Bertie: “Bobby? How are you mate? We have told everyone about Jody’s Beans and Layla’s Library. You have told everyone how much you have loved books all your life. Do you still have any books from when you were a kid?”
Bobby: “Well, Bertie. As everyone has seen in our stories, I have lots of stuff from my childhood.”
Bertie: “I said ‘books’. You haven’t mentioned them, apart from trainspotting. And they aren’t proper books. How about you show our readers what books you still have from when you were lad?”
Bobby: “OK, Bertie. If you insist. But I have added some ‘Titbits’ at the end for our readers. I still have a lot of books from my childhood. Lots of annuals from the comics I read. Especially The Eagle, which I will tell you about one day. I had a yearning for knowledge and adventure. When I joined the local library, I was always drawn towards ‘non fiction’. To learn about the world of trains, aeroplanes, space and so on. Later, I developed a real interest in natural history. And a somewhat black side in reading about war. The latter was natural, as we were bombarded with films and literature glorifying how ‘we won the war’. Daring does of the Battle of Britain; Spitfires and Hurricanes; spies; intrepid adventures where we, us, always won. It was only in adulthood I read the truth. Even being engrossed in books like ‘Auschwitz’. The thirst for knowledge has never been sated. But of the books I still have, here are a few.
My favourite children’s author was Arthur Ransome. Swallows and Amazons. Adventures by groups of children, mostly in the Lake District. I still have Swallows and Amazons, but can’t find it. I do have Peter Duck and Swallowdale and here they are.
Oh how I loved Swallows and Amazons. Two groups of children engaged in imaginary battles with each other.
Like most children back then, I read the classics. Treasure Island. Gulliver’s Travels and here is my own copy of Black Beauty.
Just William was the schoolboy I aspired to.
But more and more I was drawn to books of knowledge. Each Christmas, Tony and Sylvia, brother and sister-in-law, bought kid brother books. I loved the Wonder Book Series.
I still liked annuals at Christmas. None more so than Rupert Bear (shown above) when I was a bit younger. And also anything to do with The Eagle comic, which will be a forthcoming story.”
Bertie: “So, Bobby, if I asked you what was your favourite book that you still have – what would it be?”
Bobby: “That’s easy. It’s one, or rather ten, that I still read today. Still find information for Mindfully Bertie.”
Bertie: “So what is it… or them?”
Bobby: “In 1953, at just nine years old, my mum and dad did something wonderful for me. They did the same thing for my brother before the war. For me, my dad took me to the Schoolboys’ Exhibition at the Horticultural Halls in London. The year a smog came down in January when you could not see across the road. He paid £12 (I think) hire purchase to buy and have delivered the set of books that are still my pride and joy. Ten books, of which no 10 is the index to look up every conceivable fact known to man. The books were the Google of their day. They are Pictorial Knowledge. When I was young, those books opened up the world for me. It took them a year hire purchase to pay for them. I hadn’t asked, but they had clearly seen that I was a boy thirsting for knowledge and they did their best to satisfy that need. Thanks mum and dad.”
The Virtual choir.
Captain Sir Tom Moore presented with a Lionhearts shirt by David Beckham.
Flying Legends 2020 the trailer.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
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