Student Reaction to Visit to Millisle Primary School of Marilyn Taylor and Mr Hackworth

Thursday 14th March 2013 by Support

On 11 October 2000, Mrs Marilyn Taylor and Bobby Hackworth visited Primary 7 class in Millisle Primary School, Abbey Street, Millisle, County Down. They talked to us about Millisle's history and about Marilyn's book, Faraway Home.

Martin McDowell, age 11: When Mrs Taylor arrived we gathered in a group and listened to her talk about her books and she was happy to answer any questions we asked. She told us where she had got the idea of writing about the refugees and Millisle. She decided to write about them after a visit to the Belfast Jewish community because she was intrigued about the subject of refugees in Millisle and wanted to find out more. Mr Hackworth, a local historian who lived in Millisle during the war and knew the refugees, answered any of our queries about the farm where the Jewish refugees lived. He is really the Bobby Hackett mentioned in the book and he helped Mrs Taylor with a lot of her research.
Mrs Pitman and Mrs Colwell, parents who helped us create a picture of Faraway Home and Tsahi Cohen from Israel also joined us to listen to them speaking. Tsahi Cohen is an Israeli Jew, now married to the daughter of one of our classroom assistants, and lives in Northern Ireland. He came in to speak to us about his experiences of living in a foreign country and about the difficulties he has had.
After break Mrs Taylor listened to the stories we had written. She remarked that our narrative writing was very good and that the imagination shown was fantastic. Mrs Taylor also said that we should think about careers as authors. Photographers from three newspapers came and took photos of the class with Mrs Taylor and Mr Hackworth.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself that morning and I'm glad the teachers organised the visit.

Character profiles in Faraway Home

Rudi by Andrew Pitman, age 10
The character I have picked from this novel is Uncle Rudi.
I think he looks quite old because he has a bald head and I think he is Papa's older brother which means they might look a bit the same. I think he wears a cap and just ordinary men's clothes like a long-sleeved shirt, a jacket, dark trousers and shoes. He did not have any scars or marks until he got taken away by the Nazis. When he came back he was 'a limping old man, his skin papery, ashy stubble on his face, a filthy cap on his shaved head. One foot was wrapped in bloodstained cloth, he gave off a sharp, rank smell' (p.31).
Uncle Rudi is very kind and thoughtful to his family and his friends. When they were taken away and forced to do things that they did not want to do he stood up and said, 'Leave us alone' but he got beaten.

Rosa by Emily McAllister, age 10
The book doesn't tell you much about Rosa's appearance but this is what I found.
She was a small girl who was seven, nearly eight years old. She had long dark hair and brown eyes. Rosa liked to wear her dirndl which was the Austrian national dress. She was kind and thoughtful. Rosa liked eating ice cream and had a doll which she liked a lot. She also liked dancing. She had a blue blouse and a brown jumper and quite small hands on the front cover illustration.

My opinion of the novel by Andrew Johnston, age 11
The story begins in Vienna during the Second World War when Hitler marches through Vienna and takes control. Karl and Rosa are Jewish children who manage to get out of Vienna to Northern Ireland on one of the Kindertransports.
My favourite character in the novel is Uncle Rudi because he is so funny and he makes me feel happy and he lightens the mood in the story.
The author made the story exciting and interesting for me because she put so much detail in to it. She wrote very good descriptions and made the characters come to life.

Book:
Contributor/Speaker:
Marilyn Taylor