Dad loved having bonfires at home and having a fire at the factory eased the tedium. One day he almost set fire to the whole factory.
Friday Late March (19th?) 1966
My Dear Joy,
The week is done and the labourer wends his weary way, traveling expenses not included in the pittance accrued. And now he is gathered once again amongst his homely circle to forge another link in the chain oscillating somewhere in the city of Bath. Take up story writing says she! And what shall I write about says I? Why then, there’s sweeping of factory floors , a lighting a huge bonfire threatening to set the whole place alight-lurid front page news of fire brigade and there’s me quaking with fear hiding in some out of the way corner. But all good stories should have a happy ever after ending, of love triumphing through dangers, toil and unforeseen fears. Moreover, since the material is too mundane to spark off a theme and seemingly I ‘aint no literary cove , I don’t for the life of me see how I could take up your suggestion. See here-that is one of my failings-that and my errant youth, is the sum total of why I didn’t take up writing seriously. Be assured, if it were otherwise I’ve always felt that I would swim like any duck at the slightest inkling of pen to paper.
Reading your letter there seems to be no lack of talent in this respect. You have all the attainments and flow of moods and environment – in fact the whole background. Aunt Win next door said it was very cleverly done, the outpouring of feeling and awareness. We have to go to the opposite neighbour –Aunt Ethel, for what I should describe as a very misguided sense of literary mindedness. She is attempting to organise a literary circle in the district. Why? Don’t ask me, I doubt if she knows herself.
Back to current affairs, things are much as they were. I’m still keeping as usual-still hopefully awaiting a favourable report. I drew my first pension yesterday, the munificent sum of £6-15-0 . So, with my £5 weekly earnings we shouldn’t do so badly.
It is a beautiful march day though with a keen wind. I’ve had an outside day burning huge piles of timber. I got some diesel oil from the workshop to start it off. The result was terrific. Instantly there were great tongues of flame licking heavenwards and fanned by a strong wind towards the factory. I was terrified and thought, what have you done, you’ll burn the whole place down after only a fortnight’s employment. I was powerless to do anything-I can’t tell you how I felt. One of the workmen came out to me with a bucket saying, ’You might need this. Frank, the boss, will be hopping mad if he sees this lot.’Anyway , I made my baptism with fire safely .
We had a grand day at Leicester Forest East on Saturday, enjoyed the Cathedral evensong and the bells, Later Bill Newton took us round his toy warehouse . It is a fabulous place and well stocked.
Tell Albie that dads and mams are nothing to be incensed about-whatever their religion And that reminds me –its Mothering Sunday and that I mustn’t forget. Love and safe keeping always, Dad.