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Reminiscences

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Bazyle20/09/2020 16:44:49
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We didn't realise the significance at the time but from school saw flashes of light and sparks through the trees where the railway line was. Not maintenance but he end of the line for the old Great Western rail into Tavistock South. I got to use both stations in Tavistock before they closed. I can also remember walking past the big hot loco that had taken us into Paddington, again not realising it would be the last chance.

bricky20/09/2020 19:03:40
445 forum posts
48 photos

The school that I attended was overcrowded and the class I was in was in an civil defence club.The teacher was the only one and suited herself.When she found out that I ran bets to the bookies runner she had me take bets to a bookies runner who was a greengrcer.The instructions were don't give him the envelope until the shop was empty upon which he would take me into the back room and take the bet .If she won I would go and collect her winnings and could take a lot longer to return.Can anyone imagine this happening today.I also trapped my hand in the door and passed out and was sent home she never asked if anyone was home.I have fond memories of my 11 plus year in 1956.I remember the men fron local factories being bussed home at lunch and them running past before I was at scool and the smell of cutting fluid of their overalls never left me.

Frank

Ady120/09/2020 20:00:00
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3862 forum posts
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Going to school on the bus in the morning on a packed upper deck and 70% of the passengers smoking like chimneys. If a pipe smoker was also on board then you could barely breathe up there, it was hilarious

and no-one bothered

and anyone who couldn't stand it anymore went downstairs

David Caunt20/09/2020 23:23:09
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Remember standing by the fireplace when this stranger appeared at the window. "That's your Dad" my Mum said. He had just been demobbed. I was 4.

I have memories of being in a smelly air-raid shelter. The street where I lived until 9 is now Vann Walk all the old houses were flattened around that part of Belgrave, Leicester.

I well remember the queues when sweets came off ration which must have been in the early 50's.

Going to the Science Museum with a couple of mates on the train from Leicester Central to Kings Cross and on leaving the station not being able to see more than a couple of feet in the smog.

Being attested at Cardington in 1958 when I joined the RAF. and travelling by train with all the other recruits from Cardington to Wilmslow ( steam of course) which basically took all day as it was a special troop carrier and had to wait for all the normal traffic.

Even later in the early 60's driving from Kings Lynn to Leicester with my then girl friend (wife since 1963) and the fog as night descended making a familiar journey from the outskirts of Leicester a nightmare. Thank God for smokeless fuel.

I believe all of us born during or just after the war have had a period in history which has given us great opportunities but feel it is going to be much harder from now on.

Now I'll stop swinging the lamp shades.

Martin Dilly 221/09/2020 00:36:35
34 forum posts
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Blimey! How long have we got?

During the War we lived in a cottage on the Hampshire/Berkshire border. There was only cold water and I presumably bathed in a movable bath in the scullery, though I have no recollection of this. There was an outside earth closet, the contents of which were kindly emptied periodically into a pit at the bottom of the garden by a neighbour. The exposed ceiling beams of the cottage were old ship's timbers and the wall plaster was bound with horsehair, some of which I occasionally was tempted to pull loose, resulting in pits in the wall by my bed.

The road outside saw frequent military convoys, specially just before D-Day, when DUKWs, Churchill and Sherman tanks, jeeps, 25-pounder guns and limbers and all sorts of exciting military hardware passed the cottage. About ten years ago, when I passed through Eversley, the kerb outside the cottage still bore a series of regular chips in it from a tank's tracks where the driver had taken things a bit close.

There were regular Army manoeuvres, centering on the bridge over the Blackwater, which was believed locally to be mined in case of invasion; sockets for cylindrical concrete tank stoppers crossed the road on the village side of the bridge. After the Army left each week I collected any discarded Thunderflashes and blank ammunition, as well as the black bakelite caps that covered the fuse igniting tapes from practice grenades. Opening the blanks produced a useful pile of small diamond-shaped flakes of cordite which could be lit to produce a satisfying flash. I was once found having lunch with a group of Canadian troops, who shared with me their baked beans from a mess tin.

There was only cold water and I presumably bathed in a movable bath in the scullery, though I have no recollection of this. There was an outside earth closet, the contents of which were kindly emptied periodically into a pit at the bottom of the garden by Mr Leversuch.

The exposed ceiling beams of the cottage were old ship's timbers and the wall plaster was bound with horsehair, some of which I occasionally was tempted to pull loose, resulting in pits in the wall by my bed.

The road outside saw frequent milirtary convoys, specially just before D-Day, when DUKWs, Churchill and Sherman tanks, jeeps, 25-pounder guns and limbers and all sorts of exciting military hardware passed the cottage. About ten years ago, when I passed through Eversley, the kerb outside Spindle Cottage still bore a series of regular chips in it from a tank's tracks where the driver had taken things a bit close.

Christmas decoration chains could be made from aluminium strips of 'window', about half an inch wide, dropped from aircraft; occasionally whole rolls of this could be found. Warning notices describing butterfly anti-personnel bombs made one careful about strange-looking objects, but I never found one; other notices offered rewards (I forget how much) for those finding Colorado beetles that were a threat to potatoes.

Almost opposite Spindle Cottage Miss Andrews ran the post office and delivered the telegram to my mother informing her that my father was missing, and the subsequent series of POW mail from Stalag Luft III. In the evenings one could hear the regular thump-thump, thump-thump as she banged the franking stamp on the ink pad and the letters she franked by hand.

The proximity of RAF Hartford Bridge, now Blackbushe, was what got me permanently hooked on aviation. It was probably 1942 when I saw rows of Hotspur training gliders and Whitley tugs up there; the smell of cellulose dope and 'proper' aromatic high octane aviation fuel was magic and quite unlike today's car petrol. My mother and I cycled up there very often, me on a large bike with wood blocks screwed to the pedals so I could reach them; while she collected blackberries I wandered pretty freely round the airfield and would sometimes be allowed into cockpits of Mitchells, Dakotas, Warwicks and Mosquitoes. Like most boys then, I could recognise any aircraft likely to be seen, allied or enemy, and could tell several by sound. I recall being most disappointed, when I won first prize for English at St. Neots school to find that I received a copy of Peter Pan; what I really wanted was R.A. Saville-Sneath's Penguin Aircraft Recognition, Part 1.


SillyOldDuffer21/09/2020 10:30:14
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6331 forum posts
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My dad came from a large family partly fed from grandad's allotment. Luxury outside flush toilet available, with cut-up newspaper, but the boys peed into a large bucket. When full, this was carried on a wheelbarrow to the allotment and poured into an oil-drum where it was left to mature like fine wine. Later it was used as a fertiliser.

Funny thing is girls were strictly forbidden to tinkle in the bucket. Possibly it was considered unladylike, but grandad claimed lady-wee killed his plants. As the older generation have always enjoyed pulling young legs, dad suspected this was humour.

My grandparents both kept 'front parlours'. Heavily ornamental and full of uncomfortable furniture, curtains usually closed. Only opened for visitors and important occasions. Children allowed to look but not touch.

In the rear room, mother-side granny had an electric iron powered from an adaptor in the light socket. Her sewing machine was plugged in the same way. Only one power socket in the room and that had a Radio, Gramophone and electric clock plugged into it. The radio dial was marked with exotic place names: Oslo, Berlin, Warsaw, and Scottish. Good reception from the BBC Light Programme during the day, but medium wave after dark was a cacophony of overlapping foreign stations and morse code fading in and out, and generating noises more interesting than the programmes! (Nigel mentioned 'Sing Something Simple' which was condensed musical saccharine - awful!)

Pink paraffin dispensing machines, and the dangerous smelly heaters that burned it. Only slightly better than frost on the inside of windows and chilblains. (Anyone else wear wellington boots to school due to shortage of shoes?)

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 21/09/2020 10:32:09

Cornish Jack21/09/2020 11:09:31
1173 forum posts
163 photos

Dave W - Your mention of Sharjah brought back memories of an earlier time there - '56. We used to 'stage' through en-route to Bahrain, Habbaniyah and Cyprus, from Aden, on Valettas. Memories such as multiple weevils baked in bread, Mc Conachies Ready Meal (a tinned stew) to avoid the Mess food. Charlie's steam roller airfield repair - runways were oil soaked sand and needed re-surfacing after a couple of landings and take-offs. Got stuck there for 10 days when it was flooded! Went out in the desert, to recover a stuck Bedford, with 'Shanee' Wallis, a REME sergeant with his six wheel Scammell recovery machine. Also spent a couple of days with the local armourer restacking 1000 pounder bombs in the bomb dump, nervously eyeing 'Bomber' Wigley as he belted 6 inch nails into timber battens to move old stock for new arrivals ... "No point in worrying, if this lot goes, you won't know anything about it!!"

Recently reading Macmillan's diaries, he mentions an international 'incident', which we were involved in, and hadn't realised the significance of, at the time. Buraimi Oasis had, aparently, been infiltrated by the Saudis at the behest of an International oil company and were planning a take-over. We flew down from Sharjah with a 'cash convoy' for the local Trucial Oman Scouts and instructions for their commander. We flew down again the next day and picked up the 'prisoners' who had been rounded up in a 'dawn raid'. I was 'given charge' of these, with the aid of a couple of TOS troops, pike bayonets at the ready and me, with Smith and Wesson drawn, and likely to be more hindrance than help! Never heard it mentioned until reading 'Uncle Harold's ' biography account, 65 years later!

Best thing about Sharjah, (for those of us based in Aden) - air-conditioned accommodation!!! Unheard of at Khormaksar!

Ramble switch OFF!

rgds

Bill

Mike Poole21/09/2020 11:57:24
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2746 forum posts
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 21/09/2020 10:30:14:

My dad came from a large family partly fed from grandad's allotment. Luxury outside flush toilet available, with cut-up newspaper, but the boys peed into a large bucket. When full, this was carried on a wheelbarrow to the allotment and poured into an oil-drum where it was left to mature like fine wine. Later it was used as a fertiliser.

Funny thing is girls were strictly forbidden to tinkle in the bucket. Possibly it was considered unladylike, but grandad claimed lady-wee killed his plants. As the older generation have always enjoyed pulling young legs, dad suspected this was humour.

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 21/09/2020 10:32:09

A friend of my fathers had magnificent fuschias, he claimed the direct application method rather than the bucket but this was only done after dark.

Mike

colin hawes21/09/2020 11:58:22
515 forum posts
18 photos

Silly Old Duffer; I don't know about "Lady-Wee" but ,from experience, I can confirm that a dog bitch's can kill grass. Colin

clogs21/09/2020 16:46:25
578 forum posts
12 photos

Came not quite a broken home but lived with me granny most of the time....St John's Wood...

She took me to Regents Park Canal and London Zoo......

my best memeory was my friend and I got Red Rover tickets....2,6d...good for 1 days travel...

they allowed travel on the Red buses, were they AEC's ?....and the London Underground....boiled egg butties....

lunch on the Circle line then back to the Museums.....

fav being the Nat History....

mostly horrible times with the odd great day....

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