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I was a young child when the events and observations of these recollections occurred.
In the late 1940s, when I must have been six or seven years old, I was given a two-wheeler bicycle as a cast-off. The fact that it was a cast-off is important for the point I am about to make because it probably relates more to the 1930s or even earlier, as so little was new in the war and the years of austerity afterwards. The bicycle had solid rubber tyres, i.e. they did not blow up with a bicycle pump.
In my childhood in the 1940s I had a tricycle with solid rubber tyres. Only "posh" ones had tyres that pumped up.
The most popular soft drink seemed to be Tizer, although there were others. They were sold in glass bottles and at the time of purchase a deposit was charged on the bottle. There was not a lot of spare money around. So we children would guard our empty bottles and collect any that were thrown away, until we had enough to buy a full bottle.
In my childhood in the 1940s it was entirely normal to see red squirrels scampering around; not a grey squirrel was ever in sight. This was in the relatively rural areas of north London.
In the very harsh winter of 1947, crowds of people went ice-skating on the local pond. I am now confident that it must have been dangerous to commit the weight of so many people to pond ice, but apparently they got away with it.
I believe that I was extremely lucky to grow up in the 1940s and early 1950s. Life never felt hard, and children were provided with the best possible of advantages:
A few years earlier and my generation would have been required to risk their lives fighting; there would have been no NHS, no free grammar schools, and no grants for university. There was a period of turmoil after the war while things were settling down. So our education would surely have suffered.
A few years later, with the deterioration of grants, I doubt if my father would ever have afforded to send me to university. I have been very lucky and am all too aware that others were less so.