Three word sentences.


They say that three-word sentences are unforgettable, we hear them all the time on adverts and in politics—I have some that I will never forget.

 I love you. Please help me. The Liverpool pathway.

A few years ago, I lay in my bed waiting for the Goblin Teasmade to start its ritual. First a click and then a soft grumble, slowly getting angrier before it can take no more and noisily rids itself of the boiling water. The buzzer buzzes. Lights come on. Tea is made.

In June 2008, we would both lie here listening to this performance.

Three months later, September the thirteenth, is our Golden anniversary. I listen alone.

Back in June, we wake up to the ritual of our little Goblin friend, we have a nice cup of tea, and then a different ritual begins.

First the toilet. Then the shower. Hair is brushed. Face is creamed.

Now the painful bit. Legs are creamed. Compression stockings and creamed legs don’t go together. Teeth are gritted.

The room is now brightly lit with the June sunshine. This is the moment that I notice the purple blotches on her legs. She looks down with a weary look that says.  What now?.

I see her face is tanned, that’s odd, we have to avoid sunshine—so the drug people tell us.

It is Sunday. We have to call the duty doctor, a young man with a kindly face. He is gentle as he touches the blotches. His smile fades.

“We need to do some tests which have to done in hospital, I’ll arrange an ambulance for you both”.

This is nothing for us to be alarmed at, a trip to the hospital is a regular thing.

We see a familiar face. The tea lady. A student nurse. Our specialist doctor.

The bell rings. I leave her in good hands, she smiles and say’s.

“I love you”

This is not a thing we normally say to each other with words. We just know.

  I visit every day; we are always first through the door as it opens to the visitors. On Wednesday the eighth of June we walk in to see Ann sitting up in her chair. She is looking, but not seeing. She whispers a whisper we can hardly hear.

“Please help me”.

 The doctor is waiting nearby. He asks me and my son Jamie to join him in an office. He has the results of some tests, he apologises. There is something in his voice that was never there before.

The drugs he has prescribed that have worked so well in controlling the pain for the last forty years have a sting in their tail. The liver has finally given in to the onslaught. Now all the other organs are falling like dominoes.

A nurse comes to the office and whispers to the doctor, I hear him ask.

“Is it fresh”.

She nods and leaves the room.

Another doctor joins us and gives us the devastating news, there is just a few hours left. We hear for the first time, another three words, that I will never forget. The Liverpool Pathway.

The Liverpool Pathway is a way of making an extremely painful death seem like going to sleep peacefully.

Our other son Iain has just gone back to Manchester thinking all is under control. Amanda his wife, tells him the news. He has to make the most agonising journey back to London hoping it is not too late.

We all sit silently around the bed, watching the life drain from our lovely mother and wife.

I love you. Please help me. The Liverpool Pathway.

Three unforgettable three-word sentences.

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-eight.



 I am ten, and I am the only child in Ward 14, St Peters War hospital.  Christmas 1943 was joyously spent with soldiers wounded in battle; they are always telling jokes but never a word about their wounds.

This place is different, the room is quiet with a smell like Mondays and Sunlight soap, even the fire smells the same as our copper. We are in St Dominic’s Open-air school. The shiny table shows the reflection of the lady talking. Her dress is of black cloth, it rustles like blackout curtains. She wears a hood like the ladies in Laurie Zubiena’s church. The cross on the chain around her waist clatters against the table. 

She has smiley eyes; her face is very pink. She is asking Mum lots of questions. She turns to me now with her whole face smiling and says.

‘Master Weguelin, we will all get along fine if you just follow a few simple rules.’

She says my name and writes it on a large box without asking me how to say or spell it. 

Mum ruffles my hair and gives my chin a lift and leaves without a word—I think she is too sad to say anything. I watch her through the window as she walks down the hill.

Now it is my turn to be sad. 

The two other boys join me later. One had all his hair cut off; he had fleas. Coming straight from St Peter’s Hospital, my hair is clean.

 I was asked by one boy if I was related, I had no idea who he thought I was related to.

We do no proper lessons here,  just a lot of singing. On the reverse side of a song sheet of Vera Lynne, was a picture of the founder of the school…and the reason for the boy’s question.

Her name was Mrs Claude Watney-Weguelin, the wealthy widow of Claude Watney, the brewery tycoon. Later she was the widow of Bernard Weguelin, a great uncle of mine, also very rich. 

I was in the home for seven months. I saw aircraft flying over towing gliders on their way to D Day. Then, a doodlebug being chased by a fighter plane. It exploded on a distant hill; the shockwave took a minute to reach our hill and rattled the classroom windows. We were all standing close to them watching the drama… they could easily have broken!


A recent internet search for St Dominic’s found this story. In the 1920’s, a home for delicate boys on the South Coast was destroyed in a storm, A Nun was killed trying to save the boys. Mrs Weguelin, a devout Catholic, allowed all the boy’s and Nun’s to stay in her large estate in Surrey.

Later she passed the whole estate over to the Catholic Church and renamed it St Dominic’s Open-Air School.


I still smile when I think of the boy who thought that I was related to one the richest women in the country. I was wearing Teddy Wades overcoat with a hole in the elbow. Mum took it back, I had borrowed it for the day.It’s even funnier when I found out that I was related—but fortunately very remotely, otherwise I would never have had the pleasure of growing up in Chertsey!

St Dominics Open Air School.

January 1944. I am aged eleven.

My Mother and I are finally in St Dominic’s Open-Air School. 

The room has a clean smell, something like Sunlight soap on a washday at home.

There are two other boys sitting with their mother. One of the boy’s is crying, his mother is holding him tightly, she is near to tears as well. I look at them wondering what will happen to us when our mothers have left.

On the shiny table I can the reflection of the lady who is talking to mum. Her dress is of black cloth, which looks to me like the blackout curtains at home. It rustles in just the same way as it moves. She has a black hood like the ladies in the church in Eastworth Road. The heavy chain around her waist with a large crucifix at the end clatters on the desk whenever she reaches across.

She has smiley eyes but her face is dry and very pink, she is asking Mum lots of questions, and now turning to me with her whole face smiling says.

“Master Weguelin, we will all get along fine if you just follow a few simple rules.”

Not only did she pronounce my name correctly, she wrote it in large letters on a box for my few belongings without asking me how to spell it. 

My Mother ruffled my hair and gave my chin a lift and left without a word—I think she was too sad to say anything. I watched her through the window, she was drying her eyes as she walked down the hill and around the corner.

Now it was my turn to be sad. 

The two other boys joined me later that afternoon in our dormitory, one had all his hair cut off, he had fleas in his hair. That could also have been me; our school always had some-one with fleas, but my hair was clean, coming as I did, directly from St Peter’s Hospital.

We were taken up to the canteen for tea and met all the other boys, I was asked by one boy if I was related, I had no idea who he thought I was related to.

Several weeks later, when we were singing a Vera Lynne’s song that was printed on some scrap paper. I found on the reverse side of the song sheet, a photo of the founder of the school.

Her name was Mrs Claude Watney-Weguelin, the extremely wealthy widow of Claude Watney, the brewery tycoon. Then the widow of Bernard Weguelin, some sort of uncle of mine, also very rich.

I was in the home for seven months. While there I saw aircraft flying over towing gliders on their way to D Day. Later a doodlebug being chased by a fighter plane. It exploded on a distant hill, the shockwave took a minute to reach our hill and the classroom windows. They really rattled, it could have been terrible if they had broken as we were standing close to them watching the drama.

A recent internet search for St Dominic’s found this story. In the 1920’s, a home for delicate boys on the South Coast was destroyed in a storm, A Nun was killed trying to save the boys. Mrs Weguelin, a devout Catholic, allowed all the boy’s and Nun’s to stay in her large house in Surrey.

Later she passed the whole estate over to the Catholic Church and renamed it St Dominic’s Open-Air School.


I still smile when I think of the boy who thought that I was related to one the richest women in the country.

It’s even funnier when I found out that I was—but fortunately very remotely, otherwise I would never have had the delight of growing up in Chertsey.

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-seven.


Autumn is my favourite season. First blackberrying, now wooding for the cool evenings. There is a damp feeling to the air. Chertsey has its own smell. A mixture of peat and wood smoke.  Then the three huge horse chestnut trees in Stanford’s Farm give us another treat. If you could throw a big stick high up you could have a nice big conker.

 For the children the war is forgotten, we have our own battles now. To have a conker on a string that could break six other conkers would be called a sixer, and so on. A Stanford conker was pretty good, it would last quite a few conker tournaments.

But one boy came into the playground with a non-Stanford conker. It was shattering even the biggest challenger. It was said he used to soak it in vinegar to make it harder, but this maybe just a rumour put about by his victims, but this year I was confident that I would be the one to beat.

 In the car park of ‘The Carpenters Arms’ there was this poor spindly tree. It never produced a single conker, until one year I found a lovely unopened conker beneath it, I opened it and there was the darkest, shiniest conker that I had ever seen. It seemed as if this poor tree had used all its energy to produce at least one super conker. 

My friend David Mawford, who lived opposite the pub, told me that the reason the tree had never given any conkers before, was because the men would come out of the pub and have a Pee against the tree every night.  Without putting too fine a point on this, it is sufficient to say that this poor spindly conker tree used this —shall we say ‘vinegary’ substance to enhance the single conker that it had ever produced, and I had it on the end of my piece of string.

I couldn’t wait to start swinging my conker in the playground—if you pardon the expression. I was beating everyone and was attracting quite a crowd when I was challenged by the boy with his twenty-fiver conker, it was jet black and even the string was thick. We had more strikes than any other conker in the playground.

 He had found his match, my conker was hardly marked but his was looking very sad, the bell went, and we all had to go into the school, we would have to finish the fight in the dinner hour.

We met in the playground at dinner time, but he was almost in tears, he had tried to thread a new piece of string though his conker and it had split in two.

The worst part this story though, is that I could not say that I had broken his twenty-fiver, and therefore could add his twenty-five to my seven wins to be the undisputed champion of the year.  That’s life as they say.

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-six.

Another anecdote about children during the war. It’s 1940. Soon I will have to do a bit of editing and bring them together to make a story. Or perhaps I will simply call it ‘Did I ever tell you…………?’

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-six.                                                                  438words.


   In our kitchen, since the bomb, we have just a little bit of looking glass propped up on the mantlepiece. You can only see some of your face unless you stand on the other side of the room, then you are too far away to see anything properly. 

It was once a lovely big mirror. A hand-me-down from my dad’s family.  It had a golden carved frame, which matched a painting of the ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’…a family story is, that one of our relatives was there on that day. I have found it’s just one of those stories that families have… It seems to be a thing in our family.

I’m now eight and a half, and off to do the shopping. While crossing the road at Bell Corner I see my reflection in the window of Miss Stott’s ladies’ outfitters. It’s not what I expect to see. This lanky, gangly, knock-kneed nipper with a wandering way of walking. It is one of those moments when you know something has to change. 

I start to straighten myself out. I pull my shoulders back and stop the wandering way I walk. I’m quite pleased how easy it is to do. It is just the knees I am having trouble with; they are still quite affectionate.

A few weeks later, as I pass Pimpernels Izzi’s ice cream shop, I notice Mrs Mant and her neighbour chatting at their gate. By the way their fags are jerking up and down I can see they are having a good old gossip. This is my chance to test my new walk. I pull myself together, swinging my arms like the Chertsey Home Guards do.

As I am near to them, their fags stop jerking, and hang motionless from their lips. Just their eyes swivel around as I march past. There was a burst of laughter. I look round and see they were only laughing at the three little boys marching in perfect step behind me… just like the Chertsey Home Guard.

I am still feeling pretty pleased with my new walk when I find Mrs Salmon and mum in our kitchen. Nothing is said, but they both look sad, as if they had been crying. I never thought I would see this. Mrs Salmon is such a strong woman, not one for any tears.

I know to put the kettle on without being told. Mum puts her finger to her lips. I know it is bad news, another family had lost someone to this horrid war.

I never worried again about my funny walk; I’m just pleased that I can.

Chertsey Tales part thirty-five.


It’s a few weeks since the bomb, Mum has taken me to Doctor Wards for the last look at my split lip and gums. He said there may be a little scar on my lip, but all the other cuts on my face made by the glass splinters have healed nicely. I will probably lose the wobblily tooth if the gum doesn’t heal up though.

We are hardly home and indoors when Mrs Salmon is passing our kitchen window holding up a freshly baked cake. Within ten minutes or so, she is followed by three other friends, all wanting to know about me. I feel quite important!

I love listening to grown-ups talking, I suppose some would say I am just a nosy kid, they are probably right. Our kitchen is a good hunting ground for this little hobby of mine. There is always someone with a bit of gossip about that Mrs so-and-so up the top of the town—that is the posh bit of Chertsey, things seemed to be ‘going on’ all the time up there.

I noticed when-ever the subject is a bit naughty it would either be said behind a hand or with ‘gum-talk’—moving the lips without uttering a word. Another thing they will do is to say ‘thingy-me-bob’ or his ‘doodah’’ or some such thing, rather than the actual word. We kids know what all these words mean of course, so we know everything they are talking about. Then there are the ‘sayings’ such as, ‘There’s no smoke without fire’ or ‘She is all curtains and no knickers’. There is a competition to see who could come up with the most fitting expression. Then they would all start laughing, I couldn’t see what was so funny about that, some of the girls at school never wore knickers, just long vests with a safety pin underneath. Come to think of it, I never wore pants either, just trousers, shirt, and jersey, I never had a jacket or an overcoat, even in the winter, nor did any of my mates. We made out we didn’t feel the cold, we did though. 

I don’t know if it was the urgency of being at war, but every sentence seemed to be shortened to just three or four words, and the one that I remember most of all was ‘Just in case’, we were told to ‘Carry our gas masks—just in case’, or ‘Don’t talk to strangers—just in case’, these three words would be added to anything.

On this day I came home from school and there they were, the ladies all having a cup of tea. I walked in the kitchen and the talking stopped abruptly. My mother gave me a clip around the ear—this was not any sort of punishment; more affectionate you could say—almost like a greeting. Whenever I asked what that was for, she would say—Just in case. 

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-four.


I can hear Mrs Salmon again. 

‘Can you hear me Alan, you mummy is here. Now just feel carefully with your fingers Effie, see if there are any more of those little glass splinters, it’s the safest way to do it. Then Mrs Philips has some plasters and bandages to keep it clean.’

I lay back and let my mum feel around my face, she is so gentle. There is a lady next to me, she is soaking wet as well, she keeps crying for her baby. The men are looking for him in the bombed house. Then she is very quiet, I think she is sleeping.

I see my brother Don; he was only a few feet away from me and is completely untouched. So are all the others that were under the Morrison shelter that everyone hated, but it saved their lives.

Don told me later that he had to keep talking to me, so that I would not go back to sleep, but I can’t remember that. The next thing I remember was seeing mum and Mrs Wade sitting next to the fire in Mrs Wades kitchen. My head was hurting, and I hated the taste in my mouth. There was no problem with me going to sleep now. There were all the Wade boys and us under their Morrison shelter, almost laying on top of each other.

The next day we couldn’t wait to go up the road to see the damage. I looked like a mummy with so many bandages on my head. Our house had lost just part of the front wall, but the house’s a bit further up was very badly damaged with all the beds and furniture hanging out. No one could go back into them.

I hear someone say that the lady that was sleeping next to me had died and so did her baby. They had come to Chertsey as evacuees for safety. I never knew it was going to be like this.

I hear mum calling us, we are going to grannies.

Don and Kingy Edwards are collecting shrapnel, they find a a bit buried in the oak tree. Once they dig it out they see it has a number stamped on it. Don says that makes it very collectable.

On the way back we see Nutsan, he’s carrying a big old book. He comes over to Don to show him. He’s a funny boy, a bit older than the rest of our gang but we don’t mind him joining us because he’s Thunder’s  brother.

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-three


Welcome back—if you are still with me, you are all amazing! 

I am finding it odd that I float from one place to another, but I suppose that’s what you do in a dream. I squat down under a pear tree so that I can see the boys scrumping and at the same time watch the drama unfolding in the Aspen tree above, fortunately no one can see me though.

 Bronwen, looking down her shoulder in disdain, shuffles along the branch to be as far away from her uncaring partner as she can be. He’s looking a bit sheepish…if that’s possible for a Raven, and so he should be! that was a horrid thing to say to his partner.

Now I hear Mrs Salmon again…what is she doing in my dreamland?

‘Alan, Alan,’ she says. 

‘Ahh, there he is Effie, he’s coming round; can you hear me love, can you hear me, now, now, let’s see if we keep him with us, it won’t do him any harm you know, to be knocked out for a minute or two.’ 

I feel water trickling down my face again, someone is gently squeezing something above my head, the water is lovely and cold, I look up, but with all the flashing lights behind, I can’t see who it is, but I just know it’s my mum.

‘Will he really be alright Rosy? Just look at his poor little face it’s so cut about with all that flying glass.’

I have never liked anyone giving me sympathy, it usually makes feel worse and I start crying, but his time I just feel myself fading, even the bright lights are dimming. I’m floating again, down Cowley Avenue behind the boys, they have their jerseys bulging full of apples. You would think they had stolen the Crown Jewels; they are running so fast.

We all pile into Mrs Wades garden, I hold my nose as I pass the pig styes, at least I still have my sense of smell, and then over Dummies stream into a small patch of land. The Ravens follow, and perch high in a tree. Bran has seen something about one of the boys that unsettles him, he feels he must keep his eye on this boy, he is a bit special. The boy feels an urge to look up into the tree, their eyes meet, the boy feels a tremor of recognition. 

That’s all that Bran needs, he gives Bronwen the wink…will he never learn he mustn’t do this? The two ravens swoop low over the boys and high into sky back to the Conspiracy of Ravens waiting in the Giant Redwoods of Stangarthes Hill.

There is a great flapping of wings as Bran imparts the news. A Cabinet is hurriedly gathered. The elders, with their grey streaked feathers have been waiting years for this day. This is no less important than the ‘Second coming’.

Of course, my mate Nutsun Bolton is completely unaware of this. 

Chertsey Tales Part thirty-two


Here we are on part Thirty-two. Before we go any further, I am asking you to join me in a dream. Also please remember I am a slightly damaged child, partly deaf, colour blind, and extremely shy. I often hear them say ‘He lives in his own little world, doesn’t he’, and ‘Is he all there?’

Now that you are in my little world, we can continue the story.

Coming from the whispering Aspen trees that border the orchard, I can clearly hear the conversation. 

‘Oh, Bronwen, this place is so blooming boring; I have been stationed here for a whole year, and nothing has ever happened. What is so important about these blinking stones anyway? They’re scattered about all over the place. The locals are very odd, they don’t speak to anyone, and when they do, they may as well come from the moon. I notice they always say good morning to those Magpies though, I wonder what’s so special about them?’

It’s not every day that you hear the conversation of a couple of Raven’s, but this is Chertsey—stranger things have happened in this old town—I can tell you. The orchard really is a dreamland though, everything is nice and sweet, no one is ever ill. It’s the sort of place a child like me would dream up.

Ravens, with their shiny black feathers and their knowing looks, have been here for centuries. That was before the Abbey fell out of favour with a certain king—whose name is hardly ever mentioned in the Conspiracy of Raven’s living in Stangarthes Hill. Who can blame them? They were turfed out of their comfortable quarters in the Abbey and ended up—in a tree!

Bran, or Taffy as the other Raven’s like to call him is fed up. He has been posted from Carnarvon castle in Wales after a fight with another bird, this is where he lost an eye and always looks at you cock-eyed. 

As well as his disability, Bran has found it hard to understand the other ravens with their cockney accents, most of them have been demoted for misbehaviour, from The Tower of London.

These Londoners scoff at their country cousins, they consider themselves a cut above. After all, it takes just six Ravens to hold the destiny of the Monarchy in the tips of their clipped wings.

The cocky Londoner’s may scoff, but even a grumpy, one-eyed, Welsh Raven and his partner Bronwen, who has a slight speech impediment and a huge chip on her shoulder have one important advantage—they can fly.

 Chertsey is regarded as a punishment posting. Bronwen is trying to teach Bran the local lingo, it is not going very well—possibly because she has a very bad stutter.

‘The tttttrouble with you Bran is you jjjjust won’t listen, it’s not water it’s wortah, and buttah not butter. No wwwwonder the others can’t understand you.’

‘That’s easy for you to say Bronwen.’

He says this without thinking and then wishes he could bite his tongue (a tricky thing for anyone to do, let alone a Raven). Bronwen turns her head very slowly—like ladies do when they are not sure what has just been said. 

The hackles in her throat start to rise and she starts clicking. 

 ‘Toc, Toc, Toc.’ She goes.

Luckily for Bran, their attention is caught by a commotion in the orchard below, they see me sitting on the bridge, and a gang of boys noisily scrumping apples. The boys are unaware of the watching eyes high up in the Aspin trees. They may possibly hear Bronwen clicking away like a woodpecker—she is still terribly hurt.

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty-one.


In one of my earlier parts of Chertsey Tales I mentioned Ravens and a dreamland. Although it was an important part of the Tales, I have found it hard to know were to place it. So, I think it may be easier to make it a separate little story. 

First of all, I had better explain something. I was the only child in our family to be born in hospital, it was hard birth and there was a fear that my hearing was damaged. I was a very slow talker and relied on my brother Don to speak for me, only making myself understandable when I was about five years old and even then, with a severe stutter. This of course made me very withdrawn and always seeking to hide. 

As soon as I was old enough to cross the road, I found my dreamland. Lasswade house, less than 50 yards away, it was partly derelict with a lovely overgrown garden, perfect for me to hide away if things became difficult. I would spend hours over there. My mother always knew where to find me, she never questioned it and seemed to understand why.


Now the story starts, it is 1940, we have been bombed, I have been injured and going in and out of consciousness. I can hear Mrs Salmon speaking softly.

‘Can you hear me luvvie.’

I can just see a blurred movement, I hear my mum, she’s crying.

I feel water splashing over my hair and making my shirt soaking wet, I feel giddy and I’m sliding down a hole. I can hear birds singing and water trickling in a little stream. I am in my dreamland, Lasswade House orchard. It is lovely and warm; I sit on the broken wooden bridge letting the water cool my feet.

I hear voices, they seem to come from the top of a big tree, but there is no one there. Then I see a flutter of wings, two large blackbirds are swaying with the light breeze. Surely, it’s not them, but I’m afraid it may well be, anything can happen when I go into my dreamland. 

Before I can move closer to see what is happening, my mates are climbing through the hedge into the orchard, at first, I can’t focus on them, they look a bit odd as if they are floating. They walk right past me without saying anything, I try to touch Goldilocks but there is nothing there to touch.

Of course, I’m having one of my dreams. I stopped telling mum about them a long time ago, anyway I don’t have them very often now, just when I’m worried about something…like now. My mates go into the orchard to do some scrumping, I wish I could join them but that is impossible, they are in another world…they really are! 

I move over to the tall Aspin trees to have a closer look at the birds, I know they are Ravens. Chertsey has a lot of Ravens, they go back centuries when they used to keep guard on Chertsey Abbey, now they just get together anywhere since the Abbey was destroyed.

I’m not surprised that they are talking, they are very clever. Mr Wade knows a lot about animals, and he has a little Jackdaw that he has taught to speak, he might even have taught theses to talk as well. I can’t quite hear what the birds are saying, but it sounds like they are having a row. I move closer.

I can just see one of them, it’s a male, he has a funny way of standing on the tree’s branch, he has only got one eye which is making him cock his head to one side in a very peculiar way.  I think this is going to be one of my more peculiar dreams. 

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty.

Chertsey Tales Part Thirty.

Another wartime Christmas is upon us. What a year 1940 has been. The phoney war carried on until this summer. There were other terrible things happening though. Our best ships and even civilian liners were being sunk by the U-boats with so many lives being lost.

A man is staying with us for a few days, he is a friend of my sister Iris. We are all in the kitchen huddled around the fire and he is telling us about things that are not mentioned on the wireless. He said the bombs like the one we had were dropped by reconnaissance planes to test our defences and the Vickers raid was successful because the Germans then knew there were no barrage balloons over the factory. 

Who would have thought our little old town would be bombed so heavily. I never knew about the other two bombs that fell here on the same night as ‘ours’. I was evacuated to my Grannies the next day and for several weeks, so was only told about them when I came back. One bomb fell in Vincent Road about 100 yards away from us. The other was very dramatic, my friend Alex Lees told me all about it. The bomb landed on a haystack in a field next to his home in Fordwater Road. The blast lifted the roof of his bungalow up, and it came down in a slightly different position.

 In the field opposite he saw his father and other neighbours running around chasing terrified horses that had their tails and manes in flames. The haystack had been blown apart and the burning hay fell on the poor horses. I think they were all saved though.

June Moore, who lived opposite Goldilocks, has written the words of some Carols on stiff card. She now wants us to go Carol singing with her…Girls are so bossy. She says we will sing up Station Road where some houses are private, and they can afford to pay us. There are six of us. We have to sing while its light because we can’t use a torch, luckily the clocks being changed makes it still light at 5 pm. She says, as soon as we get to sixpence we’ll stop and buy some chips at Mrs Hughes, because she saw the ‘Frying Tonight’ notice in the window, meaning they had some fish to sell.

Singing is not a thing I am very good at; I soon find out that I’m not alone in this. Goldilocks thinks, just because his father is Welsh, that he is also a fine singer…he can’t sing for toffee! And as for June, well it was embarrassing she thought she could get up to the high notes just because she was a girl. But we soon had our sixpence…I think the money was given to make us go away.

Mrs Hughes gave us more chips than a sixpence could buy and some crackling as well, she is such a kind lady. We went to the waiting room in Chertsey station where they have a nice coal fire, and then to eat the supper that we sang for. It’s a bit smoky in there, but it turned out to be a very good night, although I think I will skip the next one unless we can lose June Moore and her descants or whatever she called those terrible high notes, and just be a boy group…I think that will be hard to do, she has already told Wadie when we are singing again…Girls!