26th April, 1933
CHILD VICTIMS OF EXPLOSION
Week’s Holiday at the Seaside Guests of Teachers
Sixty Mitcham children whose homes were destroyed in the recent explosion have had a joyous week at the seaside at Dovercourt, near Harwich. They were the guests of the National Union of Teachers and the Surrey County Teachers’ Association.
At Dovercourt they have revelled in the sand and the country; they have had trips to farmyards; and; wonder of wonders, a boat trip to Felixstowe.
Half-a-dozen teachers from the Lower Mitcham Schools and Nurse Elsmore took these homeless children to the first real holiday they have ever had in their lives.
“It has been marvellous,” said Miss White, one of the teachers, when she returned to London. “I did not think it was possible for children to enjoy themselves so much. Look at their little brown faces, and talk about eat! Some of them have gained nearly three pounds in weight.
Then (writes a correspondent) came the joyous cries of the children as they arrived. Thus said little Charley Fulton, who is about seven — “What a time we’ve had, but ain’t the sea cold! I went paddling, and it was grand. I don’t never want to come home now.”
Then Florrie Addaway, who is nine, said she had never seen the sea before. “Ain’t it just grand!” she said. “We ain’t ‘arf had a good time. I want to see my mummie again, but I would like to live by the sea and go round the farms. We went on a ship and it was wonderful.”
The 60 children were lined up on the station platform, checked and counterchecked by the teachers, and all found correct. Two by two they marched off mites of 3 1/2 and children of nine to the motor coach to take them to the Holborn Schools, where, till other homes can be found for them and their parents, they are being sheltered.
Source: Dundee Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 26 April 1933 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)
For more details about the Explosion, see the Official Report.