My Life by Lionel Graves. (Page 5)


I seem to remember attending the local Methodist Chapel, Mother wasn't fussy, I was christened into the Church of Scotland and my grandparents had been Wee Frees.  Dad seldom attended.  We went to Stratford quite a lot passing a pub called the The Four Alls.  The Mop was impressive, roasting oxen in the street.  We moved to Tenbury in 1936 and I can remember Dad reeling off the list of stations we would be passing, Bewdley, Wyre Forest, Cleobury Mortimer, Neen Sollars (or clean collars) Newnham Bridge and Tenbury Wells.  We stayed with Aunt Louis Howells in Berrington Road until we moved into the Market Tavern.


Market Tavern

The Market Tavern, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.


Memories, Dad going to George V's funeral in London with a black band on his arm, Coronation Day, big procession.  Jean was Britannia, country and maypole dancing, the side I was in won 6d (2 ½ p) each.  While in Tenbury Scouts, went to a Jamboree at Eastnor Castle and saw Lord Baden Powell the founder of the Scout movement.


We had few family holidays together, but with free afternoons, used to go on family walks round the countryside.  I sometimes helped Rev Chesterton, the vicar to mow his lawn by putting a rope round my shoulders and pulling the lawn mower while he steered.  When the road was being repaired, a night watchman had a little hut with a brazier, a tin drum with burning coke in it and we used to love gathering round it in the dark, sometimes roasting chestnuts on his shovel.


We used to walk up Berrington Road to visit Bert and Evelyn Pound who farmed at Haresbrook, Jean and I were never bored with these visits and had many jovial evenings there.  Once I rode into Tenbury in their pony and trap.  We also helped them hay making, fruit picking and cider making, also ferreting, often on a wet, cold and windy day standing about because the ferret had got stuck in the hole or killed a rabbit and would not come out.


Inside the Market Tavern was a bar in the corridor outside the snug and there was a small barrel of cider on floor level which I could reach easily and help myself to frequent glasses of cider, I didn't like tea in those days.


I started at Castle House at the Kings School, Worcester in Sept 1937, there were four of us new together of whom I was the youngest , the other three seemed like giants to me.  Funnily enough I met two of them at an old boy's reunion I went to and they had shrunk or rather I had caught up with them.  There was quite a bit of bullying pre-war and we younger ones suffered.  I also met one of the worst bullies at this reunion and he begged my pardon, apologised and asked my forgiveness – which I had great pleasure in refusing and telling him what I thought of him.  He had actually had a good war, been a commando or special services who before D Day had landed on the Normandy beaches to get samples of sand, gradient of beach and noted the defences underwater and on the beach.  After the war he had been a professional tennis coach and had coached one of our women champions.


Being too young to join the cadets or Officer Training Corps as it was known then when they wore 1914-18 puttees.  I joined the Scouts and went to camps in the Lake District where we pushed a handcart miles from the station to the camp site, loaded with tents, cooking utensils and other paraphernalia.  Alex MacDonald was Scoutmaster, he wrote a history of Worcestershire of which I have a signed copy and had been an observer in the Flying Corps in 1914/15 when they started by firing at German planes with pistols, he was shot down and was a P.O.W. for the rest of the war.  He also had piles.



..\My Pictures\Dad 1936.jpg

Figure 1. At Tenbury School.

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