THERE were tears at Cholsey Railway Station yesterday as 150 children were evacuated from their homes to escape the horrors of the Second World War.

The children from Cholsey Primary School were only imagining what it would have been like to leave their families behind and go to a strange place.

But it was no game for nearly 300 children their age from London who, just over 70 years ago, were evacuated to Wallingford, as the pupils learned yesterday.

They caught the train from Cholsey to Wallingford, where they were greeted by the deputy mayor Ros Lester.

She told the children how the town’s St John’s School coped with the influx of new charges by teaching local children in the mornings and the evacuees in the afternoons.

Cholsey Primary School headteacher Heather Haigh said: “Some of the children really did get quite emotional.

“We did a lot of singing – We’ll Meet Again and Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover - and the girls particularly did cry thinking about what it was actually like.”

Annabel Parker, eight, from Cholsey, said: “It was probably one of the best school trips I’ve ever been on.”

The children were greeted at Wallingford Station by some residents who had been alive at the time and told the children how they remembered evacuees arriving.

Mrs Haigh said: “That sort of firsthand lesson is invaluable, and sadly it is running out.”

The miniature evacuation was part of a Second World War school project marking the 70th anniversary of VE day.