A second World war refugee Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines returns to Ashton-under Lyne where she and her sister were refugees from the war in Europe.
The then nine-year-old Milena Fleischmann, came to Britain with her sister Eva in 1939 and were among 669 mostly Jewish children who escaped Prague on one of the kindertrains organised by Sir Nicholas Winton just before Hitler’s forces occupied Czechoslovakia.
The Tameside connection became apparent when a television news show in czechoslovakia revealede a wartime register giving Lady Milena’s wartime address as Ashton. She and her her sister stayed with Cllr Roland Radcliffe – first on Alexandra Road and then Cedar Street.
On January 14, Lady Milena will be returning to Ashton to take tea with the Mayor.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Ashton again as I was so interested to hear about the plan to restore the old swimming baths where I spent many happy times.
“My sister and I had been living in a very modern apartment in Prague and then we found ourselves in Ashton, a place that seemed so strange and where we couldn’t understand anyone. However, Eva says, we were surrounded by very kind people who treated us with such care. It really doesn’t matter if you speak the language or not when you know people love you.”
The Mayor of Tameside said: “The people of Tameside are known for their warmth and friendliness so it doesn’t surprise me that Lady Milena was made to feel at home in Ashton.
“it is a fascinating story to tell and I am looking forward to hearing it when she visits us in the new year.”