One bad night we were kept awake by the bombs. We were told the Germans were trying to hit the railway marshalling yard which was fairly near. I recall hearing goods wagons being shunted at night - clang, clang, clang up and down through most of the night.
Possibly 1943 I recall seeing my first black man! A convoy of American ammunition lorries passed by and all the drivers were Negroes smoking big cigars and throwing out sweets to the children watching them go by. It was about this time I fell into the River Nene by the Custom House key. I was throwing stones at the fish and fell into the water. Having recalled the experience of seeing lovely green bubbles all round me as I came up to the surface I’m conscious that this interesting pleasure went some way to soften the hard words and concern the adults expressed when eventually my explanation was made on returning home. Not, at that time being able to swim, I was lucky to surface by the iron key-side ladder. Having managed to climb up out of the water standing, crying in a puddle of water wondering what to do. Nearby American soldiers made a fuss of me and gave me my first chewing gum and some money for the bus home. Being too embarrassed to say much at the time I did not say I had my cousins old rusty bike round the corner. Cycling home with excitement with a tale to tell having met my first Americans and given sweets and money. It was only later that I had pangs of conscience and thought God had punished me for throwing stones at the fish.Read More