Alan Stanley

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

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It Has Been A Rough Year

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 ...


The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins

The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.   http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp other-2-prayer-re ml


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Alan's Story > Chapters > 15. Alan's War. 15.

"15. Alan's War. 15." 


Date Range: 01/01/1940 To 05/08/1945   Comments: 0   Views: 4,151
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Our side in and Chris scored four. The girls on their team were bowling underarm!
 I was in next and holy moly was out for a duck from a very suspicious ball. I wasn't really ready and the umpire had his finger up, but the ball removed my middle stump as clean as a whistle and nearly impaled one of the boys who was wicket keeper. It was really sneaky because she had been bowling underarm to my brother, perhaps she fancied him, and then changed to over the top and it was fast.
Then suddenly the match was over. Joe Miller took the bat, when it was really Jery Wagner's turn and there was a bit of wrenching and pulling, and then like me, Joe was cleaned bowled to much cheering from the other side. We all heard the ball touch the stump, fairly loud click, but it didn't remove it from the ground, just sort of swayed it.
Mr Fazio lifted his finger.
"Yousa out."
"I'm not." Joe said.
Mr Fazio blinked and put the finger that he had dropped back into the space that it has previously occupied-up in the air.
"You is a OUT." His english was crisp and cultured.
"I'm not." Joe shouted to the grounds and pointed to the wooden stump. He touched it with the bat to prove his point and it fell over.
"YOU'RE OUT."  Everyone on the field and those around it shouted.
Joe turned around and glared at everyone, then raising the bat over his head brought it down on the stumps. They went flying and the bat split in half as it hit the ground. The last thing that we saw in the match was Joe Miller running for the hedge, with his father in hot pursuit carrying the broken piece of the bat. Joe didn't go to  school on the Monday and every day after school for two weeks went straight home and didn't come out.
We played on the pitch a couple of times more but then the sheep moved back in  and in the Autumn the farmer ploughed the field, so that was the end of Mr Fazio's cricket team.
After school Chris and I were allowed out more on our own to play, and could go further afield as we got to know the area, and not have to stay around in the garden so much. We were threatened and had dire warnings to take notice or else!
At the end of the gardens was an alleyway that ran behind the back of the row of houses to service the garages and sheds that belonged to the houses. It was paved with cement, but in places had worn away and been repaired with tarmac that had worn away and left large holes that filled up with water when it rained and did not drain away.
If you put your foot in it, as boys were wont to do to check if the shoes they were wearing were waterproof, you would find out the the holes were deep and your shoes and socks were not, waterproof, that is.
Over the years allsorts of huts and sheds had been constructed out of all sorts of materials, and now a lot of them were in a very sorry state. You could get into some of them without using the door, and some were so full of rubbish and rotting wood that you couldn't get in at all. A few were surrounded by stinging nettles, so you didn't want to get in. Uncle like the nettles because he made a wine from them. Some very funny people in the country influencing my uncle. He had a garage for the Humber and a shed on the side that he called his potting shed. Behind the garage on the other side of the path on the other side of a low rotting wood fence, with more rot than wood, was tall grass that sloped down an embankment, as it was called, to the railway line.
The railway line had two tracks and was busy, because sometimes while laying in bed at night, you could feel the house shaking as the trains thundered past. We were warned about playing near the line because it was dangerous, but the embankment was a wonderful playground. It was overgrown in places with trees and saplings and head high grass where you could play cowboys and indians. The tall grass smelt nice when the weather was hot and you could lay back in it, in the sun, and listen to the sound of the insects and imagine you were out on the prairie with scout Davie Crocket. Nobody would know you were there except the wind and the bees. Sometimes you could see planes flying high but at that time we didn't know what they were; ours or theirs.  There were wild flowers growing in the shorter grass down by the line, and then there would be clumps of blackberry bushes, entangled in honeysuckle, the smell of which would sweep over you on a warm still day, and white bellbind on a windy day became parachutes when piched with a finger and thumb behind the flower.
There were also large stretches of blackened ground where sparks from the train ahd set fire to the grass. The blaze had spread up and along the bank, and everything had been consumed. Other black patches from a while before were already showing new grass. We were down the embankment nearly every day, because some of the boys from the houses had made a den in the trees by bending the branches of saplings down, and pegging them into the ground. As the leaves grew they covered the interwoven walls in a green swathe. It was a very good shelter unless it rained very hard and then it would start to drip down your neck and we would have to dash home where  we would arrive soaking wet, because we stayed instead of leaving when it started.
We dug out pieces of turf in a square and with some bricks we made a fireplace and cooked potatoes. We did not like them that much, but there was nothing else. You put them in the ashes of the fire and they cooked. They weren't that bad. Chestnuts were nicer but that was later in the year, and by then it was getting too cold to sit in the den and anyway the leaves had all fallen off and the wind whistled through. There was plenty of coal along the side of the track to keep the fire going, even though most houses were out every day picking up what they could find. We didn't need the big lumps like they needed for their fires; we collected the smalled pieces. Trouble was one day somebody, not us, made a big fire that got out of control and they sent for the fire brigade and we were stopped from going down for a long time.

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