Memories

Janet Key for JPNS-21-06-11-FAM-memories - needs assigning to Tuesday's page 102 please
Janet Key for JPNS-21-06-11-FAM-memories - needs assigning to Tuesday's page 102 please
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Janet Key, 73, from Horndean, looks back at her childhood.

Sitting on the wall outside my house in Bramshott Road, Southsea, waiting for my father to get home from work.

It was 1941 and I was three. The house was bombed and destroyed only months later.

n What do you remember about your birthdays?

I don’t remember celebrating birthdays. There certainly weren’t any parties. Isn’t that sad?

I can’t remember ever blowing out candles.

n How was school?

My sister and I were evacuated in 1941 to a farm in Somerset. We used to walk a couple of miles to school – over the fields if dry, by road if wet.

I remember learning to knit with these big thick wooden pins.

I also remember getting a third of a pint of milk each day.

n What did you get up to with your friends?

On the farm we’d play in the pig sties and run past the cow shed during milking and have milk squirted at us.

In the fields at harvest time we used to sit on top of the wagon carrying all the hay. There were no seatbelts. We had to hang on for dear life because the tractor went quite fast.

n What toys did you play with?

My father was a carpenter and made us wooden bricks. I remember having a soft panda. I built a doll’s house out of cardboard boxes and furnished it with matchboxes. I never had any dolls though.

n What did you watch on television?

What television! In 1952, when I was 13, I was invited to a friend’s house in The Brow, in Widley, to watch the Queen’s Coronation.

That was the first time I’d seen a television.

n What music did you listen to?

I didn’t really. I had my first radio in 1960 when I was 21.

I already had a child by that time, with another on the way.

I didn’t have much time for The Beatles I’m afraid.

n What was the naughtiest thing you did?

We were shopping in Frome and my mother wouldn’t let me have something I wanted.

I laid down on the floor, oblivious to the shoppers around me, and kicked and screamed until blue in the face.