The Royal visit.
Chertsey is full of surprises you never know what is going to happen next. Here we are in Teddy Wades garden, full of kids, chickens, rabbit hutches and even two pig sties. Whenever there were too many kids milling around, we would jump over Dummies stream into the open ground between Teddy’s garden and those of Frithwald Road, where we had a camp.
Our camp was just a hole in the ground with a bit of corrugated iron as a roof. We had pinched some potatoes from Mrs Wade, and were cooking them in a tin with some water from the stream. Suddenly there was a terrific rumpus from one of the houses in Frithwald Road, it was family row. Family row’s, were a common sight in our part of Chertsey but this was something really special.
Out of the bedroom window came a chair then a mattress followed by all sorts of things. We quickly jumped back over the stream and up into the hollow tree stump in Teddys garden for a better view. There must have been six or seven of us up there, it’s a wonder we didn’t fall out. But it was worth the risk as it went on all afternoon.
Then my brother Bernard came around to tell me that we had important visitors, it sounded like he said that the King’s sister had come for tea. Before I could ask what was going on, he just got on his bike and left me to walk home in some sort of shock. Did he say The Kings Sister?
My Mum was standing at the scullery door looking a bit mad, she whispered something, then gave me a clip round the ear and started washing my face with a cold wet flannel before pushing me into the kitchen.
Everyone was sitting at the tea table, with lots of sandwiches and cakes. They were all looking very smart and at the top were two people in uniform, the Lady had a hat with gold trimmings, like a crown almost.
I didn’t know what to do, so I just gave them a nice bow, like I have seen people do for the King. This made Iris start to giggle.
Then Mum said.
“Say hello to your Auntie Tina and Uncle Alfred, they have come all the way up from Hastings”.
Then the penny dropped, it wasn’t the Kings sister, it was my mum’s sister from Hastings—an easy mistake to make as it sounded the same.
She and her husband were officers in the Salvation Army and had been visiting a local Chapel In Addlestone.
They all kept looking at me and I thought they were waiting for me to say something.
I’m only seven, so, I said in my most posh voice.
‘May we start’
And everyone started laughing, even my Aunt and Uncle.
I wished I was back in Teddy’s garden eating the rest of those lovely potatoes.