Dad was not able to serve his country in the forces as at the time he worked in the power house and manned the searchlights during the war, along with other workers they were needed at home.
During this employment he was gassed and had to give up the work on medical grounds. After being out of work for sometime he was sent to Kent to be trained as a painter and decorator. He had found his vocation he was excellent at it and loved it which was a bonus.
Mum and I missed him dreadfully during the time he was away from us but we survived.
When my dad finished the retraining and came home he was filled with enthusiam about London he said the people were so friendly and there was such a good feeling amongst everyone, relief I should think after the blitz, you may have guessed the next thing I knew my parents were explaining to me that we were going to live in london, far from being upset at being uprooted I was thrilled, it was an adventure. Dad went ahead to find somewhere for us to live and in the meantime my Mum and I started packing.
Before very long Dad wrote and said he had found us somewhere to live and a furniture van was arranged. In those days there were no motorways so we were told it would take approx. six hours. Mum had arranged for me and her to travel in the removal van so this was not going to be a picnic. The weather was so hot as the summers used to be. Undaunted, I couldn't wait to be off. It was a gruelling journey but we did stop several times to recoup ourselves.
At last we reached London the block of flats was at Earls Court. I couldn't believe what I saw these tall buildings so close together I had never seen flats( apartments) before, I remember thinking to myself why on earth are they called flats I would have thought highs would have been more appropriate.
We pulled into this road called Penywern Road and there was my Dad waiting for us. My Mum looked out and the look of horror on her face, I don't think she could believe what she had let herself in for, the flat that was to be our new home was the very top one with 65 stairs to climb, two tiny rooms and a kitchen, she had left behind a rambling farmhouse with views on open fields the view now was into the flats opposite, I was thrilled I loved it but on reflection I could see why my Mum was horrified.
It didn't take long for us all to settle in in spite of the disadvantages. As my Dad had said there was certainly a marvellous atmosphere on the streets of London. Dad had loads of work, money wasn't short anymore, we weren't rich but we had enough. The work was due to rebuilding london after the blitz.
We stayed at Penywern Road for about 2 months and then during the course of his work my Dad found us a much nicer and larger flat in West Kensington- Grattan Road . The block of flats was lovely only three storeys high and ours was on the ground floor. I soon made lots of friends and started school. There was something else that amazed me there were so many differant nationalities there not like Rotherham.
I hadn't ever seen a black person before and plied my Mum and Dad with all sorts of questions I was only 5 yrs old so it was all new to me and my Mum. It must have been the way things were explained to me, because I didn't think about colour after then and they were now my new friends. It is the adults that instil racism, I am sure children accept things so much easier.