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go back to the last page you were on Memories of the 40s : Strange Alice

Smokey

For Muriel

The field adjacent to the blast furnaces held a rich collection of large metal items awaiting breakup and metal recovery. Included in this paradise was a number of large static water tanks, full of deep and very dirty rain water. Strange Alice, only daughter of the widow at number 17, had left school but not yet found suitable employment. She had a dreamy attitude and clearly lived in a world of her own.

She developed a habit of taking off her clothes and swimming in these water tanks; which was gleefully reported by excited young witnesses to their parents. Numerous fathers would then dash across to rescue the young lady from potential danger and escort her home covered with a blanket. Eventually Strange Alice left the street, and it was announced that she had gone to live in a big house with friends.

Clive was probably my best friend, and cousin to Strange Alice. He had an older sister Elsie who was a tender-hearted soul with a mission to comfort servicemen far from home. His mother was also athletic; a disciple of Eileen Fowler, she could be seen with friends on the Highfield Road football pitch at half-time, waving Indian clubs, hoops or long ribbons at a bemused crowd. His father kept pigeons and apparently lived with them in a shed at the bottom of the garden.

Clive and I had a favourite game. We would select a bomb site in the street and each find a comfortable niche from which to threw bricks at the other until surrender or removal for medical attention. Eventually this game was discussed with some feeling at a joint meeting of parents and subsequently dropped from the sporting calendar.

An alternative activity was to hitch unofficial rides on one of the a wagons pulled by 'Rocket' the steam engine, as it trundled from the Dunlop factory across several streets to join the Coventry to Nuneaton railway line, behind the Brico factory.

Looking at youngsters today, I think we had the richer activities.

Muriel's Reply

Written by Smokey