Oral History Interviews

Playing with Meccano

Roger played a lot with Meccano, he’d get a fresh set every Christmas and would construct many models. He played outdoors quite a lot. He remembers a lot of freedom growing up in 50s.

Lived on the outskirts of Leicester and would go to the fields and play cricket and football with local lads who lived in the same road as Roger. He didn’t have to look after younger sister. He remembers when his sister was three his mother had a part-time job and on on a few occasions he had the sole responsibilities for a sister, that would be in the 1940s.

He was offered a piano lessons and expressed a desire to want to do it and enjoyed it up to a certain point. He had to practice half an hour every day but, after half an hour he had had enough.

At junior school he learned to play chess. At grammar school there was a chess club which he joined. He played drafts, Ludo, snakes and ladders, and tiddlywinks. And remembers doing jigsaw puzzles – he was an avid jigsaw puzzle and still is.

At eight he got the Eagle comic, this he got from the first issue. He Talks about the strips inside the Eagle comic.

Talks about some of the chores he had to do. He was never paid for these chores.

School was a mile away and he was given money to catch the bus to the school and back, he remembers thinking if he collected the bus fare he could save quite a bit of money. A bit like later on he told his parents that he saved his bus fair money, his mother was so impressed she started giving him pocket money.

Occasionally his father would pick up a cricket bat and play around with him. He joined the church choir when he was about 10 and was a member until his voice broke, about four or five years later. The choir would give concerts once a year, it was connected with the local church, as was the Scout group which he joined when he was 11. He gave up Cubs when he had to do a somersault to get a badge he couldn’t do a somersault and left in a huff.

He chose to do these activities. It was a normal thing to do then as people went to the church much more than they do now. He was encouraged by his parents To do these activities.

Talks about break times at school where they just play football all the time. They would play football with a tennis ball between the school classrooms which were Nissan huts. They always went outside, unless it was tipping down.

He’d cycle to school and would cycle out with lads from his road, they’d go out between five and 10 miles – this was quite an acceptable distance. Roger knew when mealtimes were and when to be home. There weren’t rules as such, it was more convention, lunchtime was known to be at lunchtime.

They would arrange to meet later while at school. Though you would just go round to your friends house and ask can Johnny go out? or is Johnny free? It was just a calling on people.

Roger didn’t go to the cinema much, or the youth club. Scouts took his time really.

When he got into’s sixth form they’d be once a month a social event. And once a week they would go to a local girls school and do dance lessons. You had to be very quick off the mark to make sure you got a girl and not get left on the sideline. The social events were very popular and lively affairs and would happen in different schools around Leicester. If you are lucky you got to walk a girl home afterwards.

Roger remembers telling his parents he was going to one thing when what he was really going to do was meet a particular girl. Looking back he thinks his parents will probably not disapproved, it was probably more to do with this shyness.

Roger rarely went to the theatre. He went to see his mother in the local Guild perform. As an adult he joined the football club and would play once a week and he also used to enjoy playing tennis.

Roger talks about his musical commitments, he wish with hindsight he’d spent more time doing it as he’d would got a lot better at it.

Roger talks about in his 30s get involved in playing bridge. This game fitted around family life.

In later life he got a took up golf. It’s a game where you can walk up and hit a stationary ball. He enjoys golf as he enjoys the company of people of his own age.

In college he joined the basketball team, this was a phase lasted two years. Principally choosing this because of his size, which is over 6 foot. More recently got involved doing Scottish country dancing.

When he was in the scouts once a year they put on gang show which will be lots of individual sketches. Roger got involved and did singing and a little stand-up comedy. Much much later in life he joined a local theatre group and would appear in their pantomimes.

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