I started school in 1927 age 5 years. I went to White Hill infants, then in 1930, age 8 years, to White Hill juniors. The headmaster was Mr Stanley Cox.
In 1933, age 11 years, I had a long walk to school from Berkhampstead Road, where I was born and where I lived with my parents, to Germain Street Boys’ School. The headmaster was Mr Thertle. Not being very academic, I was placed in ‘B’ stream. The ‘A’ stream boys were clever, had Latin and French among their subjects, while the ‘B’ boys had gardening and woodwork as their main subjects.
At the age of 12 years in 1934, I had a job working in Darvell’s Bakery every day before and after school. From 7am to 8.45am greasing bread tins ready for the night bakers (bread was always baked at night) and frying doughnuts. Then – a quick wash and to school by 9am. School finished at 4pm. Then back to the bakery until 6pm, washing all the utensils and scrubbing all the worktops. The last job was to bring in 4 barrow loads of coal for firing the ovens. I worked from Monday to Friday plus Saturday mornings 7am to 12 noon all for 2/6 (half a crown) per week.