15yo and 18yo

I left Modern Secondary School at the age of fifteen with no qualifications. It was in the first class to stay the extra year. At school I was considered a dunce. At home I was just an object of ridicule. I was an easy person to make fun of.

Strange to say, that I was the only one of the four children to leave school and work in an office. A similar situation arose when I went into the Royal Air Force as a National Serviceman. My two brothers were allocated unskilled roles while I became a skilled aero-engine mechanic. Later, when I had a Mensa test, I scored 153! Who were stupid; those around me; or me?

I always had an interest in scientific hobbies. The photo here was taken at the camera club to which I belonged. Handsome fellow; was I not?! I was about 16yo.

I use the name Ace Ventura on

See the similarity in hair style!!


Photography was my favourite hobby. I had a Thornton & Packard half-plate camera. (It took photos about 8" X 6"). The materials I used were mostly ex-government surplus.

Here is a photo that I took of Ivor and Bert, my brothers. The floodlights were made out of tins and pudding basins. I did my processing in the toilet, and as I was in there for hours I was not a popular person! Mostly, I worked at weekends when they were all at the pub.

I also had a hand cranked toy projector that used 35mm film. I fitted a motor and bigger reel holders to it and gave shows to the other kids. I was getting old film from the cinemas.

At the end of the 1939/45 war it was difficult to get radios. I made some and sold them. They were primitive two valve sets. I bought old junk sets and cannibalised them. I found the circuit diagrams in the Pear's Encyclopaedia 1936 version. I have just drawn the circuit opposite that I learnt over 60 years ago.

My other interest was in motor bikes. We had a shed that had been our air-raid shelter and I fitted it out with every tool possible. I stripped and re-built bikes. At one time I built ECA specials and sold them. Looking back, they must have been "death traps"!

When I went into the RAF my dear brother Ivor bought the tools for 5.

My brothers did not seem to have the intelligence to anything other than drink!

Between the ages of 15 and 18, I had thirteen jobs. Five were in the baking industry.

First, I was an office boy. It lasted two weeks. A woman was not nice to me and slapped my face. So, I slapped her back! Then I left.

I made clothes pegs, delivered coal, served in a chemist shop, rode a cycle delivering repaired footwear and some jobs I can't remember.

The longest was as a fireman on steam locomotives. I "drove" the express engine Britannia, number 600001, from Colchester to London. Well, I held the handle and looked out for the signals while the real driver was firing the beast! I couldn't put the coal in the hole quickly enough!

I earned a good wage as a fireman. Before going into the RAF I had a long break, to get my tax back, during which I took mum, Dolly and her son Jimmy to Felixstowe for a holiday. Photo opposite


I didn't have much of an early love life. I didn't loose my cherry until I was nineteen. That must be some record!

We all played about with the local girls. There were the usual kissing games and "truth or dare".

When I was 15, I was at the local "flee pit", and the usherette came and sat next to me and touched me up! So, I couldn't have been that ugly! I moved away!!

As I remember it there were many times when mature women were a bit amorous to me. I was naive and unwilling.

My first "girl friend" was Phyllis C. She used to come to my house and sit on the loo while I did my developing. (The photos you dirty people!!)

I took out a girl I met in a bakery that I worked in. But it did not last.

When I went out with the boys at the later stages of my teen years I was always the one left with the ugly bird!

So ends my love life and my story up to eighteen.