​​​​​​​ARCHIE AND NANCY 3


We moved from Keppochhill Rd. to 22 Bucklaw Terrace and i was working for Rolls Royce Hillington. Now that the house was furnished in a manner that suited Nancy and me I began to look at the back garden to see if I could make it into a vegetable plot and flower bed. I purchased a spade and a few other tools and attempted to dig the well rooted weeds out of the ground, but in spite of my enthusiasm I found that the clay was too much for me to cultivate at this time. Since moving to Bucklaw Terrace Nancy and I would walk down Berryknowes Road to the Govan shops on a Saturday morning, passing what were known as “The Plots” and one day we decided to go in to see what the plot holders were doing and were surprised to see the large space taken up by the plots and the vast amount of vegetables and fruit being grown. We spoke to one of the stall holders and he and his wife told us that they had cultivated their plot for about ten years and enjoyed the fresh vegetables and grapes that they grew. The man asked me if I was interested in buying a plot and both Nancy and I said that until now we hadn’t thought about it but now that we had seen the plots we might look into buying one. The man then wrote out on a piece of paper the name and address of the plot Secretary and said that if I wrote to him he would keep me informed if one of the plots became vacant. We left the plots and carried on to do our shopping and on the way had a serious chat about the possibility of us taking over one, and Nancy surprised me by saying that she thought that it might be something that she would like, and that our children may find it interesting. We both sat down later on and wrote a letter to the Secretary and thought no more about it until about August, not long after we returned from our holiday on the Clyde coast, we received a letter telling us that one of the plot holders had died and his wife wished to sell the plot, and he went on to say that if we were interested we were to go to her house in Govan and arrange to take over the plot. We both went to meet the lady and she accompanied us to her plot and Nancy and I were delighted to see the glasshouse and cultivated plot full of veg. and on agreeing on a price she gave us a signed certificate making us the new owners. At this time I had no idea that Nancy could be so keen on the growing of vegetables but on that first day that we took the children to the plot I realised that this was a great excuse to be out in the fresh air and probably saving money by not needing to buy our veg. in the shops. We had received keys from the previous owner and unlocked the glasshouse which was eight feet by six feet and had a lovely black grape vine running along wooden supports. Looking in from the door we saw a brick wall about eighteen inches high which ran all the way to the back of the house then turned right and right again and came back to the door. To the left of the door their was a pit about two feet deep and this trench held a fire which we were told was lit at the beginning of each season before we started to plant the tomato and cucumber plants The smoke from this fire was channelled along under the earth by a drain pipe going all round the house and exiting on the right hand side of the door through the roof, heating the earth inside the brick wall on its way. Another key which we had been given opened a small hut on the plot which held all the tools needed to work the plot, and two canvas chairs which came in handy when we were down on a sunny evening. We had hardly any work to do on that summer except to lift weeds and take home what vegetables Nancy required, and we both agreed that this was a good thing for us to do. Morag had joined the Hillington Park church “Rose Bud” group, which was the group for five year olds upwards, and was the junior organisation of the Girls Guildry, while Russell was enjoying his membership of the Church’s Boys Brigade. Meantime in the factory I was continuing my voluntary work with the welfare and shop stewards movement, and one day near the end of August I was surprised to be called into Mr. Jim Bowes’s office, for although I knew that he was the Chairman of the welfare and also one of the top managers in the factory, workers such as me were very seldom asked or told to come to his office. so it was with a little apprehension that I mounted the stairs and on knocking the door I was told by his Secretary that Mr.Bowes was expecting me. When I entered his room Mr Bowes asked me to sit on a chair at the side of his desk opposite his seat, and said that he had asked me to come to see him as he had a job that he wanted done for a friend of his, and from what he had heard about the way I had tackled the Paisley Grammar school film then I was the man to do it. He went on to tell me that his friend was Professor Anderson of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary whose forte was Geriatrics, and he was anxious to have a film made for a world tour he was about to take showing how if older men and women used their hands more, then this would stimulate their minds and give them a better life during their later years. Rolls Royce was one of the few factories where retired workers were invited to come to the factory on one day a week where according to their skills they would put washers or other spares for the aero-engines into clear envelopes, or re-sharpen tools for the various blocks. They would also be able to talk to their former workmates and these activities gave them a more interesting life. The professor would like if the film could show our welfare departments activities in visiting our ex-workers who were unfortunate enough to be kept in a mental home, and perhaps if it could be arranged show one of our former retired workers in his or her own home. Mr. Bowes went on to say that if I was willing to do this job he would give me a letter of introduction to Professor Anderson who would meet me to discuss the making of the film and what he wished the contents to be. He also told me that at no place in the film was the name Rolls Royce to appear as the firm did not wish any publicity. He then told me that whatever time the making of the film took I would be paid as if I was doing my own job, and all films, lighting, and cameras required would be supplied by the company to my specifications. I would possibly need one or two helpers and when I knew what all my requirements were I was to tell Les Grassick, the foreman electrician, and he would see that I had everything I needed. I was fortunate to already know Les Grassick through him being a Captain of a local Boys Brigade Company and many times I had talked to him about my own and my two brothers experiences in the 53rd Boys Brigade Company which had met in the now demolished White Memorial United Free Church, and anytime that he was in the vicinity of my work place he would come to me for a chat. I spoke to Les about my talk with Mr. Bowes and he told me that as soon as I knew what I needed he would get it made up immediately as  when he was told of the project Mr. Bowes had emphasized the urgency of the films completion.I talked things over  with Nancy as I always did when I was going to be engaged in a new project, and as usual Nancy was a great help to me, for when I asked her a question she would give me back an answer which led to one problem or another being made clearer. In a short time I had made up a list of the equipment I would need, and Les and I visited the area where the pensioners met so as to ascertain how best to light the area up so that the film could be made. I had decided to film on three different days as this would allow me to have three lots of pensioners who would be able to demonstrate the different ways that they could use their hands to do a whole host of different jobs, but all through the film it would be the use of hands which would be the ultimate aim. The lights were quickly produced and Les allocated one of his labourers to come with me and operate the lighting while I did the filming, and on three days of one week I spoke to the pensioners who came on that day explaining what we were doing and why, and the response I got boded well for the success of the film. I had also decided to make the film with a 16 m.m. camera which the firm supplied me with, and so about three weeks after I had been asked to make this film everything was now ready for the film named “HANDS” to be produced. On a Monday morning of one week I began to film, and was pleased to note that as far as I could see, the pensioners were as anxious as I was  that the film would be a success. Knowing that there would only be one chance to make a film such as this one in the short time allocated to me, I decided to film more shots than would be required for an hour long film, and as I had been told that the amount of film used was unimportant I shot some scenes twice with two different pensioners. I asked the welfare Secretary to write to Gartcosh mental home where we had three members as inmates, and these men were visited once every month and given cigarettes and tobacco by the welfare. In this letter I wished to emphasize what we wished to do and why, and pointing out that if they gave us permission to film there would be bright lights, and we wondered if this might disturb some of the patients. A letter came back from Gartcosh very soon and it told us that their staff would be in constant attendance during the time we were in their premises, and assured us that they were pleased to be able to help in this worthy project. On the day that we decided to film at Gartcosh, two labourers and myself plus the welfare visitor boarded a company car and were soon outside the Gartcosh mental home. I went to the office and introduced myself, and in a short time a gentleman in a white coat came to talk to me. He told me that the Rolls Royce members had been told what was about to happen and were happy to be the centre of attention, but all during our stay in the premises at least two white coated workers would be in close attendance in case any of the inmates were disturbed. I then started to get the camera and cables sorted out and the two helpers soon told me that the lighting was all ready for using and when I was satisfied that I had everything ready for shooting this section of the film I informed the white coated gentleman that we were now ready to meet our former work mates. The next hour or more was rather frightening, there were three men in white coats with us, and one of them had keys with which he opened the doors, and immediately we had passed through he re-locked them. NWhen we eventually came to the room that our members were in our welfare visitor, who was known to the welfare members, went forward to where they were seated at a table and started to talk to them. As this was to be a silent film with a commentary by Professor Anderson I did not have the problem of sound effects and only had to be concerned with the visuals. Our welfare visitor had been told by me to try to have the inmates speaking and if he could do it have them laughing, so that the film would have some life in it, as I was worried that if he could not do this then this section of the film could be very dull. Fortunately the visit came out very well with the four of them sitting smoking their cigarettes or pipes and laughing at some unheard jokes. I filmed for about fifteen minutes which I thought would be more than enough for this episode and after thanking the Gartcosh folks for their assistance we returned to the factory. I had already enquired about a recently retired man and woman, and the welfare office supplied me with two names of folk that they had spoken to, and when I went to their homes and spoke to them about what I was about to do and they both agreed to do what I wished. The gentleman was a bachelor and lived in a single end in Govan and one morning I filmed him in his home, sitting at his half-range reading his newspaper, and as a background his pot and kettle on the hob. I then got him to rise from his chair and go to the sink and fill the kettle from the swan necked water spout and return it to the hob. I had brought some sausages with me and I got him to get his frying pan and cook them so that I could film his hands working. I found this section of the film difficult to do as you can imagine the confined space I had to work in, and the difficulty of finding some things appropriate for the gentleman to do, but in spite of these small problems I got ten minutes of film which when I edited it would become five minutes. We thanked the man for his co-operation and gave him a little gift of one of the souvenirs which the firm give as gifts to V.I.Ps, as a reminder of our visit.I anticipated that the ladies house would be easier filmed as her home was a room and kitchen in Langlands Road in Govan, and was typical of the hundreds of room and kitchen houses throughout Glasgow. I told the lady that I had already filmed one of her former workmates at his single end home and asked her if it would be all right for me to film her bedroom,, so as to show where she slept, and she immediately agreed.   On completing our filming we thanked the lady for allowing us to film her home and gave her one of the V.I.P. gifts as a memoir of our visit. Next day I decided to complete the filming by going back to the retired employees room and taking some more shots of working hands, and then having decided that I had finished the job to the best of my ability I sent the films to the laboratory for processing. When the processed film came back I began the job of cutting and splicing the various shots at Bucklaw Terrace, and once again I was grateful to Nancy for her advice during this difficult task. After four days of splicing and re-splicing I finished the film, and for the umpteenth time Nancy and I watched it on my own screen in our sitting room, till both of us agreed that no more could be done to improve it. I phoned Mr Bowes in the factory next day and told him that the film was now complete and ready for Professor Anderson to add whatever titles he wanted along with his commentary. Some ten days later I was asked to come to Mr. Bowes office where he told me that Professor Anderson was delighted with the film and wished him to thank me for my efforts, and also that the Professor would be writing me a thank you letter in the near future. I was in later years to become more acquainted with Mr Bowes through the Burns movement, when I was asked to propose the “Immortal Memory” at Merrilee Parish Church in Glasgow, which unknown to me was the church which he attended. At the end of that Burns supper he came up to me and congratulated me on my speech, and it was during this conversation that I heard that he was Captain of Haggs Castle golf club, the club which my nephew Tom Ballantine was soon to become the Captain. We talked of Tom that night and as Mr. Bowes was a bachelor I asked him to come to visit my wife and I at our home some evening which he did, and on two occasions Nancy made supper for us and we both enjoyed his company. Our plot was coming along nicely and during that spring we would take an odd walk down Berryknowes Road just to see that everything was all right, and when the time was right we lit the fire in the greenhouse, getting the soil ready for the plants. On numerous evenings when the children were in bed Nancy and I would sit talking about days gone bye, and these were the times when I wondered where she got her wonderful memory. On one occasion Nancy told me a story which I know had happened because my own grandma and mother had done the same thing. Flour was delivered to the grain stores in white linen bags and if you were fortunate to obtain some of these bags then you boiled them in the boiler and then bleached them till they were snow white. Nancy told how her mother would get her or one of her sisters to remove the stitching on the bags until the linen was all one piece. Her mother would then stitch the linen into pillow cases which would last for years. Like me Nancy loved living at Jamieson street, Govanhill, which ran from Aitkenhead road. We lived in number 87 which was intersected by Batson street, and this was the house which was on the third floor, some sixty feet up in the air, where Nancy was fined one pound for leaving the electric light on while we were out being entertained during the war. Nancy often talked of the three years and some months that we lived in this house and the happy times we spent there. We had no children at this time and would often go out for the weekend to the country, or go for walks in the Queen’s park on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and when we could gather the price of two seats in the “Gods” of the opera house we would enjoy the spectacle of the opera, or an evening at the St. Andrews halls listening to the Orpheus choir being conducted by Sir Hugh Roberton. This is my fathers war-time Identity card, which along with your gas mask had to be carried with you at all times. Rationing was in practice until well after the war was over and all food, sweets, and clothes required coupons to be given to the shopkeeper before you could purchase your goods. Below is Morag’s ration book for 1955. Our plot was now doing very well and through asking other plot holders how best to lay out our plot Nancy and I gradually became reasonably efficient at growing the vegetables that we liked. We would go down to the plot on one night during the week and one day at the weekend. During the years of 1958 and 1959 we had our holidays at Saltcoats and Ayr, and both Morag and Russell enjoyed the change of venue as it gave them another seaside resort to explore. Saltcoats was only a short walk to the port of Ardrossan with its castle on the hill where we picnicked on one or two days while Ayr had its seaside and harbour which gave our children some different things to see and do. Nancy and I enjoyed these holidays on the Clyde coast as well as our children, and every year our children had their Easter and Glasgow fair breaks at some seaside resort. I think that it would be towards the end of 1959 that Nancy and I received a shock to our otherwise tranquil lives when we went down to the plot one evening and found that it, along with seven other plots had been vandalized, all of our glasshouses were smashed to the ground, our huts and the gear in them was ruined, and even the vegetables in the ground were scattered all over the plot. Along with our fellow stall holders we were shocked to the core to think that the idiots who did this act of destruction could have got any pleasure from their vile actions. Nancy and I made the decision there and then that we would relinguish our ownership of the plot and cut our losses. It took us some time to get over the loss of the plot and in that time I talked to some of my work mates about what the vandals had done to ours and one of them suggested that I should cultivate the back garden at Bucklaw terrace. I knew from past experience that the ash from our coal fires was dumped on clay which was too heavy to work, and the ash helped to break it down to a more workable tilth. My next task was to find a source from which I could obtain a load of ash, and soon found it at Braehead power station on the river Clyde. I had heard from one of my neighbours that if I phoned the coal and coke burning power station asking them if they would deliver a lorry load of ash to my door, they would do so without any charges, as they had to get rid of it anyway they could. I phoned them and asked if I could have a load of ash delivered on the next Friday so that I would be able to be there over the weekend to barrow it into our back garden. Little did Nancy or I realise what we were letting ourselves in for, until I came home from work at five thirty to find a mountain of ash on our pavement and on to the road. We both decided not to do anything that night and on Saturday morning I got the barrow and spade out and began the colossal task of hurling barrow full after barrow full of fine ash from the front to the back of our house. Nancy and the children filled buckets with the ash and carried it through to the back garden, and it was late evening before we finally cleared the ash from our pavement, stopping only to have lunch and dinner. I was shattered when we sat down after dinner and Nancy and the children were completely exhausted by their efforts. On looking out of our living room window that night, I began to wonder how all that ash was going to be absorbed into our heavy clay, but I did not need to worry because over the next six months digging and turning the ash and clay I began to see the fruits of our labour when the clay began to be broken down into a good tilth. Over the rest of that year both Nancy and I worked in the garden , with me laying concrete slabs for a path and raising a fence round what would eventually become a lawn. We bought some rose bushes and as we did not have room for a glasshouse we bought flowers at the Govan market, and we were both rather proud when the garden began to look good in the summer of that year. It would be approaching our 18th wedding anniversary and Nancy and I were discussing how we would celebrate the occasion, and after much thinking of the various ways to mark the day Nancy suggested that if it was not too expensive the four of us could go for a meal in some restaurant. Eating out in restaurants was not done by Glasgow people in these days, but we decided to look into the idea. On the next Saturday morning the four of us boarded a tram which took us into Argyle street, and there was a restaurant named “Trees” there which could serve a main meal for nine pence in the old money, but both Russell and Nancy were not too keen so we walked on along the road towards Trongate. We looked at ”Sloans” and a few other places and ended up in West Nile Street where we saw the “Royal Hotel”, and on entering the foyer we all agreed that this was the place to celebrate our anniversary. I asked the receptionist how we could arrange for us to have our meal here and roughly what the cost would be and she gave me a card with charges for their various services. Nancy and I told her what we were intending to celebrate and she showed us a menu which contained many different dishes such as soup, main meal, sweet and tea or coffee which we both agreed was an excellent variety of choices. Taking this menu to the hotel’s lounge we calculated what the cost would be for four meals and having agreed that even if the children were to take the most expensive items on the menu we would be pleased to pay that price. We returned to the receptionist and made a booking for a table for four on the Saturday nearest to the 20th of December, and left the hotel happy that we had chosen an excellent venue for the first ever time that we as a family had eaten out together to celebrated our wedding day. On the night of our celebration we arrived at the hotel some 15 minutes before the appointed time and were shown into the hotel’s cocktail bar where we bought soft drinks for four and in a short time we were shown in to our table. The only time that Nancy or I had ever sat down to a meal in a restaurant was on our wedding day and we were both a little nervous on this occasion, but in a short time we were beginning to loosen up and began to enjoy the experience. Nancy handed Russell the menu and he chose the most out of the way soup for starters, and both of us thought that he was choosing the menu items with the longest or most foreign sounding names regardless of what they consisted of, but as he was enjoying the food and ate it up we had no complaints. The whole evening turned out to be a great success with Morag choosing and eating whatever took her fancy, and all of us leaving the hotel feeling that this was a great night out and hoping that we would do this for many years to come. Nancy in one of our many evenings of just sitting talking, started to reminisce about her brother Peter and her sister Margaret who both served in the forces during the war. Peter was a leading seaman in the Royal Navy while Margaret served in the A.T.S. and this evening was spent talking about Margaret and the many unfortunate things that happened in her life. Nancy recalled that Margaret had gone to stay in England and met Reginald Tarling. Reg. worked in the Ford factory at Dagenham, and after a short courtship they married and settled in London. In 1958 they both visited Glasgow and I had the pleasure of taking Reg. around the City, which turned out to be magic for him, and in a short time both Nancy and I were astounded to hear him say that the only meal that he wanted while he was in Glasgow was a fish supper, our fish suppers were new to him and he loved them. On one Saturday morning I took him to the Magistrates court in Govan to hear the people who had mis-behaved being given their punishments, whether it be a fine or imprisonment according to their crime. A prostitute would be fined a small sum and a wife beater would perhaps be given a sixty day imprisonment, or a book-keeper would receive a fine and have his book confiscated, and this was first class entertainment for our visitor. Margaret and Reg enjoyed their visit so much that in 1961 they rented a house in Largs, and on their first weekend Nancy and I spent the Saturday and Sunday with them, which was a great two days, including a trip to Millport which both Nancy and Margaret thoroughly enjoyed as it let them visit the cottage that their Grandma Cameron once owned. On the Wednesday of their second week in Largs Reg. phoned our house and said that Margaret had taken very ill and was it possible for him to bring her to our house so that she could make a recovery before returning to London. Our situation at this time was reasonably good, Nancy’s sister Anne had opened a general store in Balornock almost opposite Albert Secondary school, and she asked Nancy if she could work part time for her in the shop. Nancy agreed to do this but unfortunately Peter, Anne’s husband, fell ill with diabetes and Anne had to sell the shop as Peter required all her attention. In the October of 1960  Nancy had started work with Littlewoods store in Argyle street in the fruit department as a part time worker doing about 16 hours a week, and on learning of Margaret’s illness immediately gave up this job to nurse her sister. After about two months Margaret returned home,but there was a continual deterioration in her health over the following months. We often talked of our life in Jamieson Street when we had only ourselves to look after, of our visits to Balmaha on Loch Lomond, our attendance at the St. Andrew’s hall to hear the Choirs singing their various repertoires, our meetings with Duncan Ireland and Nan Sinclair when we met at the weekends in the country or listened to them singing in the Clarion choir, our visits to the opera house to hear and see the wonderful performances of the Doyley Carte opera Company and both of us agreed that this was a wonderful part of our lives. When Margaret returned home we both discussed the illness that had made her so exhausted and it was then that Nancy told me that Margaret had Multiple Sclerosis which was a disease that caused a continuing deterioration in her health, and the medical people did not at this time have a cure. I knew that Nancy was very anxious about her sister’s condition but in her usual way she accepted the situation and carried on with looking after her immediate family. A short time after this episode Nancy applied for and started in a job in a shop called “The Wishing Well” in Gordon Street. In her notes Nancy describes the shop. “It was a large shop selling cigarettes, & tobacco, office supplies and newspapers, magazines and books, very similar to R.S. McColl shops”. It would be about October of this year that Nancy and I decided to take the children out for the day and Aberfoyle was our first destination. We stopped at Aberfoyle and the children enjoyed handling the hatchet that hung on a tree on the opposite side of the road from the Baillie Nichol Jarvie public house. Spending a pleasant hour in Aberfoyle we made our way up the “Duke’s Pass” and stopped near the Achray hotel where Russell and Morag ran up and down the tree lined hills of the “Queen Elizabeth forest. We then moved on for Nancy and I to show the children the place where we slept one New Year and found our tent completely covered with snow in the morning. As darkness was now approaching we turned back and made our way down the Duke’s Pass to Aberfoyle and joined the road back home to Glasgow. All of us agreed that this was an excellent way to spend an October day. Nancy was for ever telling me stories of her childhood and I was always a very ardent listener. One of these stories sticks in my mind because it describes an incident that most girls of her age would have given little notice to, but to Nancy this was a BIG thing. In Nancy’s book of memoirs we find the following “I must mention my first school dance. My mother sacrificed and bought me a long evening frock, my sister Sadie loaned me her evening shoes, size two with diamante studded high heels. There was a gold watch which was broken but mother suggested that I put it on for show as no one but me would know that it was broken. The dance was super and I danced all night till when it came to the time to go home I had six boys who all wanted to take me home. I was scared stiff when I arrived home and I ran up the close and banged on the door as if I was being chased by a ghost. I felt stupid the next day when I had to face these boys at school.” It would be about this time, 1960 –1961 that Nancy spoke to me about a pain that was in the lumbar region of her back, and was at times so painful that she had to stop whatever she was doing. We arranged to see the doctor and after asking Nancy questions about her way of working in the kitchen he suggested that we should buy a washing machine which would relieve Nancy of wringing out clothes and possibly stop the ache in her back. We spoke about this proposal of the Doctor’s and Nancy asked if we could afford a washing machine and I told her that if it helped her to be free of pain then we would go into the town on Saturday and purchase one. The result of this discussion was that we became the owners of a “Parnal” washing machine which had a wringer on its top which was separate from the machine, and when you wished to wring your clothes it was put into a hole on the machine’s top and swung over the sink. Nancy in a very short time became very efficient at using this machine but the pain in her back did not go away, in spite of her using strong pain killers.nAfter about a year Nancy suggested that perhaps our sink was too low, resulting in her having to stoop when washing dishes, or any of the other tasks she performed at the sink. I had a look at the sink and reckoned that it would not be too big a job to raise it some four inches, and with the aid of Russell the job was shortly finished. Nancy voted our job an asset to her as now she didn’t need to stoop, so we thought that a good job had been done until the next time the washing machine was to be used. Washing machines in those days were not attached to hot and cold water pipes, the machine was filled with hot or cold water with a hose pipe from the water taps and was stowed in some convenient place when it was not in use. When Nancy brought the machine to the sink she found that the wringer could not be swung over the sink because the sink was now too high. Nancy and I decided that we would do away with the washing machine and she would use the newly opened “Laundrette” just around the corner, and for all the years we stayed in Glasgow the “Parnal” was the only washing machine we ever owned. In hindsight I believe that Nancy was beginning to suffer from “Spondolosis” and in later years she suffered much pain and lost some six inches in hight, but I am running ahead of our story and will come back to this illness of Nancy’s later. It would be about this time that Nancy spoke to me about a big job which she had thought I could do to eliminate a problem that occurred every summer. She explained to me that as each summer came along the coal fire had to be on for our family to have baths, and this meant that the living room became a veritable hot-house for some days of each week. As I was out at work every day and only in the house in the evenings, this problem did not effect me, but it was easy to see that it would be uncomfortable for those who were in the living room in what must have been sweltering heat. To overcome this problem Nancy suggested that if I could fit an immersion heater into our hot water boiler then we would not need the coal fire on during the summer. Here was something that I had never thought of, our hot water boiler was situated in the bathroom and was approximately five feet in depth, four feet broad and eighteen inches in breadth, and at first I could not see how I could get in beside it to fit an immersion heater. Our kitchenette was separated from the bathroom by a wall  which had the sink and worktop with cupboards below, and after much thought I decided to remove the cupboard which exposed the wall. I was fortunate to have a set of cold chisels and a heavy hammer, and was soon engaged on the job of breaking through the wall into the bathroom and hopefully expose the hot water boiler. After weeks of hard work, as these houses were made of the finest materials, I broke through the wall, and found that there was another wall behind the one I had just broken through, which meant that I had to start again breaking through this new wall. I completed this part of the job with the aid of Russell, who would be about thirteen or fourteen years old, and the boiler was now seen clearly from the kitchenette. I had already enquired about the type of immersion heater that would be suitable for my boiler and having purchased one I now had to think of emptying the water from the boiler and fitting it into its position. When this was completed I ran a power cable into the heater, bricked up the hole, and Nancy was delighted with the result, and in all the years that we stayed at Bucklaw Terrace we never had any problems with this heater.