When local historian Brian Bennett found out Buckley was once home to a school for the Second World War evacuees, he made it his mission to delve further into the history of the site...

Did you know there was a Second World War School for evacuees in Buckley?

I was asked that same question by one of our town councillors.

In my ignorance, I had to admit I was unaware of that fact.

But shortly afterwards my natural inquisitiveness got the better of me and I decided to delve a little deeper into the subject.

Yes, there was a building-school for wartime evacuees in the town. Mostly it was to cater for children from Merseyside area, and it was in Mill Lane - less than a 100 yards from The Cross in the centre of Buckley.

Gallery: Looking back at years of the Buckley Jubilee

The building is now used as a garage business, as has been the case since the end of the Second World War, but for many years this was the home of the first Wesleyan Church in the town.

Built in the 1840s, it served the non conformist needs of the Wesleyan faith for decades before moving to larger premises, always known as the Tabernacle Church in Padeswood Road, which was built in 1877.


The Mill Lane building as it is today.

The Mill Lane building as it is today.


The rise of the Tabernacle allowed the old original building to be used as a Sunday School for the mother church for many years. Then following the outbreak of the war it was used to accommodate the Merseyside children who had been evacuated to Buckley to escape the atrocities of the bombing.

I believe about 20 pupils were accommodated at any one time, being taught in one room by a staff of two.

See more: Buckley Jubilee of 1996

Many of the children returned home after the major bombing raids had subsided, but several stayed and were absorbed into the local schools.

Much banter and rivalry was commonplace between the newcomers and local children, mainly good natured, primarily regarding the scouse lingo and the local Buckley accent.

The building in Mill Lane was also in the early part of the war used as an assembly point for the conscripts into the armed forces being used by the local Territorial Army.

The premises, which has been in the Keeley family since 1946, has in its time also been a motor cycle dealers, a scrap car merchants and is currently a motor body specialist repair shop.

I am sure that there are townsfolk around who were probably pupils at this school and no doubt have many memories and tales to relate.

• Brian Bennett's latest book, A Pictorial History of Buckley, is £7.95 with a donation from profits going to a local cause, and available from The Bookshop and Siop Y Siswrn, both in Mold.