I was born and lived in Sudbury near Wembley during the Second World War. In
1946 my father's firm which did dye casting relocated to Bridgend in South Wales.
My Mother, brother Michael and myself moved out of the bungalow we were in and
moved in with my grandparents who lived in Wembley. Michael and I slept in the
smallest bedroom on the put-you-up bed. This was whilst my father travelled
backwards and forwards to South Wales for about nine months.
My grandfather smoked many, many woodbine cigarettes and he had a box on his
bedroom mantle shelf with around about a hundred of them. My brother and I
decided to see what smoking was like so we took one and smoked it, hmm and
rather liked it! We continued this habit for quite a few evenings after being put to bed,
Michael would be only six and I would be nine. When anyone came upstairs for the
toilet we stuck the cigarettes down between the mattress and the wooden arms of
the bed. However we managed not to set the bed on fire I really don't know! A very
One night my Grandfather came upstairs to the toilet and smelt the smoke. He
caught us hot-handed so to speak and he decided we needed to be taught a lesson.
He took the leather strop on which he sharpened his cut-throat razor and walloped
both of us on our bottoms, wow, it really hurt but I was determined not to cry. Michael
being younger and like most boys a bit of a baby actually howled. Thanks to
Granddad I have never smoked since, think of the thousands of pounds I have saved
over the years.
Just as an after thought I would not have given a thought to reporting this as cruelty,
I deserved all I got. Kids these days would report Granddad for unkindness when in
fact I learnt a good lesson.