Forty-eight evacuee children were to call West Horsley Place ‘home’ and find shelter in its walls while the events of World War II unfolded. In December 1939, Lady Crewe treated these evacuee children to a Christmas Day they would never forget, with an enormous tree decorated with sweets and ribbons, dancing and party games, delicious food, and thoughtful gifts for each child. This kindness would leave a lasting mark on the children who took shelter here.

Join children's author, Lucy Reynolds, to bring wartime West Horsley Place to life, exploring the fascinating collection of Christmas letters from evacuee children staying there in 1939, and discovering what life would have been like during these uncertain times. Then create your own Christmas letter home, filled with tidings from afar and festive wishes for the year to come. Come dressed as an evacuee if you would like to get into character! And be ready to create some traditional festive tree deorations and create a beautiful good luck charm to send to a child who is facing an uncertain time this Christmas. 

A fascinating, thoughtful day, perfect for ages 8-11 and brimming with history and creativity.

Lucy Reynolds

Lucy Reynolds is a children's book author and the scribbly half of publishing duo, Doodles & Scribbles. Lucy writes from her home in Surrey, but grew up on a small farm in Somerset where she developed her love of wildlife and writing roaming free in the great outdoors. Lucy studied the two great noticers of nature, Thomas Hardy and G.M. Hopkins, for her PhD in C19th poetry at Oxford University. Her writing has been praised for its thoughtfulness and inclusivity and is characterised by an attention to detail and gentle humour that bring the wild world warmly to life. Lucy is currently writing an historical middle grade set in World War II and is looking forward to exploring this fascinating era with children during this very special event.  

Important Information

Ticket cost: £39

Most suited for children aged 8-11

Parents/Guardians drop off at 9.30am and pick up at 3.30pm.

The group will be no larger than 20 children, making for a very special immersive experience and lots of attention for every child. 

Please ensure your child has a bottle for water and a packed lunch. 

All materials included. 

If you have a pre-loved children's book at home that you would like to donate to a child in need, please bring it with you.