Discover Challenge: Transcript – an Essay from my dad.

I have a very old school Excercise book from my dad who passed away last year at the age of 100 years and 7 months. He lived in Stratford in the East end of London.

Dad exercise book

Dad composition

Dad Compisition

It seems my dad visited a football match played between West Ham United and Burnley with his brother on Good Friday, and he wrote a compositon for school dated 9th November, 1929 when he was 14 years old.

This is what he wrote:

“How I spent Good Friday on the morning of Good Friday

I began the day by getting in the Hot Cross Buns, for our breakfast. All the morning I played a game of cricket, with my brother and some other boys. When it was two ‘o clock my brother and I went to the West Ham football ground, seeing a good game between West Ham and Burnley (resulting) in a win for the Hammers.

West Ham started off, as if to be sure of a ten none victory. A great combination between Earl and Ruffell enabled the last mentioned player to find the net with a great left drive. Immediately after the centre the Hammers gave Burnley a real lesson in football.They passed the ball accurately from man to man, but a mistake on Watson’s part, enabled the right back of Burnley to clear with a fierce drive. It was then Burnley’s turn to attack, and Hufton was kept busy for ten minutes. Before half time Watson, and Ruffell, put in two further goals.

In the next half both goalies were kept busy, Hurfton especially. Yews continually beat both backs only to find no one in the centre. Play was very even, and more than three times did Biel the centre forwards of Burnley, cut through the backs to be foiled by Hufton.Two minutes from the end Gibbins scored through a neat pass by Ruffell.That brought the score to four for West Ham. Soon after, the whistle went for full time.

We went from Upton Park to the Princess Alice, then a short walk from there brought us to the Hats Fair. Both of us enjoyed ourselves immensly on the coconut shies, darts, ringboards and alkl the other things. At half past nine we went home claiming between us two boxes of chocolates, three coconuts and a packet of cigarettes.”

I would mention that I never met my dad’s brother, who would have become my uncle Harry. He died at the age of 21 after falling into a lift shaft where he was working on a repair.

I really treasure this little exercise book. I do not have a lot of memories from dad’s childhood, just a few photos, but his is definitely one of them.

Discover Challenge: Transcript – An Essay from my dad

13 thoughts on “Discover Challenge: Transcript – an Essay from my dad.

  1. For a 14 yr old boy, his penmanship is terrific; really beautifully written and evenly spaced. Wish I could say the same for my grandson’s writing, but I don’t think they really teach it now, do they? Such fun to read your dad’s life now he’s not there to share it with you. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • In those days you didn’t have computers to write with, and everything was by hand, and handwriting was important. It had to look good.All the writing books had lines in them. I remember when I was at school how important it was to shape your letters properly. Although I would add that today I can no longer write very well. I remember how important it was even for my kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Somewhere in this house, Garry and I have some old stuff from our parents and ourselves — old report cards, bits of correspondence. Garry found a bundle of love letters between his father and mother written while they were separated during World War II … and was deeply touched, realizing that once they had loved each other very much. so little of this stuff remains to us. You seem to have quite a bit. You are lucky. Very lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If my mum and kept my school books when she moved house, I would have had more than just one of them from my first school. The house was going to be demolished and so anything she no longer wanted, she could leave in the house.Everything went, nothing left. My mum had a large collection of letters she got from my dad when he was serving in the war, but she threw them away, because she did not want people reading them when she passed on. I never found out what was written.


  3. I found myself trying to picture what ‘coconut shoes’ involves. Is that an alley game you’re aware of? I’m also moved hearing your footnote about the Uncle you didn’t get to meet in person. I guess reading about him in these pages is a link?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually the word is coconut shies. I think you originally set up coconuts on sticks and had to knock them by throwing something at them. I have a few photos of the uncle I never met. He was a couple of years older than my dad.

      Liked by 1 person

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