A Christmas present from POWs
We have recently loaned two items to Biggin Hill Museum. One was a wooden ‘run-along’ toy, made by a German prisoner of war who was held at Springhill Camp just after WWII. The toy, a Santa Claus, was made for a little boy on a local farm where the POW worked. The other was a ‘ship in a bottle’ which was also a wartime gift made by a POW.
One memory of this time, written twenty years ago, says:
“Most of the prisoners were very industrious, especially if it meant earning a little spending money and most of the local Campden people benefited by the things they made which included very well-made ‘openout’ sewing boxes, wooden bowls, and warm slippers made from plaited, stripped rope.
One real treasure that they left us was a set of Nativity figures for our Church, parts of which we still have but unfortunately, being made of unfired clay, have deteriorated a little although some of the animals were used recently in a scene at a Church festival. As far as I can remember, the person in charge of this project was one of the Commandants, whose name I only remember as “Peter” – he was friendly with neighbour of ours who was church organist.”
There is no trace of these Nativity figures now – are these the ones? Does anyone remember them?