Penrhos College evacuation story to be televised
5th September 2019

The incredible story of Penrhos College’s evacuation during World War Two will be featured on a national television programme next month.

As part of a special feature recorded by BBC Countryfile, a number of former pupils were interviewed to highlight their emotions and experiences during the troubled time during the evacuation process due to possible Nazi invasion.

Rydal Penrhos have also lent its support to the feature with a selection of images from the time period, and it is expected to air on Sunday, September 1.

Around 250 girls from Penrhos College were given refuge at the Derbyshire facility, living in dormitories in the property’s state rooms for six years.

During the day they tended the vegetable gardens to contribute to the national war effort, enjoyed ice-skating on the Canal Pond during winter months and had the run of the house, as its contents had been carefully packed away.

They were sent to Chatsworth House from September 1939 until the war finished in September 1945.

Miss Constance Smith, who was Principal 1938-1966 undertook the considerable task of evacuating the school to Chatsworth in 1939 and then moving back to Colwyn Bay in 1945.

It is said condensation from the breath of the sleeping girls caused fungus to grow behind some pictures on the walls, and there was a shortage of hot water with so many people accommodated in the house.

Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding, said: “The evacuation of Penrhos College during the Second World War is a significant period in our history at Rydal Penrhos School, and it is great that such an emotional story is being broadcast to a larger audience to further highlight its significance.”



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