National Trust Wales is looking for people who remember World War II to come forward with recollections, research and local stories as part of the two year ‘Worlds Apart in War’ programme at Powis Castle and Garden.

From 1939 to 1946 Powis Castle played host to pupils from the Ashford Welsh Girls School who were evacuated from Middlesex during WWII. They came at the invitation of George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis, who was governor of the school at the outbreak of war.

Now the Powis Castle team wants to work with the local community over the next two years, to uncover stories about others who came to the area as a result of the war, including evacuees from Merseyside, land girls and prisoners of war.

National Trust is inviting people who have wartime memories of Welshpool and the surrounding area to be involved in the co-creation of an audio experience that shows the contrast between the lives of the Ashford girls moved to the castle and evacuees from the city living with local families.

People coming forward with their tales of wartime in Welshpool should be willing to have their voices recorded as part of the project. These recordings will inspire visitors to give thought to what it feels like to be separated from their family, displaced from home and to be afraid and alone in a strange environment.

84 year old Robin Trimby, who has been a volunteer at Powis Castle since 2004, was eight during the war and is looking forward to sharing his experiences with visitors.

He considers himself lucky not to have been evacuated: “I remember watching other children and my friends having to leave home to go to strange places, tears all round, thinking I am so glad I get to stay with my family.”

Robin attended a boarding school on the outskirts of London on the flight path of German bombers and is fascinated by the difference between the girls evacuated to Powis and his own experience: “As a little boy, getting to stay was very exciting. We would try and get out to crash sites to salvage the best parts of German planes to show off at school, I’d finish my homework in air raid shelters, and we’d run rings around our teachers, who sadly were often shell shocked from the war.”

The replica Morrison shelter in the castle’s cellar has sparked memories of the one in his own home: “When the siren sounded, the whole family would sleep under the kitchen table. Much to my mother’s distain, my brother and I would get out to peek behind the blackout curtains to watch hundreds of planes fill the sky. I remember that more vividly than what I did last week!”

At school, he would take shelter under tables or in the school’s cellar during bomb strikes. He added: “There was sadness of course. We were extremely lucky that a diphtheria outbreak at school meant we were at home when a land mine hit the dormitory where we would have been sleeping, but school staff lost their lives.”

Visitors to the volunteer-led exhibition will be transported back in time to a 1940s kitchen where they will be able to see for themselves what life was like for Robin, and others like him, by sitting or lying in a replica Morrison shelter whilst listening to true recollections from the time.

Elsewhere in the castle’s basement rooms, they will have the opportunity to take refuge in an Anderson shelter whilst experiencing the sounds and imagining the emotions of a bombing raid from the initial sirens, to the terror of bombs landing close by, through to the relief of the all clear.

Emma Thompson, general manager at the castle, said: “Historically, we have concentrated on telling the story of the Herbert Family, but the ‘Worlds Apart in War’ programme gives us a chance to show that the castle is more than its wealth; it had a valuable part to play during the war."

“We know local people played a huge part in the war effort by welcoming and looking after evacuees, working on the castle’s surrounding farmland or even hosting prisoners of war. It’s important we capture this important time in Welshpool’s history.

“We’d love people with local stories to come forward so we can record some of them and add them to the exhibition over the next two years. We want to give visitors the chance to visit time and time again to learn more about the local area and the important role it played during the Second World War.”

Share your story and have the opportunity for it to be recorded and played at Powis Castle and Garden. Download a story submission form by visiting, or request one by emailing Paper copies are available by calling 01938 551929.

For more information on Welsh Girls School visit,