Early years

Paternal and maternal grandparents

Father lost a leg in World War 1. Mother died when I was two years old.

So said my friend Reg.

My story is more boring.

My mother’s father – my maternal grandfather was a tailor working for a master tailor in Warsop, near Mansfield. Born in 1853 he married Mary Ann Annabel who it was said had a little Spanish Blood in her……. more about grandparents>>>

Early childhood

As a young child my small world was built around a square. Not in it but outside it. To walk, or rather toddle around the square was an exercise requiring one to turn left at the front gate of our terrace house, past a row of slightly smaller bay windowed houses with less elegant garden railings into Newcastle Street by……. more about childhood>>>

School and youth

Ethel Wainwright was one of the senior members of the local council. She devoted much time and interest in the swish new Central Secondary School built in 1927 on the High Oakham Estate in Mansfield. Needless to say the school benefited by such attention…….more about school>>>

Graphic art

After leaving the Art School at the Technical College I spent half my time working for my father, writing signs and generally assisting when called upon and the other half working for Walter Rowland who ran a very good business called Illustra Signs. In the early thirties neon signs were for New York and London, they had……. more about graphic art>>>

Young love

Looking back over my boyhood into puberty and beyond I am surprised how mixed up it was. I was a virgin until I was back from France in 1940 living in a private billet in Leeds…….more about young love>>>

Early transport

“Well, I suppose that’s one way of doing it!” said my brother-in-law. “Have another go.”

I lay flat on my back, on Black Scotch Lane with the bike on top of me. Thank goodness it had stalled and that the handle bars were so wide they held the weight of the machine from crushing my middle…….more about early transport>>>