Sunday, January 20, 2008

Monday 20th September 1937

Fourth anniversary of my service with Paripan. First day on the road with my car. A memorable day. Unpleasantly memorable!

First call, Hospital. Dark, streaky patches appearing on the eggshell gloss surface in the Eye Ward. A case for Ferris, too serious for me to deal with.

The 11:30 mail brought a memo from the cashier, re Eastern Star Products. An official note:-

“We have to inform you that we have today received Notice of a Meeting of Creditors in the above matter to be held at 33 Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, on Tuesday the 28th inst. at noon, for the purpose mentioned in Sections 238, 239 and 240 of the Companies Act, 1929. We shall be glad if you will attend theis Meeting and report in due course. For your information the amount due to us is in the neighbourhood of £55-0-0”.

So – my presentiment had been justified! Yet the status had been good… A bright start.

So. I set my teeth and went on the road. Sold a pint of Parax in the morning and took a £4 opening order from a firm of baby carriage manufacturers in the afternoon.
Both new clients. Called at Pollard’s and paid excess insurance, which left a little under £5 in the Bank. Heavy rain as I drove home. Snug in my little car as I droned along the winding lane into Eastwoodbury.

Evening in uniform with three other “Terriers”, distributing leaflets outside a cinema where a propaganda film was being shown. This was, for me, a duty rather than a pleasure.

Came home 11 o’clock, past the drill hall. Stopped the car to light a cigarette. Fatal switch off! The engine was dead when I tried to start her, a moment later.
Cranking was no use, the lights gradually went dim. I pushed dismally. Friendly policeman; the fortuitous arrival of a mechanic. Left the crock with him and marched home. (Is it going to be too expensive? Will there be much trouble like this? Shall I be able to keep it up?)

Only £2 left in my pocket, to last the week. Nevertheless, I derived pleasure from various small things. My Artillery greatcoat, collar turned up, the click-clack of my boots on the twisting moonlit road. Peaceful late at night supper at Roedean. I read a schoolboy’s book entitled, “School House and The Rest”.


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