17th August 2022, 10:00 - 13:15
Enjoy a tour of this beautiful historic site that was first used as an evacuee camp during World War II and is now a childrens’ activity centre. Learn about the fascinating history of the war days and discover all about this 56 acre site that includes a 27 acre nature reserve. Our tour will finish with lunch provided by Sayers Croft kitchens.
Sayers Croft was built in 1939 and was first used by a group of 200 evacuees who stayed there for the duration of World War Two.
By August 1939, it seemed certain that Britain would go to war with Germany. The destruction caused in European towns and cities by Hitler’s air force, the Luftwaffe, meant the British government needed a way of moving huge numbers of civilians away from big cities like London. September 1st 1939, marked the first day of “Operation Pied Piper”, which was the code name for the government’s plan to evacuate more than 3.5 million people out of danger areas to safer places.
In the first three days of evacuation, 1.5 million people were moved, including 827,000 school-aged children and 103,000 teachers and other adult “helpers”. Several thousand evacuees were eventually moved to camp schools, including the 200 boys from Brownhill Road and Catford Central schools in London who, after first staying in Kent, arrived at Sayers Croft Camp at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday 15th May 1940.
Many of the evacuated boys stayed at Sayers Croft for the duration of the war, with life being led as close to normal as possible. They had lessons, played sports, and received visits from parents, all in the relative safety of the English countryside. At the end of the war, Sayers Croft was used by Dutch children as a safe place to receive medical care and food, as their homeland had been devastated by the war and Nazi occupation.
Once the threat of war had gone Sayers Croft returned to its original peacetime purpose, providing a place for inner city children to experience and learn about the outdoors.
To this day, Sayers Croft continues to welcome children and their teachers, and almost all of the modern-day site remains exactly as it would have been seen by the London schoolboys of 1940.
We will meet for coffee and biscuits in the Old Woodwork Room at 10:00 am.
There will then be a tour of the site that will cover the history of the war years, the use of the school today and the public nature reserve that forms part of Sayers Croft. The site is mostly flat and is fully accessible. There will be a moderate amount of walking during the tour.
Lunch is at 12:30 pm and will be a jacket potato with a variety of fillings to choose from and served with a salad. There will also be yoghurts and fruit for desert. Our visit is timed to finish at 1:15 pm. Please indicate any special dietary requirements in the comments box when booking your ticket.
Our hosts will be Sayers Croft Trust which is a charity. The admission fee will include refreshments and lunch plus a contribution to the Trust.
This event is suitable for those with mobility challenges.
Dogs are not permitted.
Cost to Members: £12.50
Cost to Non-members: £17.50
Deadline for booking 3 August 2022.
Any enquiries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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