Alan Stanley

  1937 -
  City of Birth:
Romford. Essex. Great Britain.

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I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


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Alan's Story > Chapters > 2. Alan's War. Two.

"Alan's War." 


Date Range: 01/01/1942 To 12/31/1945   Comments: 1   Views: 4,855
Attachments: No

Old Mrs Miller, who lived next door to the Douglas's at number 18, turned the dial of the old radio set on the sideboard, trying to find the play that she usually listened to every week at that time of day. They had announced last week that it was to be a new detective series and that it would run in half hour episodes for six weeks. She liked detective stories. She heard snatches of the theme music but the whistling kept wiping it out and her old rheumy fingers hadn't the delicate touch that the old set needed. She thought that she heard it as she swept past, but it was a wonder that she could hear anything at all over the racket going on outside, but she got it at last.

She switched a light on a side table and reached for the knitting before sinking into a chair.
"Steve. Steve.  Are you all right?"  A man's voice asked from the radio.
"Yes Paul--I-I think so."  It was a womens voice now and it was obvious that she was in pain. "Paul. I can't seem to move my arm!"
 Mrs Miller stopped in mid stitch and leaned forward as it faded to catch every last word.
"I asked if you were all right?" Mary Kirby said, leaning down and helping her ten year old son up from the lino at the foot of the stairs at number 16, that he had just tumbled down. He stared at her for a moment, then burst into tears. She gathered him up and cuddled him to her as her husband appeared at her side.
"What do I have to do to get one of those?" he asked.
"Fall down stairs." she smiled back.
He went to say something else but the wailing of the air raid siren outside changed his mind.
She wiped the tears from her son's face with the corner of her apron, and squeezed him to her as the sound faded away and then asked him where his younger brother was.
"He's upstairs somewhere." He hestitated and then looked up at the top of the staircase. 'He pushed me."
She glanced to her husband and then frowning at her son, held a finger up in front of his face, wagging it slowly.
"Don't tell fibs, darling." then she shouted up at the landing. "David, come down quickly please. We have to go. Hurry."
David, who was six. appeared hesitantly at the top of th stairs, but on seeing his mother's smiling face, realised that he wasn't in trouble and came down the steps in a rush.
The air raid siren stopped and the four of them headed for the shelter in the back garden.
 The Jackson's at number 10 were on the front step when the sirens announced the approach of enemy bombers. Martha Jackson half turned to go back inside but her husband grabbed her arm and held her back.
"I told your mother that we would be there at her bedside when she woke up from her operation and I am not going back on our word."
"The Warden's won't let us through," she replied   " and the Police could arrest us."
"Nonsense. Working for the Government aught to count for something today, and I promised your mother. It's all so new to the Warden's that they don't know what they are doing at the moment. The alarm goes off and they are supposed to rush out and get everyone off the street into the shelters, but there have been so many false alarms that now they are beginning to hide in doorways."
His wife laughed.
"Well, you may laugh, but I think that it is just a ploy to get everyone down into the shelters while burglars break into your house and steal everything."
She laughed again. "For what we have they are welcome."
He moved down the front path and pulled back the wooden gates to the driveway and then to the black Austin parked in front of the garage.
"I hardly think that working as a wages clerk at Romford Town Hall qualifies as a government position."
She opened the passenger side door, shouting above the noise that had started up again. Why they had put the damn thing at the end of their turning she would never understand.
"At least it pays a pension which is more than you can say for some jobs." he returned, starting the car.
"Assuming you will be around to collect it, my dear." She muttered under her breath. She smiled sideways at him as he went into reverse and backed the car out onto the street. She wound down the window and waved at a neighbour from across the road who was taking a bicycle from the front garden into the house.
He stopped and stared at the car and shouted.
"The siren sounded."
"Perhaps he thinks we are deaf!" Mr Jackson spoke through smiling teeth.
Martha leaned her head out of the window as her husband revved the engine.
"I told him Mr Ibbotson, but he doesn't listen."
Mr Ibbotson turned away and pushed the bicycle into the front hall of the his house.
"He never heard you." her husband said.
"Poor man."
"Poor man, my foot!"
Mr Jackson drove out of their turning into Carling Road and headed for Romford town. There was no one on the street, so at the junction he pulled ahead into Eastman Road and would follow the London railway line to Romford Station and on to Oldchurch Hospital where Martha's mother would just about be waking up from an operation to remove a cancer.
They got to the end of the road and were about to turn left into South Street when a Warden stepped out from the doorway of the estate agents into the middle of the road, and held up his arm
"Now we are in trouble." Martha said, and from the look on the Warden's face, Mr Jackson had a feeling that she could be right.

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Member Since
Aug 2008
Adara Bernstein said:
posted on Feb 14, 2010
love it

What time period is this from - I'm assuming WWII?