Our Century

A thin man, home from Korea

John Benton
Born 1946

John Benton

"Born in "The Women's" in Wolverhampton, I lived with Mom, Dad, Nan and Grandad in their colliery-owned house on the Cannock Road. Later, in 1950, we were to move to a brand-new house on Cannock Road, Featherstone. Number 7.

"I don't remember my Dad going off to Korea, but I have vivid memories of this very thin person introduced to me when he came back in 1953. The party must have been a big one, because his five brothers and twin sister came along, with Uncle Bernard baking and icing the biggest cake I've ever seen.

"We had to borrow next door's tables and chairs, an an enormous teapot to be sure there would be enough to go round. It was probably a smashing party but I was very young and went to bed early, as usual.

"Another memory fixed forever is the ending of sweet rationing. Mom bought some liquorice and we kids had no idea what it was. Tasted good, though.

"Just before leaving school (Wards Bridge Secondary Modern were I spent and extra year studying for four GCE "O" Levels; I passed English and Physics), I was asked by the careers teacher where I would like to work. I said "Guys" because I was enthralled by lorries and buses.

"Got the job at Guy Motors as an apprentice draughtsman, but never seemed to progress from the capstan section of the machine shop.I left Guys just over a year later, sadly disillusioned with my experience as an apprentice, and went to work for Don Everall Aviation at Wolverhampton Airport. I met some fascinating people there: Jack Brabham, Lester Piggot, the charming Charles Fordham Parker (of Fordhams Bathrooms fame) and many other businessmen from the wolverhampton area.

"Now disabled - courtesy of the very lorries that enthralled me for so long - I'm just a grandad with a computer and lots of memories."