Gay Sagar Fenton's memories of World War II

Gay Sagar Fenton moved to Marazion in 1932 - aged 12. Her father was the manager and later owner of the fertilizer factory in Newlyn. The family lived in Feliskirk Lane. She describes just some of her memories of the war below.

Marazion Old Vicarage was used as a WVS canteen during the war. There were lots of troops around, guarding the coast. There were dances for the soldiers, mainly held in the church hall. The Irish Fusiliers were billeted in the Godolphin Arms but there were disputes with the Scots soldiers staying elsewhere!

In case there was an invasion there was a coastal defence gun on the hills overlooking the bay but it was never fired because it would break the windows of the surroundig houses! The beach had barbed wire and land mines - many dogs were blown up by running on to the beach. There was a pillbox defending the beach and the Fenton girls would hang out of the window to watch the gun firing at enemy aircraft. There was a small beach behind the Godolphin which was not mined and was used by the locals.

Gay's father was involved in controlling the fire engine which was kept at the Town Hall and he always knew about the raids before the siren sounded. Gay worked on the land and later did night duty at a hostel for evacuees who could not be billeted with families in Alexandra Road. The greatest responsibility was to decide whether to wake the children and take them down to the basement or not when the air raid siren sounded. She remembers a German plane flying over Marazion and firing on the beach.

Gay married during the war and went to Redruth to buy curtain material for the dresses. She remembers they were not allowed white icing on the cake - it had to be chocolate!

A reminiscence project promoted by Marazion and District Forum and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund