Friday, 20 June 2008

Page 8

Woodhouse Grammer School

Time passed it was great being at my Grans house everyone was so relaxed, even my Dad. Dennis was doing really well and had made a couple of new friends. It was so safe for them here out in the sticks and in those days maybe one or two cars you saw in a week and one of those would be a doctor doing home visits.

My Dad was feeling so much better he came up with this idea to convert the bathroom into a bedroom for me by putting a board over the bath, which could be raised when the bathroom was to be used, which in those days was approx. 1 per week on a friday. One reason for this was was that the water was heated by the fire in the front room.

A mattress was put on top of the board, I must add it was very comfortable, I loved it . It meant I could go to bed when I wanted to , even read in bed instead of waiting for everybody else to go first.

I had now moved to yet another school Woodhouse Grammar School, a coach picked the children up from various points. It was a very strict school, mixed ,which I thought was an improvement. I remember my first lesson was Geography, not one of my better subjects, still the teacher thought it amusing to try and humiliate me because of my London accent but he had met his match it was quite easy to avoid his sarcasm and turn it to my advantage, when the rest of the kids were laughing he soon changed tactics. His attempt at a cockney accent left a lot to be desired but my attempt at a Yorkshire accent went down really well.

In spite of me doing really well in my previous schools and always being near the top of the class in most subjects I am afraid this school just made me fall by the wayside, I am not sure why I just couldn`t keep up. The work was so different, I think they were well in front of the London schools and of course there was a gap which I couldn`t get over.

My Dad got in touch with the local council about re-housing us due to the overcrowding , they said they would do their best and agreed with my dad that me sleeping on top of the bath was not really acceptable and to leave it with them.

One night in the early hours we were all asleep when suddenly the glass in the front door was smashed and a terrible screaming . My Dad and my two uncles ran down stairs, they told me to take Dennis in with me and lock the door. They were just in time to see a man running across the road screaming wearing just a shirt and underpants. He was shouting that there was a gang after him. Next thing, we heard more glass being broken and a lady screamed, it was the house across the road number 17. My Dad and uncles ran across, someone had called the police .When my Dad got into the house Mr Onions the owner pointed a shotgun at my dad thinking he was with the other man who was sat on the stairs. The man had jumped through the top pane of the kitchen window and trailed blood everywhere. He was still calling out that they were after him but there didn`t appear to be anyone else.

The police arrived and he was taken away. The excitement was over,back to bed to attempt to sleep. The next day the police came to the house and explained that the man came from a nearby village called Catcliffe he had been very ill and in his delirium had left his house and the rest we knew. He was taken to hospital and made a full recovery. It had been a very scary incident.

About 12 months had passed and we still lived at number 18 with my Grandparents, we were very happy, my Dads health was slightly improved, Dennis was coming up four years old, although we were happy we did really need more space.

One morning a letter arrived for my Dad offering us number 17- coincidence this was the other house involved with the sick man. It was identical to my Grandparents house and just across the road, we were all thrilled to bits. Mr and Mrs. Onions who had lived there just couldn`t stay there after the incident which was great for us.

Moving day again we didn`t have much to move, no furniture so it was relatively easy. Of course the move involved quite a lot of expense for the furniture but my Mum was a very good money manager. We managed it by the skin of our teeth.

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