I guess Dadís ambition had always been to own his own house.
Quite a big ambition for a working class boy from the East End!
He applied for building permission to build a three bed roomed bungalow on two of our three plots but before his plans came to fruition we were ďshoppedĒ to the council for living permanently in a weekend bungalow and told to get out.
My Dad wasnít stupid and when he went to see the local JP he took his wife and children along too.
I think the JP was called something like Mr Jobson and he lived next door to my school and I remember very clearly standing in his study at the age of seven feeling very serious but not understanding why.
Fortunately he was sympathetic and managed to get us a stay of execution while the bungalow was built.
I donít know how my Dad raised the money. He managed to get an instalment mortgage but that only paid lump sums in
arrears, i.e. you had to complete each stage and then got a proportion of the total sum.
That first winter in the weekend bungalow must have been hard.
Dad had a burst varicose vein and ended up in hospital. With my brother away at school, Mum and I went to stay for the weekend at Dadís brotherís in
Hornchurch. When we returned on Sunday so I could go to school, the teacups we had hastily left in the sink to catch the train were frozen solid!
I guess we were luckier than some. We did have electricity laid on to the
bungalow. Water was laid on to the site but at the top of our plot, so needed to be carried down.
I really donít know how Mum managed to do a family wash. The outside Elsan toilet goes without saying!
I think New Avenue was the last road before you went over the hill into Dunton to have electricity laid on.
Once you were in Dunton you needed an accumulator to work a radio and water was much further away.
My best friend at Primary school was Kathy Imber, she and her Mum lived in Dunton and Kathy would come home to tea every Tuesday after school and we would watch Rin Tin Tin on the
tele. You couldnít run even a black and white tele on an accumulator.
We had one neighbour next door in a much bigger and more established wooden bungalow. Our next neighbour was much further away towards the top of the unmade road. I canít remember when they moved in- they seem to have been there always in my memory.
Cyril Dowling was a Fireman and had three children a little younger than me.
My Mum and his wife were good friends. There were a few more well established houses across the road but you had to cross the muddy ruts to get there!
Our bungalow was about 12 feet by 12 feet in total and consisted of two
rooms. Tthe back one had bunk beds up one end for my brother and me and the rest was a few cupboards and shelves, a two ringed hob and small oven and a sink.
The front room was our living room and the put U up settee doubled as my parentís bed.
But we did have a black and white tele!