The story part six.
Iris and I are now comparing our memories, it’s funny how one can remember every moment of a day together and for the other, it’s as if it didn’t happen at all.
Iris sits back in her chair, holding up the empty bottle with a little sigh.
“I have to say that although I never really liked Fred, he did bring us all back together, that is, until I and Deidre went into service for a lady in Weybridge.”
“Bernard, was working at the Airscrew factory and is at least earning his keep.”
“With Fred and Bernard’s wage, and mum’s various jobs, things were working out.”
We both remembered the September the 3rd, 1939 though.
I told Iris my version.
“I was walking home from school, with my friend Teddy Bolton, when we saw a crowd of women all talking excitedly, Teddy took one look at the crowd and said.
“That looks like trouble, lets go round Sykey’s house.”
That’s the sort of life Teddy had, always avoiding grown-ups. I don’t know why we were running. We hadn’t done anything wrong—but you never know with Teddy.
At the top of Sykey’s road was another crowd.
Realising it was not Teddy that they were after, we joined the crowd.
Sykey came up and told us that there was a war on with Germany again.
His dad told him it would all be over in a couple months, maybe even before Christmas.”
Iris began her story, she opened another bottle, it’s going to be a long one.
“I had to leave Mrs. Bainbridge, and work in the Vickers factory in London Street, men and women all together, it was such a change, but I loved it.
At home, tape had to be stuck on any glass windows or doors, and black out curtains fitted so that no light could be seen from outside.
Old Mr. Mills, was made an Air Raid Warden, he would patrol our area at night and if he saw so much as a chink of light he would be knocking at the door. Anyone ignoring his warnings would be summonsed, and face a fine.
Farmers and factory workers, stayed in their jobs. Any other men between 18 and 41 were called up to the armed services. Most young men were eager to volunteer.
Women joined the WVS—Women’s Voluntary Service, and took jobs in all sorts of trades, even driving buses and lorries. Girls, 17 and over joined The Land Army to help the farmers.”
She took another drop of Sherry and wiped a tear from her eye as it all came back.
“Iris do you remember you and Joe, taking me to the pictures.
“The film was ‘Boys Town’ with Micky Rooney, the queue for the early show is over 2 hundred yards long all the way round Bell Corner to the car park.”
“When we came out, another queue was waiting, even longer than before, it was very dark, no street lights now. Can you remember how quiet the crowd going home were, just a murmur, we had seen a silent Pathe Gazette film about Barcelona that was bombed by the German air force, many were killed.”
“I think we all thought the town could have been Chertsey. Is this what will happen to us soon?”
Iris said. “No, I can’t remember any of that.”
I think she was too much in love with Joe to think of anything else.