A wartime photo album reveals the life of child evacuees during wartime in North Yorkshire, reports MAXINE GORDON

SKATING on ice, rambling through the countryside, and going on an outing with friends are just some of the fun activities enjoyed by a group of child evacuees in North Yorkshire just after the outbreak of the Second World War.

How do we know? Because their antics have been documented in a photo album that has been found in an attic.

The discovery sparked a hunt to discover more about the children in the photos.

Local couple Helen and John Dean, from Beadlam, took on the painstaking task of trying to find the story behind the photographs – more than 100 of which were found in the album along with notes about some of the activities enjoyed by the children during their stay from autumn 1939 to winter 1940.

So far, they have found out that about 20 of the boys were billeted in Gilling East, while about six of the girls went to Harome.

The group met on occasion in nearby Helmsley and took excursions to Kirkdale Caves, where, with string and candles, they went exploring for hyenas! They also enjoyed helping on farms, country rambles and skating on the frozen lake.

The unknown author of the album and two other boys stayed with Canon Hudson and his family at the rectory, another five stayed at Grimston Manor with Major and Mrs Brooke (Mrs Brooke was the billeting officer for the area).

Although the album does not say where the party came from, initial research suggests they were from Hull.

Local people can remember the evacuees attending their schools back in the early days of the war and how one teacher brought a magic lantern and treated everyone to evening slide shows in the school.

The photographs have been on display at Pickering Library. Now the Deans would like to hear from anyone who can shed more light on these snaps from 1939. If you can help, please email: johnopenlearning18@gmail.com