Bill as a boy
Bill Whatley shares what growing up in the thirties was like for him.
"No Radio. No Television. No Electricity. No Jobs.
I was born in 1928, with a bit of a bang when a storm sent the chimney pot rattling down the roof. My father, who was a miner, had his first pay in 18 months.
We were poor, but as a child, I was never aware of it, as our lives were so full of love and affection.
My father was a hero. I wish I had told him. I loved looking at his picture.
I played soldiers on the lawn with my father's medals, clanking on my chest. My mother was able to make a meal out of anything and nothing was wasted. She made most of our clothes. We had new clothes at Whitsun.
Aged four, holding my sister's hand, we walked five miles to and from school. My school days were very happy.
In the infant class I fell in love with Megan. I remember kissing her in the playground.
Life centered around family, school and chapel. The annual Sunday school trip to Barry was eagerly anticipated.
We joined other families for picnics and canal bank walks. Cars were few. Mr and Mrs La-de-da had an Austin seven.
We played on the street, whip and top, scotch and team games. It was easy to get dirty.
We ran miles, bowling car tyres and old bicycle wheels on the road.
For the miners' unpaid holiday week, we went to Warminster to stay with Granny Whatley and ride on grandfather's coal cart.
Then the war started...
I went to the grammar school and the world changed.
The happy, carefree days of my childhood, were gone."