THE 70th anniversary of second world war evacuees arriving in Teignbridge was marked by the district with almost 150 local children being sent back in time.

As part of a special commemorative event – Teignbridge Remembers Operation Pied Piper – 14 real life evacuees worked with council staff and teachers to help deliver a day of practical learning to Year Three and Nine children from local schools.

It commenced with a steam train ride at Buckfastleigh Railway Station – where many evacuees to Teignbridge arrived in the 1940s ­– and the children were labelled just like the evacuees were back then and also given ration books.

From there they took the walk to the town hall to watch a short film about that period of time, before taking part in a mock air raid, with a 'shelter' at Buckfastleigh Primary School.

It was here that the children were told wartime tales, after which the youngsters questioned the evacuees about their experiences at the nearby Valiant Soldier – a former inn which closed in the 1960s but still retains the original furniture, pub items, paperwork and even till money from the time.

The day, paid for using a grant of £3,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, ended with an evaluation activity as the children wrote 'a postcard home' describing their experiences.

Cllr Marie Jenkins, Teignbridge executive spokesman for community and regulation, said: 'We were delighted with the response to Teignbridge Remembers Operation Pied Piper, and throughout the day it was really rewarding to see history brought to life for local school children.

'From train rides to ration books to mock air raids, the young people involved got a real taste of wartime Teignbridge.

'I'd like to thank all the evacuees who came along to share their personal experiences, and hope that they found the day as fulfilling and worthwhile as I did.'