A Fifties' Childhood 2020

A Fifties' Childhood 2020

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4.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
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That 'other world' is examined via a series of 31 essays. These are the openings of a few of them:
[3] The Call of the Sea: [I] Rain and Snails
It's a cliche that the sun always shines during the days of childhood. Well, it didn't always in mine.
[5] Post War
Right through the nineteen-fifties, the constant refrain on the lips of the adults around me was 'before the war', in the sense of 'we haven't seen those since before the war' or 'we had plenty of these before the war'. As far as I and others of my age were concerned, the war they spoke of might as well have taken place several centuries before. In fact, we were no more than a few years away from it. No wonder it still resonated all around us.
[6] Comics
Not long before I started school in November, 1952, my glance fell upon a glossy comic in our local corner newsagent. I was fascinated by the grotesque green creature on the front cover and gave my mother no peace until she'd bought it for me. The creature was 'The Mekon', supposedly the malicious ruler of the planet Venus, and the comic was The Eagle.
[14] Frightening the Children
The British Board of Film Classification (until 1985, the 'C' stood for 'Censors') was founded as long ago as 1912, so I am at a loss as to how I came to be watching a 3D horror film at the age of four or five.
[22] Number Thirty-four
The first family I remember living in Number Thirty-four were the Burtons. My memory of Mr Burton is of a quite elderly (so it seemed to me) man who spoke not at all to my recollection. In contrast, Mrs Burton had a great deal to say for herself. She always seemed to be shouting at her eldest son, Malcolm, an amiable boy some years older than me and far taller.
[24] 1957 And All That
Our wooden radio - they were called wirelesses then but all the same were full of wires and huge glass objects called valves - gave out a 'beep, beep' sound. My friend and I listened intently. It was a tinny, unreal noise but it was the most important one of the Twentieth Century. This was October, 1957 and we were hearing a recording of Sputnik I in its orbit around the Earth.
[26] The Yellow Omnibus
To combine poetry and handwriting lessons probably seemed like a good idea to some educationalists of the time. Quite economic and efficient in a way: the sort of thing that would appeal to a certain type of thinking today.
[28] Ban the Bomb
If I'd been familiar with the expression back in April, 1958, I'd have said what I could see before me in Trafalgar Square was a sea of faces. And not only faces: there were banners, a white haired man addressing the vast crowd through an erratic microphone and numerous eye catching black-and-white CND 'bird's foot' symbols.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 185 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 12mm | 190.51g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1916297315
  • 9781916297319

Table of contents

Introduction 9
Early Days 19
The Call of the Sea: I Rain and Snails 25
Early Day Women 31
Post War 37
Comics 43
Food 49
I Hate Skool 53
And on the Seventh Day 57
Year Ending 63
Clothes Maketh Boy 69
Door to Door 73
Family Matters 79
Frightening the Children 83
In the Playground 89
TV Times 95
Days Out 101
Streetwise 107
Creatures, Mostly Small 111
Number Thirty-one 115
Gone Fishin' 119
Number Thirty-four 123
Hair 129
1957 and All That 133
The Sickie Vickie 137
The Yellow Omnibus 143
Dreamscapes 149
Ban the Bomb 155
Fragments 159
The Call of the Sea: II The Pier's End 167
End of Innocence 173
Appendix I Memory [Poem] 181
Appendix II The Father of My Uncle [Poem] 183
Recently by Tom East 185
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About Tom East

The latest publication by Tom East is the SF/Conspiracy novel THE LOWELL LETTERS.

The CANALS OF MARS were observed in the late Nineteenth Century by the astronomer PERCIVAL LOWELL. His discovery was hushed up. Why should this be of deadly importance to us at the present time?

Twelve books are currently available in paperback from TOM EAST or as Ebooks. Apart from the latest, these include the controversial novel THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO St JUDAS and the unsparing non-fiction of LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE, about recovery from two brain haemorrhages,

Earlier Tom was the writer of many works of fiction, commercial features, essays, reviews, 'other prose' and poetry. He was also the author of six (print) books.

He was born in London, although of Welsh family and has lived in Wales for many years.

Still available as paperback and ebook:
TOMMY'S WAR: July 1914
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