The Story of Heyford (Extra): Dear Diary – July 1955

July 1955

Dear Diary,

It’ll be the factory fortnight soon. Dad will spend his first week decorating as usual. The walls and ceilings are quite stained after a year, probably because my parents both smoke, as do most grown-ups. I dare say we’ll have the chimney sweep come first or it would be a bit of a waste of time decorating. The second week we may go on one of Mrs. Hilliers’ day trips to the seaside, although they are long days.

Last year we went to Blackpool in a boarding house for a week, but I know we can’t afford to go again this year. If we ever do go again I’ll be able to swim because the school are taking us for lessons at Midsummer Meadow outdoor pool. The water is heated by the cooling towers but the air can be really cold when you get out. The bottom is really rough to your feet and the water is murky sometimes.

I love our village green, especially in the summer because so much happens there. It’s the largest village green in the county and it’s great after it’s been mown because we can build dens. The grass won’t be there long though because they’ll want to play cricket at the weekend, so somebody will clear the cut grass away.

Mrs. Blaney has taken over the running of the Post Office from her dad. She was a school teacher once so I bet she knows most of the people in the village.

I was nearly late for school this morning. Dad had borrowed my school pen to write to his brother in Northampton. He is thinking of emigrating to Australia on the £10 package being offered to British citizens and dad wants to talk to him about making this drastic decision. The letter was on the table with the 2 ½ d for a stamp but no pen so I’ll have to go without it. He probably wrote out his bet with it. Does he know how hard it is to get a pen?

Mum was messing about taking the milk off the step before the birds pecked through the lid, then she stopped to talk to Mr. Wigley, the road sweeper, so the bell was ringing before we even reached the green. I ran the rest of the way. Blimey, I’m 10 now so I don’t need her to come with me, but she’s got a little cleaning job and she starts at 9 o’clock when I start school. It’s not like she spent hours in the bathroom as she only has what she calls “a lick & a promise” when she’s going to work.

I’m school monitor this week so I’m to give out the milk at break time and we are having a group photograph in front of the school, with all 70 of us in it, this afternoon. That should be a laugh, trying to get us all looking the same way and smiling. I think we might have country dancing with the boys this afternoon – they hate that. After the holidays I shall be on my last year at Bliss School because they are to build a new secondary school at Duston and those over 11 who don’t pass the 11+, and no doubt that’ll be me, will go by bus. Can’t wait.

Polly

Letter published in The Prattler – July & August edition 2020

 

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