War on the Line 2019 (part 1)

Episode 29 – War on the Line 2019 (part 1)

Welcome to War on the Line 2019 (part 1), where I talk to a number of characters from the local community. The 2019 event commemorates 75 years since D Day.

The cycling Cobbler:

I talk to a shoe repairer who uses his bicycle to visit different parts of the area so that he can provide a service. I find that he has a pair if shoes for a soldier. He doesn’t know where the soldier has got to. Let’s hope he’ll come back to pay for the repairs!

The Auxiliers:

The next person I spoke to told me about the Auxiliers. They would stay behind if there was an invasion. The idea was to be an active resistance to the invaders. They would cause disruption though their activities. Their life expectancy after an invasion was only a few weeks.

The Auxiliers had new and novel weapons including ‘tommy guns’ and exploding rats. There were over 3,000 very fit and extremely brave civilians in the Auxiliers. They were trained at Coleshill House in the Vale of the White Horse.

The National Trust owns the property today. You can find out more by clicking this link.

Travelling magician:

I meet a magician on the train. I am not permitted to say where it was going! Careless talk …..

The magician was keeping the passengers entertained with three pieces of ‘knicker’ elastic. I could not see how he joined the three pieces together with just a wave of his hand!

The Russian Army:

I meet members from our allies in the Russian Army camped at one of the stations on the line. Their tinned food supplies are of great interest to the visitors.

A hair do fit for the occasion:

My final interview in this episode is with a hairdresser. They tell me that there was a queue outside before they had set up. We all know about queuing in wartime.

To view the photographs:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link to the Watercress Line.

VE Day commemoration:

Visit the Watercress Line between the 8th and 10th May to join in. The line will take you back to 1945 to mark the 75th Anniversary. Find out more here.

Come along in period clothes, you can even have a 40s makeover at Pearl’s Pin Up Parlour on the Friday and Sunday.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.