from Ted Marriott
1941 - Ted Senior, Gladys & Ted Junior
I can't of course remember my Dad. I have a photograph of us as a family taken when I was a few months old. Ted was 25, mum 20. Like many others he was in army uniform. He was in the Royal Artillery and went to SINGAPORE in 1942.
Thankfully the war years passed me by with no memories of any bombs dropping, but which I'm sure they did. Mum told me years later that a bomb had struck the house just over the bridge but failed to explode. The bridge would have protected us, but many families on the other side would have been killed from the blast among the terraced houses.
Nan would sit and listen to the wireless then suddenly jump up and turn the volume down, the wail of the air raid warning sirens coming from the direction of the power station. We would sit listening for the bombers, but when the all clear sounded, the volume would be turned back up.
On sunny days at the nursery, we used to have a nap in the afternoon on canvas camp beds lined up on the verandah. One day the teacher came running to us telling us to hurry up out of bed as it was thundering. That is the only snippet of memory, and years later I often wondered if it was an air raid, a warning or even just…thunder?
My mum was 24 and a good looking girl and she had a mate who lived on the other side of the bridge named Maisie Cross. She must have been about the same age as mum and I fell in love with her as she was a beauty too. I remember one occasion when the three of us were walking up the bridge, either my mum's or Maisie's underskirt or knicker elastic snapped and the garment fell around her ankles. They were giggling, but at that moment wolf whistles could be heard as a lorry full of American G.I's came driving past and stopped.
1942 - Mum and Me
The girls quickly picked up the garment and both of them grabbing a hand each, ran with me down the steps beside the bridge.
After gathering their composure and peeking to see if the Yanks had gone, we continued over the bridge to the next bus stop. I remember we went to the Empire Theatre in Nottingham and it was full of soldiers .I don't know who we went to see but I remember some cowboys on stage riding their horses over a beautiful sunset scene and singing Ghost Riders In The Sky……….It was brilliant.
After the war, street parties we held and we had one between the houses on Abbey Bridge. All the children sat at one long table the length of the pathway and the grown-ups sang songs. 'Roll out the Barrel' was one song I remember all the folks singing.
I started school in 1945 at Lenton Boulevard Infants. Memories of this school are few except for when I got my head stuck through the railings one day, and also when Mick Cumberland and I bunked off school for the afternoon.
A soldier named Jim Woodhead came on the scene about then, he was my mums 'friend'. He had an ex W.D. Norton motorbike and sidecar painted khaki. I never liked going out in it as I could never see where we were going due to my head being lower than the window on the box sidecar.
Jim never had much to say to me. In fact I can't ever remember him having a conversation with me at all, except to tell me off.