14th May 2007
“WHO ARE YER” JAMES EDWARD BAILEY
BORN 24th AUGUST 1937 AT THE GENERAL LYING-IN HOSPITAL, SOUTHWARK. Still there but not in use, it is directly across from the Houses of Parliament on the ‘Sowff’ side of the river. Not sure how my mum got there; probably on a bus from Clapham. My dad visited in the evening on his bike with his foot in plaster (a football injury). My dad being the eldest of thirteen and my mum from five she should have had plenty of visitors.
By the time I could remember much the war had started (1939). Maybe when I was 3 or 4 I went to stay with my Aunt Annie and Uncle Ernie at Lynne (near Ian and Gilly) not far from Chertsey/Addlestone. I do not remember too much of this except we had good home cooked food, mostly caught or shot by Uncle Ernie. I remember he was in the Home Guard and parades ended at the Pub. It was exciting for me to meet there and have a drink with Mannering’s finest. He was well known in Chertsey as he worked all his later life running the signal box and level crossing.
After my stay I moved back home to Pensbury St. (off Wandsworth Rd about half way between Clapham Junction and Vauxhall). This was a 2 up - 2 down, outside loo plus back yard property with gas lighting. At the end of the war it would be condemned by the then Labour government and listed for SLUM CLEARANCE. It would then have to wait until about 1956 to be bulldozed and my mum and dad given a new Council house.
Back to SW8 meant seeing that we now had a street shelter and were ready for the bombing to start. Gas masks had been issued along with Ration books for everything, clothes, furniture, fruit, veg. and meat, of course. Sweets were few and far between. By now my Dad was in the Army under training somewhere in England, I never understood where he was, except for one time when he took me back to camp with him, against all Army regulations.
I wrote this after we came back from Norfolk last year. I have decided to continue with it but to give it some headings. If you have any questions let me know and I will try to include them and send you parts as I finish them.
1. Wartime 1939-45
2. my mum and dad’s families
3. first school and up to 1948, 11 plus exam
4. senior school “what’s he good at”; leave school 1952
5. 1952 jobs 1 and 2 and getting ready for national service
6. photography years 55-1962 and 1960 MEET SAINT IRENE
7. a new career, a salesman is born
8. our three children arrive where and when
I THINK I WILL WORK ON THIS BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER.
Watch this space!
Hope up for it.
Love Dad xxx