In our travels we went to visit Mums sister Kathleen and her two daughters, Marion and Kathleen, in Blackpool. The girls who were a couple of years older than me, were so excited, they took me by the hands and ran me up the road a short way to show me off to their friends who had never met a Kiwi kid before. It was in Blackpool that I spent my last penny to buy a stamp to go on a letter home. That was the only time I saw my aunt and cousins, as there was no love lost between the two sides of the family.
As the school term ended I was told I would not be going back to school. The aunts had decided to send me home because there was so much talk of war, and the thought of air raids and gas masks and bombs was too big a responsibility for someone else’s child. So passage was booked on the first available ship going back to N Z. Angie was to travel with me and Emily was to stay and look after the house in case of any more break-ins.
It was early 1937 and the ship we travelled on was the Mataroa – a sister ship to the one we had come over on. The trip was uneventful and there were only a couple of other kids on board. We retraced our route back through the Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean making the same stops as on the way over. When we got to Pitcairn Island the canoes came out to meet us and I was given sixpence to buy a little straw hat for my doll. I had to put my sixpence in the basket and send it down to the canoe and the little hat was sent up to me.
When we arrived safely back in Auckland and I was handed over to my sister, Mary, while Angie returned home to Wales.