KINGS HEATH 1948
I was six when my parents got their council house in Glebeland Road and the houses and later the shops being built were a playground for all. There was nothing between our back garden and the wall of what is now the Spencer Club and Smarts farm and as the years passed the delights of The Spinney & Harlestone Firs were constant venues for exploration. My friends and I would be out in the fields all day when not at school, carefree days and hair-raising adventures such as swinging across the railway bridge at the Mill using the steal beams like Tarzan who we would see on Saturday mornings at the "Exchange" the "Savoy" the "Roxy" or any other of the many picture palaces in town at the time for sixpence.
When I was about 8 and in the cubs my parents bought me a second hand bike for 10 shillings and I would "rocket" down past Smarts farm to the Dallington Village Hall to say dib dib dib etc and collect badges.
Mr Smart and often his daughter would use a pony and trap to move milk around the area and Mr Sharman had the butchers shop, Mr Thornton the newsagent and Mr Boyes the grocery shop. I used to go to the newspaper shop daily at 4.30 am rain, snow or shine and sort the deliveries before delivering my own round all over the estate. On Saturdays I delivered meat for Mr Sharman on an old bicycle with a carrier on the front and my income from the two jobs was about 15 shillings a week plus tips.
I left Northampton to join "Britains New Navy" at 15 and went to HMS Ganges but not before working for 4 pounds a week at Squires the Fruit & Vegetable merchants boxing bananas and delivering to market.
After 12 years traveling the world in surface ships and submarines I migrated to Australia and now reside in Miri, Sarawak, (on Borneo Island) having married a Iban lady who I adore 9 years ago.
We have visited Northampton a few times and some years ago I went for a haircut and the girl cutting my hair asked where I was from. I replied "Borneo' at which she told me I have very good English!
I don't really enjoy Northampton anymore but like to come and see my three cousins and their families now and again and I miss "the old days" very much especially the old pubs like the Queens Arms, Shipmans and the Palmerston on the Market Square.
It is a small world and my "local" in Miri is part owned by Les Cory another Northamptonian and he has his mother here too a lovely lady who is now 83.