime coalition government.

It includes footage of an old HTV film about the war. Sonja Harris of Home in Frome provided a spoken commentary for silent portions of the film and Trevor Biggs of Frome Film and Video edited some of the film.

Cynthia Evans, daughter of W J Evans, also attended and was warmly welcomed and spoke of her happy memories of the war years.

The family lived at Trudoxhill.  She was presented with a photo by Mike Penny of Keyford, showing the massed ranks of the Evans Home Guard in which all the male workers seem to have been members!

A lot of the workforce were women, from both Frome and Portsmouth.

It must have been quite a shock for many of them to be doing heavy engineering work which  in those days was not regarded as a ‘female’ occupation.