Sunday, August 17, 2008

What I remember most about my childhood in Feltham during the war was my Dad never seemed to be at home. If he was, he appeared to be tired, and I have seen him fall asleep while eating his meal.

He was a goods train driver for the Southern Railway, as they were then known. He drove a steam train out of Feltham Marshalling Yards, and I know he often took supplies into the army depot, crossing Feltham High Street on the special line that ran near to the Red Lion public house.

He also did runs to Eastleigh and Southampton, working, sometimes, all night and through the following day.

Dad never told my Mother much about his work, and after he died before reaching retirement age, a letter was found from the Railway Company, thanking him for volunteering for driving ammunition wagons. We often wondered whether he knew what he was carrying, my Mother never knew. Unfortunately, Mother died shortly after Dad and the letter was lost.

Another war time memory of him was arriving home from the railway just in time to sit down for his Christmas Dinner with the family; and off again, back to his engine. How he loved those steam trains.

We lived in Shakespeare Avenue and he told me about standing one night, talking to our next door neighbour and a V1 doodlebug bomb coming towards them from what he called the Glebe Land. They both thought, this is for us! When it turned and went back the way it came. Who, I wonder was the unlucky person when the engine cut out and it exploded near them.

Like most families we kept chickens and rabbits in the back garden, and my job, whilst Dad was working, was to check on the young chicks, which he usually bought in Kingston Market. When old enough, they went into the run in the garden, so that we had good supply of eggs. One neighbour kept ducks as well and another had a pig. I am sure he must have had special permission to keep it. It frightened the life out of me one evening, while I was putting my cycle into the garden shed, when it suddenly started honking loudly

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