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 Post subject: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 15:24 pm 
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Location: south east uk
Group: 'To Victory, Together!' (Me, him and the dog)
Interested to find out more about Trekkers but there is very little image source or info about them. In the sources I have read they say they left on buses/trains or on foot with blankets to sleep out in the open fields.
Now being a bit of a softy and knowing how pure wool blankets soak up the rain, I wondered if they took any sort of primitive cover with them or whether they took just bedding and risked being soaked if it was a wet night.
Does any-one have any more detailed sources they could suggest for reading.
Jude


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 16:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 21:49 pm
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Real Name: Gerwyn
You got me Jude, I don't even know what Trekkers are :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 17:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 15:36 pm
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Star trekkers :}


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 17:30 pm 
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Trekies, they don't like being called Trekers


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 18:07 pm 
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Hi Pioneer 64.
Trekkers were the civilians who left the cities and large towns at night during repeated bombing raids to sleep away from the built up areas. They then returned to home/work in the morning. It wasn't a long term thing I believe.
I think the term originated a little before Star Trek! :D
Jude


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 18:50 pm 
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Real Name: Gerwyn
Thank you Jude, live and learn :D

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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 19:24 pm 
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blueknighttbk wrote:
Trekies, they don't like being called Trekers

Actually it was the other way around. And they used a double 'k', Trekkers.
These days they are almost synonymous.

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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 21:37 pm 
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I'd never heard of it before, but a quick google around showed up this page with some interesting stuff:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/U ... al-15.html

(btw it seems that the term "trekkers" is something the national curriculum brings up, despite it being something that us WW2 enthusiasts aren't too familiar with - they certainly do pick some bizarre things to teach them!)

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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 21:58 pm 
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innit from a south African term?

vortrekkers = first movers or pioneers.

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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:09 am 
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
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I am familiar with the trekking - the overnight evacuation of cities - and I particularly associate it with Coventry - for instance: "I remember the bright orange glow in the direction of Coventry. The fires must have been awful! There was a steady trek of families walking into the country, some pushing baby buggies piled up with their treasures!" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peoples ... 2711.shtml). Also "the Ministry of Information assiduously monitored morale in the blitzed cities. The anxiety was that, terrified by the scale and ferocity of the raids, people would go underground, develop a troglodyte mentality and refuse to come up again, or trek out into the countryside and refuse to return, and war production would grind to a halt" (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/worl ... alive.html). But I can't find any pictures for you!


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:29 am 
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
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Jude, you might also find this interesting about trekking from Norwich. http://stephensnelling.com/blog/?p=67 . I went to his book launch 3 years ago, and to his talk at the Arts Centre. I had recently got (at a carboot) a wonderful 6-page letter describing in detail a raid on Norwich, and went and had coffee at his house to show him, but it was too late for inclusion in his book. Here are some extracts:
"My Dearest Frank
I hope the sight of the telegram didn’t give you a scare, but I sent it, in case you heard Norwich got it, and believe me it did... This time it was worse than the other raids. Do you know Frank there is only 1 stirrup pump on this road and on Friday night or rather early Saturday morning there were 4 houses ablaze on our road... I yelled to the Bishops that the house was on fire so did the London woman, but they were too windy to come out... for I honestly thought it would be goodbye to our home, and it’s not a case of buying more clothes, it’s the coupons not the money now. I asked Gladys if there was anything particular of hers that we could take but she said just Jim’s photo... When we first went to help there was Gladys and I and Mrs Self with about 4 men and we worked till we were all in keeping them supplied with water. You see there were no fire engines or anything to come because there were so many bigger fires... Violet is gone away because she is so upset. Gladys and I got wrong with her for she stood against their shelter while we were running down the garden with our things, running on a lot of dribble, and when she asked me what the time was, I told her I hadn’t looked and she had better go look herself if she wanted to know. She said she couldn’t leave Ian, Gladys said “Ian be damned why the hell don’t you do something to help”...A little later when we were still taking pails of water (young Eric was a little brick) somebody started shouting for water. I thought perhaps a fire had broken out in another house, but no it was Violet throwing a faint, and I could freely have thrown the pail of water over her." Fantastic, isn't it!


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:40 am 
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
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What an awesome personal insight - thanks for sharing it with us all!


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:58 am 
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
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Thanks Rob. In fact there's more to the story - I met someone who features in it!

"By the time the “all clear” went some wardens with stirrup pumps had arrived. Anyway the roofs of Deek’s & Robinson’s houses are gone but they managed with that little lot (Mr Robinson had a hose as well) to get the fire under control so that the bottom rooms are saved... Poor woman (Mrs Deeks) they’ve taken her to the country she is expecting her baby any minute. I felt so sorry for her although she was not making any fuss."

Anyway, I did a bit of googling and found a Mr Deeks had recorded his memories for the BBC People's War about being a boy during the Norwich blitz. I then got a phone number, phoned him, and sure enough, it was his mum. His baby brother was born a few weeks later. They had gone to live with his uncle on a farm in Suffolk. I photocopied the letter for an exhibition held at the Norwich Arts Centre in conjunction with the launch of Steve Snelling's book. I was standing looking at it when I heard this elderly man telling his granddaughter that the letter was about where he used to live and about his mum. So we met each other!


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 18:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 22:03 pm
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
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Wow! That's fantastic! I love it when events of such synchronicity occur.


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 23:26 pm 
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Thank you Owen for the link to that author. I had just read a book about Norfolk in the war and it mentioned the trekkers from Norwich with a couple of eye witness accounts.
There are a few pictures around that I found. I think they number about 4. I did a very small information board and display on trekkers last year at the Odyssey. But when we laid a bed of blankets out for illustration and it poured, I did wonder whether they would just have accepted this, or whether they took anything waterproof to cover themselves with, such as a bit of canvas or oil cloth from the table. But have found nothing about this in detail. Simply that they slept under the stars.
Thanks for the letter. It is wonderful to read a first hand account of the time.
Jude


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 Post subject: Re: Trekkers.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 20:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
Thanks Jude. What was the other book about Norwich you read? If I come to W & P again I will bring the full letter to show you.


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