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23 August 2014
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WW2 - People's War

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About the contributor

Charles Cater
User ID: U232443

I was born in Boston - Lincolnshire in 1925 being the sixth born and saw many hard times after the General Strike but my parents were always able to feed us all with wholesome food.

My childhood was a happy one, not knowing what the better off had we did not miss. Always able to drum up a game or two for our entertainment.
During the 1930's the summer holidays was given up to earning a crust or two potato picking in the fields of Lincolnshire.

It was soon heard that so and so was looking for willing hands to get the crops in, potatoes being the most sought after. It was a back breaking job but an enjoyable time with my school mates.

I would earn about 6 or 7 pence a day then which was about 1 shilling and two pence in the old money. With that I tipped up 4 pence to my mother which almost paid for three days milk. I never thought not to make a contribution, she never asked but I gave willingly knowing it would be appreciated.

Leaving school at the age of 14 in 1939 I managed to get a job, which even in those days were not too plentiful. It was on a rose farm budding roses from stock. Another back wrenching position but at 10 shillings a week (50p)it was a fortune for a young lad.

Of course this payment was now a different kettle of fish, I got 2 shillings (10p) spending money for my trouble but with that I could enjoy a visit to the cinema, no girl friends in those days, for about 3 pence (2 new pence) and still had enough for the rest of the week.

Those days were happy days, peace was still with us until the 3rd of September 1939. My job came to an abrupt end when the rose farm manager told us on the Friday night when we collected our pay and that we were sacked, the explanation was that the land was needed for crop growing, so much for that career.

I wandered into one job and then another until I was called up into the forces in 1943 but that is another story which has already been told to my great grand-daughter. You see I am blessed with a boy and a girl who produced six sons and one daughter - my great grand-daughter.
My wife is still with me - and I don't understand why - after 56 years of marriage she has now settled down.
My full life has been an adventure that I would not have wanted to miss and I am trying to come to terms with understanding the modern way of life that all seems to be a great dash here and there.
Perhaps one day my younger friends will enlighten me.
I will just dashing off to the supermarket, the local convenience shop has shut down. Must dash.
May your god be with you where ever you may be.

Stories contributed by Charles Cater

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