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First Tuesday: Peter Brabban, The War came early to Sleepy Valley

January 8 @ 19:00

Peter Brabban’s mother and father

The narrative of the Second World War has scant details of the experience of working class families during the conflict; despite being described as ‘The Peoples War’. In the ‘War came early to Sleepy Valley’ we follow the lives of one family during this period. Tommy, the father, is called up to the army before war is declared and whose experiences cover events such as Dunkirk, the North African campaign and the invasion of Italy.

Mary, the mother, and Jean, Teddy and Mary Louise, the children live on at Sleepy Valley dealing with the loss of family income when Tommy is called up, the blackout, bombs, local tragedies, the billeting of British then American troops across the road, finding work, going to school and ‘making do and mending’. The working class values of solidarity and collective support shine out in all their experiences.

The project is a combination of family history, oral history and documentary research.


January 8


Old George Inn
Old George Yard
Newcastle, NE1 1EZ