Wonderful Childhood In Arlesey House 19401946

A Memory of Arlesey

I was born in Arlesey in 1940 in the large house next to St Peter's church, it was a lovely old place. My mother took my brother Ted and sister Marion to Arlesey when things started to get bad in Islington, London. I was born November 14th 1940, the night the Germans bombed Coventry. They said the bombers were flying over Arlesey all night, my dad said some were so low you could almost throw a stone at them. My gran lived in no 40 Stofold Road. After the war we spent many a happy summer holiday with her and my grandad and cousin Terry, it was lovely. My first memory was fighting with my sister Marion who was to ring the bell to let my Aunt Mary and her children know it was dinner time. We had rooms on the ground floor in Arlesey House, she and her three children lived upstairs. The summers seemed to always be sunny, none more so when my brother Frank was born on May 24th 1944. Those days were great for us kids, and when my dad was called up in the begining of the war our families helped each other, and shared what they had, including meals and the preparations. It might have been war time but us kids never knew much about it, now and again you would get a American lorry come through, and we would shout 'Got any gum chum?', and they often would oblige. I was born in Arlesey, my brother Frank was born and bred there, so the war was kind to us in a way.
As the days went by we eventually started going to school, I think the name was Madam Balonge or something similar. I remember they had a band and I was given a triangle to play. One time I contracted impetigo and the woman teacher took me to the doctor then took me home, only to be told by my mum that she could not afford the doctor's bill, I think it was half crown, which was a lot of money in them days, I don't ever remember going back to the school again. We gained a lot of friends at Arlesey House, none more so than the Standons, they had a son Michael about the same age as me, we became great mates and went everywhere together. I believe they moved to Peterborough. Their dad looked a bit like Frank Sinatra.

A memory shared by Michael Smith , on Aug 11th, 2009.

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