Posted: 21/11/2016 at 17:06
The library at Boots! Oh, yes, I remember it well. I used to take books back for an old lady further up the street; it was a bus ride away, and quite a treat to have the bus fare paid by her and also the cost of her borrowing books. She was an ex school teacher and gave me many of her lovely books on nature, which I treasure to this day.
The public library was free. You had to be 7 to be allowed to join, but because I was an avid reader, my mother applied for me to have a ticket a year early. I remember the excitement of my very first book. It smelled of the library. It had a bright orange cover. I have no idea what it was, because I never read it - I would just sit and wonder at its smell and colour. But when I changed it for a book that I wanted, my whole world changed.
We didn't have a TV until about 1963, so it was Listen With Mother (Daphne Oxenford: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin . . ." and later, Children's Hour with fabulous dramatizations: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Eagle of the Ninth, Phra the Phoenician, The Midnight Folk among others.
For the Coronation we went to my uncle's house to watch his tiny TV. And all the family contributed to the High Tea afterwards. Father made the most amazing salad platter, with the crown picked out on a bed of lettuce: beetroot for the velvet, cut radishes etc for the jewels. It was a shame to eat it!