Terence Frisby - Just Remember Two Things....It's Not Fair and Don't be Late
BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre
Broadcast: Saturday 16th April 1988 @ 7:45 p.m.
It is June 13th, 1940. Terry, aged seven, and his elder brother Jack, eleven, stand in a crowd of children on the narrow platform at Welling station, just in Kent but really suburban London. Wearing labels, carrying gas masks and small suitcases, they are evacuees, or 'vackies', awaiting the steam engine which will pull them across the country towards their unknown destination – and new lives...
They had no idea where they were going or who they'd be living with - or for how long. They waved goodbye to their mother and the train took them from Welling to Liskeard in Cornwall, and from there, by bus, to Dogwalls Village School, just outside the village. It is here where the evacuees were picked. Some of the evacuees would have surprising, rich new lives, some would be mistreated, some would run away, some would stay on after the war, and a few would die during it. Jack and Terry were to be two of the luckiest ones when they were picked by a middle-aged Welsh couple, "Auntie Rose" and "Uncle Jack".
Taken to the couple's home in the tiny Cornish hamlet of Doublebois, Terry and Jack find they have swapped the newly built streets of suburban London for the adventure of the countryside. The woods and river become their playground, rabbit-catching and night-fishing their new pastimes. But it is the railway, above all, which delights them. The brothers discover that the main London to Penzance line runs through a cutting right below the tiny terraced cottage where they are to live, the goods yard and sidings lie a couple of hundred yards down the line: to Jack and Terry, sons of a railwayman, No. 7 the Railway Cottages seems the perfect new home.
It is the richest of childhoods, full of colour, humour and the unselfish love that 'Uncle Jack', an irreverent Welsh ex-miner, and his generous wife 'Auntie Rose', offer without reserve to the two young strangers. And despite fierce rivalry between local kids and the 'vackies', village life seems wonderful to the boys. That is, until the bombing of nearby Plymouth and dreadful news from the battlefield shatter the peace of Doublebois, reminders of the brutal reality of a war which at times had seemed so far away.
Warm-hearted and moving, Terence Frisby's play is a vivid and intimate portrait of a neglected part of Britain's wartime history; a compelling and uplifting memoir of growing up in an extraordinary time.
"Just Remember Two Things... It's Not Fair and Don't Be Late" was winner of the Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play of 1988. A musical version of the play premiered at the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple in October of 2004 under the title "Just Remember Two Things" and in 2009, Terence Frisby turned his play into a book titled "Kisses on a Postcard: A Tale of Wartime Childhood".
With Terence Frisby [The Narrator], Ray Smith ['Uncle' Jack Phillips], Petra Davies ['Aunt' Rose Phillips], Charles Clarke [Terry Foster, (7-year-old Evacuee)], Boris Hunka [Jack Foster, Terry's Brother (11-year-old Evacuee)], Polly James [Terry's Mum / Miss Shepherd, Schoolmistress at Dogwalls Village School], Caroline Gruber [Elsie Plumber (13-year-old Evacuee) / Ethel, Rose's Married Daughter / Miss Langdon, Schoolmistress at Dogwalls Village School], John Baddeley [Mr. Buckroyd, the Wesleyan Minister / Sentry], Barbara Atkinson [Widowed Granny Peters], Zelah Clarke [Miss Polmanor, a Middle-Aged Village Spinster / Shirley Burford, Terry's Village Classmate], Danny Schiller [Terry's Dad / The Cornish Driver], and Richard Pearce [Ken Plumber, Elsie's Bother].
Other parts played by members of the cast.
Directed by Matthew Walters.
......Beautiful play....... ND
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