Childrens letters
Childhood memories
the war
Food and Drink
History of Leicester
One of the most satisfying aspects of building the Olive and Eric website has been the feedback. The site was opened in Mid January 2000 and the response has been very good. E:Mails have come from lost relatives and total strangers. The following are extracts from comments about the Website which have been received.  Many of the comments also add information about the war years in Leicester
Names have been removed but I have written to everyone thanking them for their kind comments.

I found your site tonight while looking for information on St Leonard's church, Woodgate.
My parents were married at St Leonard's in 1940.  My father used to attend St Augustine's and was in the choir there in the late 1920s/early 1930s.
My mother, Winifred Phillips, lived at 11 Culver Road throughout the war.  Her parents, Emma and Ted Phillips retired to Llandudno and rented the house out to Ken and Mamie Smith from Yorkshire on condition that they took my Mum as a lodger, even though it was her own home! My paternal grandfather Jack Rowbotham lived in Alma Street on Newfoundpool for many years and then moved to 4 Bembridge Road.  He died there in 1949, but the house stayed in the family.  My Auntie Madge ( Buckley then Stephens) lived there until at least the 1980s.
I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at your site and would be delighted to hear from you if any of these names mean anything to you.
Kind regards
Sheila Medlock

I'm not sure if we have ever met - maybe we did long ago at something like my gran and grandad [Nora and Alf]'s golden wedding celebration or something like that...but anyway, I just wanted to say hello, and also to say how amazing it was to read the Olive and Eric website, what an amazing thing you have done. Not only is it such a wonderful living history in itself, but it also is like a window into a time I've heard my dad talk about, and people he's often mentioned - not to mention people I knew, like Peggy and Les, and your father and mother, Kath and Sheila.
My dad and mum  [John and Sonja] are really well, I have just spent a week up in Lancaster with them, and am now back in Molesey where I live - I have a little house near Hampton Court. While I was at home dad talked about your website so I looked it up. The picture of him is one I have a copy of as well, it makes me smile to see him there. My brother Ken and his wife Ligia and their two kids Joshua and Elizabeth live near Camberley - Josh is really keen on playing football, in the family tradition!!
As for me I've made my career in complementary medicine and currently work for a large natural personal care products company based in Brighton, I work in formulating new products and use a lot of my therapeutic knowledge of medicinal plants and essential oils. 
Anyway, hope this finds you well and wish you continued success with the site, it's a real testament.

Best wishes


Am just browsing the Olive and Eric website and wanted to say what a fantastic site, well done!
I live in Tripoli, Libya and am part of the Royal Society of St George.  This year we are marking the VE Day anniversary with a themed party.  On our recent leave in the UK we went to the Imperial War Musuem and bought lots of things with which to decorate our bar.  I'm also making ration books for people to exchange tokens for drinks and was looking for wartime drinks which is how I came across your site.
I'll procrastinate there again!
Thank you

Dear Keith
I am a teacher, currently working at Alderman Richard Hallam Primary School.  I was very interested in reading about your time at Alderman Richard Hallam Primary School during the war.  In year 6 at the moment we are looking at World War 2 and itís impact on children.  It would be fantastic if you could give me any more information about your time at our school and any memories you may have.
If you need any more information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you
Debbie Dickinson

I just stumbled upon your site through a link on It is so lovely that you've shared these wonderful letters and photos, and I wanted to write and say how much I am enjoying them. I'm also sending the link to our site,, which is a companion for the book my sister and I have written about our grandparents and their experience in occupied Holland during WW2. I hope you'll visit the site, especially the Share Your Story page, where we're building an archive of family stories from a growing list of places. Maybe you'd consider sending us one of your parents' letters and a photo, and we could post it along with a link to your site? 
Warm regards from Canada, 
Kristen den Hartog

I came to your website through the Guardian, and I would just like to say what a lovely job you have done. Many portrayals of the war are overly romanticised whereas your parents' letters give a realistic insight into the everyday grind and uncertainty of forced separation and its effects on morale.

I also grew up in Leicester, but in the 1980s and 1990s, so I missed all the wonderful old gems you mention, like the cinemas and the trams. I was old enough to remember going to the city centre Odeon before they moved all the cinemas out of town, and as for the trams, the nearest I got to enjoying Leicester's rich transport heritage was working as a booking clerk on the steam railway (as a tourist attraction these days of course).

I agree with your comments about the town planners ruining Leicester's heritage - it's time we started preserving those gems we have left. Other cities, such as Oxford, have at least 4 old city centre cinemas in current use, which shows that moving the cinemas out of the city centre is not an inevitable consequence of 'progress'. 

Many thanks for your website, I enjoyed it tremendously.

Thanks very much, and I'd just like to add how much I enjoyed reading all of the letters - in the end I felt like they were part of my family 

I work for the BBC Leicester website ( Every day someone from the website team selects a website of the day and talks about it for ten minutes or so on air on Martin Ballard's Lunchtime radio programme. 
Today I shall be featuring your Olive and Eric website as our website of the day.  It think it is fantastic.  I have also passed links to your site on to the producers of the BBC Radio Leicester Talkback and Breakfast shows as they are doing special 60th anniversary D Day shows tomorrow (Friday 4 June).
I am taking the print outs I used as prompts home to read tonight.  I've got really into it already
In the meantime, I hope we manage to pass a few more hits on to you, and good luck with the website as it is a fascinating piece of social and national history.

I chanced upon your website while researching the Highfields area for a completely project, and must congratulate you on your initiative. I have lived in Leicester all my life (78 years) and well remember the blitz of Nov 19/20 1940, when as a schoolboy at the Wyggeston I spent at least a part of the night in our Anderson shelter - earlier in the evening I had been to the cinema and had to walk home through the raid. In fact we had an unexploded bomb in our front garden and were evacuated the next day!

I found your site by accident searching for 1940ís food items on google and have spent hours reading through. Thanks for making the effort to input all the letters, I found them very interesting and heartfelt. I wasnít sure at first if they were genuine and Iím delighted to find that they are. Your site has brought history to life.

I have just heard about your site from a football board.
I was born in Bembridge Close in 1937, went to Alderman Richard Hallam and Wyggeston Boys. Also the Fosse, Sov and Tudor. Shopped at Tyres and entered the RAF in 1960, stationed in Shropshire.
Was introduced to my dad in about September 45. Now live in Oadby. Pure nostalgia and thanks for putting it together. 
I well remember the sadist Hopley in 4a. She battered me once when someone behind me spoke. She'd go to prison now! I enrolled at the Wyg in September 49. Like you my early promise seemed to founder and I was distictly average there.
I became a graphic designer and retired in 97 after a happy worklife which not all can claim. By the way, the Tudor matinee was the best but a right rough house. I preferred the chips in Woodgate. The gel in there fancied me and gave me extra chips as well. Early sex appeal! Some
150 yanks are visiting Oadby for D day and it reminds me we had one to stay for a bit.

I have just come across I was born in Diamond Street in December 1949, just at the back of St Leonard's Church. I was particularly interested in your references to Oban Street as my cousin Dennis Barker and Grandma and Grandad lived at No 19. This is a lovely website and I want to say a big thank you for helping me to remember how it was.
This website is fantastic. Your parents became so real to me through their letters to each other, that I was heartbroken to find they had died.

I hope you manage to get published, you will certainly touch many hearts.

What a wonderful site I feel so moved, I am just starting my family history but I know it won't be half as good as yours, what wonderful memories you have of your parents.
My father's family are from Countesthorpe Leics so it has interest me very much, I would love some old photo's of the village but I can not seem to get them anywhere
Thank you for your site.  it is, in my opinion, an extremely important site.  Have you considered making the contents into a book?

I enjoyed the letters most of all, for they gave glimpses into a family at war, each serving in their own way. 
I have enjoyed looking at your site and reading all the letters so much. Thank God all the letters were kept. I lost my uncle at Dunkirk. myself was born in 1941. I have put your site on favourites for I shall return to it often. Incidentally I live a very short distance away from Donnington camp where your dad was  once stationed.

The letters are priceless and gives us a true insight as to what it really was like.
Once again thank you for giving me the opportunity to read wishes

I just wanted to drop you a line to say that I think your Olive and Eric  website is wonderful . My grandfather (who is now 90 years old) was also  away during WW2 for several years and he and my grandma sent many letters to  each other, although I've never seen them. I found your website through a  Google search for 'The Gentle Sex', the 1943 Leslie Howard film, and it took  me to a letter your mother wrote affter she saw the film. Anyway I just  wanted to thank you for a fascinating site.

Thanks for an interesting site about Leicester. I lived there briefly from 1971-73. 
One of the main highlights for me was walking through the Glenfield tunnel
with my dad, armed with just a torch. 
I am interested in railways in the Leicester area, particularly the old Central station.

We have recently found my in-laws' wartime letters whilst clearing their house. I was on the point of binning them when it occurred to me how important a record this is. 
I found your website whilst I was looking for advice on how to approach the job of preserving them and was impressed by the work you and your family have put in to recording that period of your history.

 Our local newspaper provided me the insight to check out your web site about your parents! I enjoyed reviewing it! You and your family have done a LOT of work to get everything posted.
My family is in the process of publishing letters that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWII. My mother has keep his original letters all these years. 
Your father and my grandfather were possibly in the same places
He came back a family waiting for four years.
It is quite interesting to be "deep" in these letters...knowing that our (U.S. and U.K.) troops are out "there"again, fighting for freedom for others. 

Our local paper, the Tacoma News Tribune (half an hour south of Seattle)
runs a "web site of the day" and I tore out the information on yours about a
month ago and finally took the time to look at it.   I know I speak for so
many people when I say how deeply moving I found it.  I have thankfully
never had to experience that sort of painful separation - my husband of more
than 20 years is out of town for three days and I'm terribly unhappy about
that!  You have done your parents a great and certainly well-deserved honor
and provided a wonderful fund of nostalgia and information for all of us
fortunate enough to have found your site.  Best wishes from across the pond.
I lived on Blackbird Road as a child and the Fosse was my 'local' cinema where I saw all the Disney films.  I think I was about 7 when it closed down, a great shame.  I had a peek through the doors once while it was still a bingo hall and many memories came flooding back. The Fosse Cinema is no longer in use as a bingo hall.  It has now been demolished and replaced with a petrol station and branch of Tesco Express.
 I agree it is also very sad to see the old Savoy/ABC/Cannon cinema boarded
up in Belgrave Gate.  I spent many happy hours here as well, and though the
inside may not be architechurally interesting in recent years, it was nevertheless an excellent venue to enjoy films, particularly in Screen 1.
I would just like to say that I logged onto your website after it was mentioned in the "letters" page of the Mirror newspaper and cannot believe I have been reading it for the last hour and have not completed any of the work I had lined up for this afternoon.  A wonderful and compelling site; I'm sure your parents would be very proud of you.

Someone sent me your site and I was amazed at the similaraties in my famly, I now live in California  and my fathers name was Eric and he was in the Army in the the Middle East and North Africa,we lived on New Parks, I went to Ingle street school and Fosse, We used Poole road and Beatrice road quite a bit, My husband and I were married at St.Augustines church in 1959. I have not finished all of the site,but thought I would give you some insight to the pleasure it gives me,my parents are also gone but I have a sister in Glenfield and a brother on Anstey Lane. We do go home to Leicester every other year and was there last year and this year they are coming in May for a month..Thank you.

I found out about this site from a story in the USA Today Newspaper.  i have spent some time reading the letters and notes, and looking at the photos.  it is very interesting, and what a tribute to your family.  i think of the pain of a family being apart,and think of our own soldiers ready to begin war.
I plan to revisit the site and read more.  Congratulations on a work well done. 

From an 80 year old Yank.  Served at Lytham-St.Anne and st Ascot in 1943 and 1944.  Was a clerk=typ0ist in 8th and 9th Air Corps.  Moved over to France and then into Germany when they surrended.  I am interested  in WW11 memories and found your site.  Really enjoyed it.

Have looked at your site and enjoy the memories of Leicester. I lived there until 1960, when I left for Australia, at 16 years. I now live in Lake Cargelligo, which is in central New South Wales, Australia.
My grandfather was George Busby. His picture was all over Leicester for the Blue Cross, to save the railway horses. He carted cargo from the railways to Woolworths, in Leicester. He was the longest serving man on the British railway - 60 years. Will keep looking at your site. Thanks for the memories.

I visited it today and thought what a lovely tribute to your parents. Loved it 

This website was forwarded to me by an internet friend in Arizona. 
I found it interesting, because my parents also got separated in WWII.  They were engaged when my father had to go to North Africa and Italy. He returned in June 1945 and they married August 1945. My father passed away in 1996 but never wished to talk about his experiences in WWII.  He was a tank transporter. Of course he and my mother also wrote to each other frequently while he was away. I have seen some of the letters my father wrote to her from Africa and Italy. I hope that Olive and Eric would be tickled pink to know that their own particular  love story was being shared around the world. 

I just came across your Web site and was fascinated by the story and the materials you have accumulated.

What a delightful website and a lovely tribute to your parents. 

This website is quite a tribute to your parents and I really enjoyed reading through all the
letters.  I found the site earlier this week and managed to finish it by Friday.  Like a good
book, I couldn't wait to get to the end and I had to force myself from skipping to September 1945 when I knew they would finally be reunited.  I believe this provided a very good insight into what it was like on the home front for those who's men had been called away to war.  Since I had watched BBC's "1940's House" a few months earlier, it was easy for me to picture what things were like. 
Your parent's really seemed to have a lot of love for each other and their children.  One can only hope for a relationship like that in present day. It is so hard to picture one's parents and their relationship outside of what you know growing up seeing them as mother and father - you are lucky to have been able to have this look into their relationship.  They would truly regret ever having called or thought you "stupid" having seen the website. 

What a great idea! 
My own parents were separated in the war in similar circumstances so I can almost imagine them in the casting roles.
Thanks for sharing this with us

I have just spent an hour reading some of the letters of your parents.
Thank you for sharing them.  The web site is in my favourites so that I can visit again.

Just browsing around and found this site,  I plan to return  and spend more time, what a lovely snap shot into the live's of this 1940s couple.... 
I love your site.  It is my favourite by a long way.  I have followed its development since its early days.  You are very lucky to have your parents letters and I thank you for sharing them with me. 

My father was on HMS Rodney at the sinking of the Bismark, its my claim to fame and probably explains why I have a fondness for all things relating to Britain and WW2.

What a superb site!   I had a quick look and plan to go back in later on to
have a good read!  This is what brings it all to life isn't it? 
Accidentally located your site today. I am over 50; I don't know how old the author(s) are. You should review your description of Leicester as cheerless inthe evening.  It's one of the liveliest city centre in the Midlands. The oldies may not like it .... but it is hardly cheerless
Love your site! I have returned to live in Leicester after 30 years wandering and your wriTings bring back memories of a much nicer city than it now is. So much is gone. Your website has been put in my favourites folder. Thanks for all those happy memories
What an interesting site (oliveanderic). A lot of work has gone into this and I found it fascinating. I love the history of Leicester, especially where my ancestors came from (Woodgate, St Margarets, etc).Keep up the good work. 
I have just stumbled across your website whilst looking for wartime recipes

for my wedding and think it is wonderful! I am getting married in September
and the wedding has a 1940's theme to it, and Olive and Eric's letters have
given me extra inspiration!

I have just found your excellent website of letters and information relating
to your Mum and Dad's war.  I am building up a links page of websites that
might be of use to teachers/pupils studying the Second World War and was
wondering if you might grant me permission to add your website to my links
i am doing a reserch project on leicester in the second world war,  at the moment the olive and eric web site is the only intresting thing i can find, 
I enjoyed the website very much and it brought back lots of memories and

reminded me of the things my Dad talked about. It is useful to youngsters to
be able to have visibility to this sort of information. Thanks again

Congratulations on such a lovely site. I came across it whilst searching for information on the 1944 Education Act.

A website entry under Olive & Eric suggested there was a letter 17 September 1944 where this was mentioned. Can you help? I'm actually trying to find out the date this act was passed. 

Just a note to say thanks for putting such a fantastic site up.

Without wishing to bore a stranger, I'm not having a great day today, but your site has moved me in a way that every CD I've put on today hasn't.

The letters were utterly fascinating to me, not because they were about the war, but because your mother and father communicated to each other in a way that showed the bond between them was far stronger than any distance could inhibit. I would agree that you are correct in your assumption that these letters reveal more than any textbook.

As someone who is utterly appalling at communicating with his folks (well I haven't hit 30 yet!), I suddenly feel the need to see them. Its so easy to forget they're human beings, not just 'mum' and 'dad'.

Thanks for making me think, and keep up the fantastic work.

I have just found your excellent website of letters and information relating to your Mum and Dad's war.  I am building up a links page of websites that might be of use to teachers/pupils studying the Second World War and was wondering if you might grant me permission to add your website to my links page. 
Love your site! I have returned to live in Leicester after 30 years wandering and your writings bring back memories of a much nicer city than it now is. So much is gone. Your website has been put in my favourites folder. Thanks for all those happy memories. 

The Daily Express on Monday Feb 26th 2001 carried an illustrated  two page article on the site.
I've just had a look. It's great, it makes such a lovely story.
After reading in today's Daily Express about this website, I logged on to it at lunchtime, and have had to be dragged away from it to get on with my work!! I shall be reading the rest tonight!!

It is delightful to read the letters, especially in this day and age when romance seems to be dead and love something to be degraded.  My parents had a similar love until my father died 3 years ago.  My mother at 81 is still going strong but has some lovely mementoes of their love.
It is a wonderful thing you have done to put these letters on the Internet. It shows that amongst all the dross available, there is something beautiful, touching, funny and real to read.  Thank you for all your work.  Your are certainly a son they would have been proud of.

My daughter is studying the war years (12) and we talk about your site. She has just been made star of the month for her project on the blitz. Your site is helping a lot of children to understand life in the war. For which you should be congratulated
Reading the Daily Express Monday 26th and came across the article on your parents and the web address.  Opened it straight away. What a wonderful tribute to your parents and a wonderful insight into a life many of us could never imagine.  Many thanks for allowing all of us to share in the experience. 
I'm writing to say how much I'm enjoying your web site, and how it brings memories for me, I was born in 1932, so I remember the war years as we lived in Birmingham. My wife lost both her parents in the war, and often we talk about what we went through, we once went to our Granddaughters school, and told the children what it was like to be a child in those days. I have passed your web site on to friends of mine, so no doubt you will be

getting feedback from them.  Once again thanks for sharing your parents letters with others, who like me will find them most interesting.
I read about the site in the Daily Express today.  It's an excellent website both in content & navigation and I'm sure has taken a lot of hard work! 

The other purpose it will be very useful for is family history, anyone tracing your familys' names will think that they have struck gold when they hit this website! 
Many thanks for sharing it with us 

I had to write to tell you what a wonderful legacy your parents left you when they passed on and how useful this will be to thousands of people. 
Many people like myself can only imagine what terrible times both the men and the women had during the war,  while separated and at times wondering if they would ever see their loved ones again.  Your valuable contribution has allowed us, the younger generations, to gain an insight into what my grandparents generation have suffered and sacrificed so that people can today live in freedom.  Thank you again for sharing their love and their lives with us all. 

What a wonderful idea! I intend to read it all. My own father was away also,but sadly we have no letters. I am sure I will get to know all the family and friends as I move through the years of letters.  From what I have read so far you are doing it beautifully.  Thank you so much.

Are there any plans to publish the letters in book form?
I was born the week the war ended and have always been interested in this period.
Many thanks for sharing these very moving letters with us. 
Work is currently going ahead on reformatting the material on the site into manuscript form with a view to publication and we would be pleased to hear from  literary agents or book publishers.
 I found your site so interesting. 

I have started typing up my father's war letters.  When he was alive he had started editing them for possible publication.  He wrote to his mother every day while at war with all sorts of fascinating tales and many personal anecdotes.  At the moment I am typing May 1945 and have typed 7,100 words for the one month ... 
Every letter was numbered.  He met his future wife, my mother, in Athens that year and this is the part that I want to have on record.  It is an emotional business. 
His bride flew out of Athens in March '46 and landed in a field in Sussex not knowing one word of english.  They married in April 1946 and began a happy life together.  She was 22 - he was 40.   Their common language was her fluent french and his schoolboy french! 
I am sure your work has given you so much pleasure. 

Many thanks for sharing these letters. 
I am studying History at the University of East Anglia, (living in Yarmouth) and they are helping me to study for my exams. The letters are more interesting than the text books. Can I have your permission to refer to some of the comments made; should a question appear in the exams whereby reference to their experiences may help me put a point of view across. 
Keep up the good work I am waiting to find out when Eric came home. 
What a fantastic web site.  I am a school teacher and my 10/11year olds are studying Britain from the 1930's. I would love to do a lesson with them where they look at your web site.  For the follow up I'd love for them to be able to ask you any further qeustions they have about your life as a child in the 40's.  Would yoube happy to recieve some emails from them with quustions?  There are 30 children, but they wil  lwork in groups of 3, so you might expect as many as 10 questions.  Of course you would reply at your own leisure. 

Whether or not you can help with the emails I'd like to thank you very much for sharing your experiences, if really gives as a feeling of what life was like in the war.  (Also I was very touched by your parent's letters). 

In October 2000 the website was featured in the Leicester Mercury Second World War Supplement. Copies can be ordered at 50p from the publishers (see this is leicestershire link on opening page)

I have just come across your website purely by chance and felt I had to write to you to comment on it.
Usually a site with content such as yours, while possibly having interesting material can be full of items that make it difficult to navigate and I tend to get bored or frustrated with it and give up.
Not in the case of your site. It is a truly wonderful piece of work. I felt compelled to read every page and I am sure I will be back again. I was born in 1965 in Paget Road on the "pool" and was able to relate to many of the areas mentioned in your site. I also found it so interesting to read of places that I can't remember but am now able to imagine where they were.
The letters between your parents made wonderful reading and I can imagine your delight when they were discovered. you should be very proud of the work you have done. It is a great tribute to the memory of your parents.

The site was featured in a whole page article in the October 2000 issue of Internet Advisor Magazine

I have just opened your web site, with ref to Internet Advisor Magazine I was very impressed with your family history. At this present time I  am trying to compile my family tree web site. If I could get my website half as good as yours, I would be over the moon. I will keep your web site on my favourite pages. 

I heard you on the radio this morning (L.B.C.) and logged onto the site this pm. It is absolutely charming and quite rivetting. I will (eventually) read all of it but there must be a TV film in this. It is a very sensitive memorial to your family and you should be rightly proud of it. 
Thank you for doing it.

How can I thank you enough for your Olive and Eric site ? I had started by browsing for some 1940's nostalgia, and came across your site. I started to read the letters , and for a short while it was just like reading strangers letters ,you knew no-one that was mentioned, etc, then before I knew it I felt as if I was there, that I knew them. You three  as children as well. I am still reading the letters and have nowhere near exhausted the site, I shall be sad when I do.

What it has made me realise though is that through all of the war I only ever remember my mother mentioning my Dad twice, once when some small toys arrived for me from Italy, and once when a coconut came in the post, not wrapped, just a bit shaved to put the name and address on. But apart from that he might as well have not existed. I never really got on with my Dad all my life, I think there was a bad start that we never got over when he returned in 1946  and I was almost 6 years old and almost his first words to me were to tell me off and send me to bed, not something you ever forget !! I may have been young but I would remember if my Dad had been always in the conversation and photos kissed at night ,  like the beautiful upbringing that you had.

I must be just a little younger than Michael having been born on Sept 9th 1940, I thank heaven that my Mum was evacuated as she was from the East End of London and I was born during the Blitz, but in Buckingham. We came  to South London towards the end of the war in 1944.

Funnily enough I too went into the RAF, well WRAF for me, that was in 1958, I was an Air Defense Operator. 

May I ask what has happened to Michael and Sheila?  I just feel I knew them as children and have lost touch. Thats what the site has done for me.

Once again many many thanks for sharing with everyone those intimate thoughts and letters from your parents. It has meant a  lot to me.

What a lovely thought.  I have book marked your site and will no doubt be visiting lots.  I only found it by chance when I typed in CMF Naples.  The search engine took me to the page where the FA team played the CMF team. My reason for looking for CMF is that I am trying to help a friend trace her fathers' RAF career.  We know he was at/stationed on??  CMF Naples in 1944-45 but don't know what it is/was!   Many thanks and all the best with the site.

What a wonderful insight into your family must have taken forever to complete and the old heart strings must have been truly stretched........
I was born and bred in Leicester, born in we are of a different age group,
but I am going through a melancholy stage of reminiscing about the old place.  I moved away from their around 30years ago, and am now back their as a mature student, and it jogs the memory    ---- so much has changed..... But now I want to learn more about the missing years, and how from knowing almost every face in 1960 to the oblivious masks that walk the streets did it go through such a vast   change.......and is it better,  ?????

Many thanks for letting me share those wonderful letters. I found it very emotional to say the least. Brilliant website, one of the best I have explored.

I live in Cheshire and was looking for some information about the DUNKIRK celebrations going on at the present time as my dad was at Dunkirk. I came across your website and I loved it and I wanted to tell you that and to compliment you on it's brilliant and very enjoyable format. I was not born till 1952 so did not experience any of the war but over the years and through listening to my dad's recollections of the war I am very interested in it.....I was felt myself back in the war reading your website. 
My dad is 81 years old now and could not travel to Dunkirk this time unfortunately but I am going to bring him to my home and let him see your wonderful site along with more I have found which I know he will enjoy. Thanks once again for sharing your family's experiences with  the rest of us who care.
ps I am also the mum of a serving soldier in the present time. He is a tank commander with the challenger tanks!

What a brilliant site the Olive and Eric one is - thank you so much, I shall really enjoy working through the letters. I will show it to my father who will also be interested as he was in service during the war.

Today is the first time that I have accessed your site, following its review in the Guardian a while ago. I think that it's a lovely idea and hope that you feel very proud of what you have started.

At the moment I am training to be a primary school teacher and will be teaching about life in Britain during WWII next year. Sites such as yours are great for getting children involved in history and making them realise that these were real people, not just characters in a history book.The War is so long ago now that a lot of the children don't have any relatives who can pass on their experiences of life in that period. So far I have only skimmed through the letters, but know that I will be bookmarking it for use
in the future.

What a wonderful site this is.  You must have spent a lot of time in its preparation.

I just wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful site. My father was in Italy and Africa during the last year or two of the war, but I only ever get tiny glimpses of it talking to him about it. Your site not only tells the story of an amazing couple but gives a real insight into the nation as a whole at that time.  I also feel it should be added to history in schools, it makes it far more 'real' and therefore interesting than most text books ever could. 
Thank you so much for all your efforts, they're well worth it. And long may the
site continue.

What a revelation is your web-site. I have started a comparable project trying to research and write up my parents' war-time history as a book. Congratulations. You are achieving so much and I am being so slow.

I just wanted to mail a quick note to congratulate you on your excellent achievement.  I know I will revisit the site and recommend it to others. 

It gives the most intimate and beautiful view of your parents and their relationship with each other and with the wider world at its point of crisis in the middle of the last century. It is something to show my grandparents to remind them that others shared their experience, and to demonstrate that this new-fangled technology has much to offer them; but also it's something to show my friends to give them a glimpse of an entirely different life in a way that demonstrates that people don't change much after all!

You have worked so hard - it is quite lovely and moving and an amazing tribute to people who might be horrified if they could express their feeling at having their thoughts broadcast to the world, but who would also perhaps be very proud that their son thought their story worth telling, and moreover could be bothered to tell it!

The site featured in the Interface section of 'The Times' on May 15th 2000 earning a rating of 8 out of 10 points.
I get asked to give lectures about the Internet to all sorts of groups and I  know, even after a half an hour of browsing and reading, that I'll be showing your site as an example of the real value of the internet. What a brilliant memorial to your parents and all the others who were in their position. I hope to drop back in often and follow the story.

Brilliant. Hope the hits that you'll get don't crash your ISP's server!!

The site was featured in the Guardian Newspaper on 5th May 2000 who commented that it was a real life soap opera more fascinating than the Sullivans.
I saw your website recommended in the Guardian's "The Editor" supplement on Friday.  I love reading diaries, but this is the first time I've found one not in "book" form.  Well done!  I am thoroughly enjoying it and will dip-into it whenever I'm not too busy doing paperwork for school.  (I teach).  I particularly appreciated the photos, which help

to bring the characters to life.  I shall tell my colleagues who teach, "Britain since 1930" about it.  Thanks again for sharing your family with us.

Fascinating -- I spent quite a bit of time going through the letters and looking at the pictures.

Thanks for the details of your site, it's very interesting and I've
passed-on the URL to my friends and I hope that they will visit it for a

Just a note to say that we have visited the Olive and Eric site.  Very interesting reading.  Had a few laughs - It was a bit of shock when I first opened your letter, as the first thing I saw was the picture.  As you might guess, I am getting a bit older for shocks !

Thank you for the letter and taking the time of putting it onto the internet.  Sharan and Chris invited us around to look at this site on their PC - They will keep checking for updates.   - Keep up the good work.
If you need any questions answering, just ask.

I found your wonderful site by accident today and was completely 
absorbed by the wonderful letters ! I would love to read the books you recomend . I love London and have been twice to visit thanks for the lovely site.

Cool thanks. Will be exploring and downloading methinks. 

I just watched you on TV, nice to put a face to the name! Well done on the advertising....I hope you have a counter on your page!

I quickly looked over your new web page...It looks great and what a wonderful tribute to your parents and family. Hope all goes well with the BBC interview! 

I was just reading the Leicester Mercury tonight and saw the story on your mum and dad,s letters it brought back so many memories of when I used to come and visit your family and the happy times I spent with them as I now live in Skegness it was such a coincidence that today I am stopping at my daughters in Leicester and looked at the Mercury.  I  just had to send this e mail as it seemed like fate as I am using my son in law's computer. 

I have looked through the web site and i thought it was brilliant I did not expect to see so many familiar faces and to see my mum was very special she would have been  absolutely amazed.

This has been a special day for me, I hope to hear  from you

Just  visited your site, immediately entering  it into my favourites.
So many books have been written about WW2. These  letters exemplify the period, vividly. You have done your parents proud. Thank-you so very much.

I work at the BBC in Nottingham. I was most interested to read the story about your mother and father. I think it would make a lovely subject for a television report for our programme, East Midlands Today. 

This E:Mail led to an interview which appeared on BBC Midlands TV, a broadcast on BBC Radio Leicester and an entry on Ceefax.
Previously the Leicester Mercury had devoted a whole page to the site and it had featured on ITV Teletext.

I heard about the oliveanderic site on ceefax this morning, and have just entered the site. Although I have only skimmed over the surface, I think the whole concept superb, and a lovely tribute to your parents. I shall endeavour to check out the entire site and mail you again, if I may.

My mother sent me this cutting from the Leicester Mercury dated 19/2/00 on the story of Olive and Eric. I have had memories of a bed-ridden lady I/we used to visit rarely, who always had a tin of googies (although my memory suggested biscuits... wrongly!)
Thank you for letting us know about your Website.  We are very impressed with the site and its content 

We would always be happy to hear from any other publications 
interested in including material in articles or features

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Childrens letters
Childhood memories
the war
Food and Drink
History of Leicester
copyright Keith Mason 2011