I think the Liberal Demacrat party will have a landslide victory, the reasons for this are, because of the small margins between the 3 parties in the opinion polls, the usual stay at home voters will vote for the LBD’s and dissilusioned voters from the two main parties, will add to the hard core votes and result in the landslide.
My wife’s granfather asked me to write about his experience in WW2, I have also include my uncle and his participation in WW2, the names have been changed to respect the privicy of surviving relatives, most of the events are true, there is some fiction added. Part 1 is titled; One war two lives.
I take a keen interest in world events and thought at that time war in Europe seemed inevitable so in1936 I joined the cavalry regiment, I liked the idea of riding horses, on my first day the sergeant asked me to clean out the stables, I could only find a pitch fork that was o.k. for the straw but not for the horse muck, I asked the sergeant for a shovel, he said “what do you think god gave you hands for private and hurry up.” The barracks where not far from a village called Petersfield this is where I met my wife, Winifred we married only after a 6 month courtship, it often happened like that then and our first daughter, Rosemary was born 12 months later.
As war loomed closer I was transferred to the artillery regiment as horse regiments in the modern army had limited use.
George Maloney 1919-1939
I was born in Liverpool, on a sunny afternoon in 1919; George was my grandfather’s name so George Maloney I was christened.
My Mother was born in Bombay, India, 1891 her father was a colonel in one of the India regiments, the family moved back to the U.K. in1900 and settled in Southport, a nice seaside town between Liverpool and Blackpool; where my parents met, married and settled in Liverpool.
I started school at St Laurence primary, I passed my 11plus and started at St Edwards Grammar school, it was where I met Thomas Digby and Lenny Hampshire, the three of us regularly trained for boxing at the Edge Hill boys club; our trainer at the club, Mike Neal, instilled into us that boxing was much about fitness, more than skill; every session we ran 2 miles around the local area before we started boxing training.
I was 14 and started work as a driver in the bakery where my father, Richard was the factory manager. After finishing my early morning deliveries, I would have to take my paperwork to the office for filing, one of the office girls, Grace, would always ask for my assistance to finish her crossword.
Well inevitably a relationship developed and we started courting. I keep myself fit boxing, running and swimming; Grace and I often went swimming and she enjoyed the social side of boxing, we stayed in London for a weekend and ended up in a pub called “The Old Pimlico Tram” I found a table, went to the bar and ordered drinks for Grace and myself, as I was waiting for the drinks to be served, I noticed trophy’s on the shelf at the back of the bar and pictures of boxers on the walls, as the barman was serving the drinks I asked him why there was so many pictures of boxers on the walls, he said we get a lot of boxers in here, I do some boxing myself, I said paying him for the drinks.
Grace and I were talking about what our plans were for the rest of the day, when one of the regular’s said to me, you’ve done some time in the ring, would you like to see sommit unusual? We followed him upstairs, as it turned out this was a venue for professional boxers as there was a boxing ring above the pub, he shouted hey Joe this lad from Liverpool recons ees pretty andy; after a couple of rounds in the ring with a pro’ and a couple of rounds of beer at the bar I was asked to turn professional, this I could not do because, I knew my family would object.
It was Sunday September 3rd, 1939 at 11am the announcement on the radio said that peace talks had failed; I lived at home with my parents, one younger brother and three sisters. Mary, Celia, Nell two older than myself. My brother Billy and myself where called up for military service Billy joined the army and I joined the Royal Navy.
Thomas Christopher (C)
This story is based on fact, the identity of the real people has been changed to protect there privicy.
I stood near to the cenotaph, Remembrance Sunday 9th November 1980, as I have done, many times before, a cold gust of wind blew across the square just as the last post was being played, I felt a chill run down my back, but I feel the cold these days and I will be glad to be out of the cold; I looked across the square and noticed a chap about the same age as myself, I wondered if he felt the cold as I did.
The British Legion bar, there are two men standing at the bar; waiting to be served. Bill looks around the room, notices younger people and some men about the same age as himself, turns to the man next to him at the bar and says “I wonder how many here have fought in the war.”
George replied “not many I suppose, it’s an experience I will never forget.” They both, picked up a pint each and returned to their seats, and then reflected on old times.
Bill Hains 1918-1937
I was born in Boston U.S.A. at 2 a.m. on a cold November morning in 1918 I was christened William Hains but I prefer to be called Bill. My Father, Joe was a horse breeder; he had a farmhouse and two stables on 3 acres of land and my mother, Ann helped dad when she could but mainly looked after me and my two younger sisters Cathy and Win.
My mum died of a fever when I was 5 years old and with my dad having no other relatives in the U.S.A. we had to sell up and move to England to live with my mum’s sister.
We boarded the Caronia at New York bound for Liverpool; the crowds of people, was a shock for me, being so isolated on the farm. The journey took about 10 days, as we came into the mouth of the Mersey, you could see the liver buildings and St Nicholas church, when we docked at princess landing stage, we showed documentation and picked up our luggage, further along the landing stage we took the ferry across the Mersey to Seacombe, there we met Aunt Mary, from there it was a ten minute walk to her house.
We had moved to Wallasey on the opposite side of the river Mersey to Liverpool and my aunt Mary who had up till then lived alone took on the role of mum.
My first school was St Joseph & Mary primary about 10 minutes walk from where I lived; after school me and my mates would go to the Birkenhead docks, and walk along the wall through the locks from the Wallasey pool to the exit in the river Mersey, hoping to see a large cargo ship travelling through the locks. There was a rail link from Seacombe to Birkenhead docks, which passed over 4 bridges each of which traversed a lock, when one of the bridges would swing across, about 100ft long and 40ft wide complete with rail lines and road, we would know soon, a ship would be passing through, to us they looked gigantic.
I passed my 11 plus exam and attended St. Francis Xavier Grammar school in Liverpool, I used to enjoy the ferry crossing to and from Liverpool, I would always walk the three quarters of a mile from the pier head to the school twice each day, some of the less well off kids had to tie their shoe laces together and hang the shoes around their necks while walking to and from school to make their shoes last longer.
I left school when I was fourteen and started work in a factory making asbestos brake linings, two years later I was made redundant because of the recession car sales took a downturn and the was a reduced demand for brake linings. Against my father’s wishes I moved down to the south of England to find a job and started work as a watercress farmer, it was hard work but, I enjoyed the outdoors and the physical part of the work.
I lived 3 miles from the nearest pub, so I used and old bicycle to get there to meet my mates, there was only one problem, when it was dark the bike had a carbide lamp, the illumination was provided by water (from a small tank) dripping onto a block of carbide, the light provided was not that good, so often on a moonless night I would run off the road and end up in a ditch and summersault once or twice and if I had enough beer I felt no pain.
Thomas Christopher (C)
The Liverpool Garden Festival 1984 was a
fantastic success, it was landscaped on a landfill
site and the individulal displays within the site
where themed, Chinese, Indian, gardens.
Artizans from the countries represented helped
in the contruction of the exibits.
The gardens are now derelict and over grown,
I wish the gardens would have continued
beyond the 3 months it was open, I am sure many
visitors feel the same.