After I left school, I worked with my grandfather in his shop at Wolverton (Mucutt & Tompkins), also delivering newspapers around the Beachampton and Nash area, as the man who usually did this job had been called up.
During World War II, I joined the Civil Defence at Wolverton, which later became the A.R.P., becoming an ambulance driver for them doing night duty. I would work at the paper shop until we closed at 6.p.m. then go and stay with my grandfather until I had to go on duty in the evening. We didn’t get called out many nights. I think I was on duty 3 nights a week. You would be off the following week, then on duty again the next week. When I came off duty I would go and get some breakfast before going to work in the paper shop.
There were five of us on duty together, four men and me. We had little beds for us to try and get some rest on. The men used to play cards while I tried to sleep. They would tell me the next morning the mice had been running all over my bed.
The A.R.P quarters were in the Little Streets, where the Co-op vehicles were kept.
The ambulance I drove was converted from a Co-op van. We had to look after the vehicles, oil and water and that sort of thing.
We went out one night when the bomb dropped at Beachampton, I think there were two killed there. I didn’t have to pick anyone one up fortunately.
I still have my tin hat!