WHAT was life like during the war? A charity is calling on the over-90s to take part in its nationwide writing competition with a cash prize up for grabs.

Grow Old Disgracefully is inviting nonagenarians and centenarians to write a short story of fewer than 500 words on the theme of childhood memories. The winner will receive £200 and a tree of their choice to be planted near their home.

Charity founder Jackie Flaherty explained: “As the nation endures another episode of isolation, many of us have reflected on unexpected events and have found ourselves holding-on to cherished moments. There must be some amazing tales out there. What was childhood like ? What was evacuation like? What did children do when allowed to leave the house from dawn to dusk? Did you go out to work? We would love to share your stories.”

Judges include BAFTA-winning film actor Virginia McKenna, children’s author Lauren St John, BBC broadcaster Nichola Owen, crime writer Peter James and Scottish literary agent Judy Moir.

The closing date for entries is January 31. To enter visit growolddisgracefully.co.uk/competition