The story of Evie, a Leeds woman whose husband is away in the trenches held an audience at St Matthew’s Community Centre spellbound this afternoon (Tuesday 13 October 2015).
Evie’s Story, a one-woman show featuring Sandra Chewins, is presented by Space2 and follows a previous show about Harry’s experiences in France. Evie tells her story of helping the war effort working at Barnbow munitions factory in Cross Gates. She vividly describes life inside a ‘whole new town stuck on the side of Leeds’ with 60,000 workers, mostly women and its own train service.
As Evie says: “But if you’d said to me, this time last year, that we’d have women messing round with the bombs and explosives, I would have told you to go and have a little lie down with a damp cloth pressed on your forehead. None of us could have seen this coming. It’s a funny old thing war. It turns everything on its head.”
Evie reflects on the first day of the Battle of the Somme when 750 Leeds Pals went over the top. 200 were dead within minutes and there wasn’t a street in the city that wasn’t affected. Barnbow suffered its own tragedy six months later when an explosion and fire killed 35 women.
The performance was put on by Holbeck Elderly Aid and followed on from their lunch club. There was plenty to discuss over tea and cake as the audience reflected on their own family histories.
The play is touring community venues in the city. If you would like to host a performance (at no charge) please contact Emma Tregidden firstname.lastname@example.org (0113) 320 0159 ext 1