30 December 2017
Dear Mrs Brennan
Just finished THE BOOK, given to me for a Christmas present. Congratulations on the very wonderful outcome of your many years of work.
It opened a window into the past for me.
I was sent to Metfield from London when our house was bombed out during the war. I was about 8 and lived with the Spinks family, so besides Doris, Edie (as we called her) and Kathleen, I particularly remember Ruby and her sister (Margaret, I think), Joan Runnacles, Delphine Richards and Pat Savage. Miss Richards, of course, at the Duke William to whom we had to be very polite. I remember the layout of the old Brewhouse so well. Always very noisy and full of people. Mary did a lot of shouting and ruled supreme in the tiny, tiny scullery cooking with oil and with oil lamps, of course. We used bicycle lamps to get to the toilet way down the yard in the dark.
I had come from a house with hot and cold running water, bathroom and a separate toilet, so I found it very exciting. We young ones joined the queue every evening with our enamel jugs for water at the pump. When Keith came a-calling on Edie, he blacked my face once with a charred cork to annoy Mary who had to heat water to get it off. We did a lot of singing round the fire.
The Spinks and the Saits I could understand, but the real local accent took me much longer. Talking of accents, in the late70s I went to see the heavy horses at the Burton on Trent Breweries and heard a familiar accent. It was Kenny Riseborough who was in charge of them. We had a good natter about Metfield.
In 1947, a year after my father was demobbed, we moved to Bungay, so I soon found myself in touch again with Ruby and Evelyn at school in Beccles and with the Spinks who had moved to Harleston. In the early 1950s, Doris and Johnny had a shop there and Keith and Edie and the children were back.
I also met Jill Pretty and Dick and Betty Leftley and Judy Wainwright from the Metfield days.
Loads more I could tell you about what we got up to during the war but that is enough for now.
Ruby’s photo on page 116 has an ‘unknown’, who I am pretty sure is Sammy. I wonder if Ruby remembers me.
I lived in Bungay till 1961 when I married and moved to Derby but still visit the area as we have family in Ditchingham and Harleston. My word, what changes we have seen in the Waveney Valley.
Thanks again to you and everyone involved for giving me a jolly good read and taking me back to my Metfield days.
With best wishes for 2018.