In two weeks I've learnt a lifetime of stories. Women who despite war and struggles continued to stand tall and stand firm.
I've heard stories of hardships when bombs began to fall. About the worries of parents who chose to send their children away to homes outside the cities, in the hope they would be more likely to survive. Of young sisters afraid of separation, despite the risks, headed out on a mission to seek out their only brother to bring him back to the home they were staying at. I've heard stories of strict matrons, who were cruel and under their rule, childhoods were spent working the lands. I've heard of young women becoming part of the land army spending their days sowing, digging, and driving tractors, and sneaking out in the evening to dance halls for some respite from the raging war outside.
I've met one of the oldest triplets in the UK, and had the honour of being given an insight into her extraordinary life. Despite the odds how she survived weighing only 2lbs and has lived a full and fruitful life. I've learnt the histories of Manchester I never knew, from the location of air raid shelters, to shopping parades where I would never guess they once stood.
Everyone we meet has a story to tell. If we only choose to listen, we may benefit from the richness of what they have to share.