4th March 1961

March 4th 1961


My dearest Maureen,

Life has been very interesting this past week in one way and another and it has really flown by.  I attended an Entertainments Committee meeting down at the Squadron and everything went off pretty smoothly from my point of view because I was in one of my talkative moods and once I start there is no holding me (like most things.)  It was a fair ole meeting and many suggestions were put forward (but I didn’t take the hint and leave) before we finalised a fancy-dress dance at Easter.

On Wednesday most of the lads were dragged up to the football pitch by your Alan for a truly British game of (you guessed it) football. It was a good game but blimey, was I tired at the end.  That will teach me not to go around with any more crazy ideas. Anyway, it passed the time and after all, I did score. (thought I’ve get that in.)

The evening should have been spent writing to my Maureen but I guess your Alan wasn’t in the letter writing frame of mind and besides, the guys reckoned I should make up a foursome in Whist, so being an obliging sort of bloke I did just that. We lost!

Thursday was a typical day at work, dead boring, so I won’t pass it on.  The sergeant decided to leave me in charge in the afternoon and he went home.  Felt like doing the same myself. Thursday evening we went to see Pete in hospital.  He seems to be coming along fine now. Reckon he may be out sometime next week. Hope he does because it is one hell of a walk to that hospital.  I suppose he will be quite pleased himself to be out.

On Friday a new bloke arrived in the block.  Poor man has a complete tour of 2 and a half years to do on this………island.  Lucky Jim! He came across on the ‘Devonshire’ the same boat that brought me last May – yes, they were the days.  Mind you, we had it real tough in our day. We had to fight our way ashore with sten guns firing from the hip. One of these days I’ll have to write my memoirs naming it something like ‘I was Audie Murphy’s Double’.  In the book I could add my experiences home on leave, just like most books of this nature. Think I could name this particular chapter something like ‘No Room on the Sofa.’

Those guys who said you look 20 were flattering you my dear.  Sorry to break any illusions or for not agreeing with a lady as obviously required of me.  Remember when we first met at the Palais I told you then you were comparatively young to this ‘ere old man.  You look 18, a very nice 18 at that and that’s the way I like you. Mind you, you act and behave much older than your age.  Guess that is one of the many things that impressed me about you. This leads me on to the question you have been waiting for me to answer.

Well darling, it seems to me only natural that you should have fun while I’m away.  I love you Maureen and I want you to be very happy even though I am not around. No girl of your age should be locked up out of sight.  By meeting people you learn to judge people and assess their personality and general behaviour. This is a hard question to answer as you can imagine because deep down inside I want to be very possessive and keep you tied up at home so no other guy can touch you.  However one must be practical about life and so long as this ‘Graham bloke’ understands the position and doesn’t try a take-over bid (sorry to put it that way) then there’s no harm done. This guy already understands the position, doesn’t he? If he still wants to take you out on a mutual interest association then it’s up to you.

The only way for me to answer this whole question is to kinda put myself in your position, so to speak.  Loving each other the way we do means nobody can come between us and we must trust one another, behind each other’s back if you understand my meaning.  I can trust you because you are a sensible girl and you were very right to tell me the position.

If you do decide to go out with any other guy then there is one or two things for me to say, do’s and don’ts as it were.  Please don’t discuss A.D.Blake anymore than necessary. Please don’t drink too much then take a car ride with anybody. I could go on but as I said before, you are two moves ahead of most people.  You might almost call this a love-test. Some people would probably think this agreement very wrong but we are both broad-minded adults and there can be no harm in it provided we respect the agreement.

Going on what you have said about the Tottenham blokes it seeds pretty clear they have been around a bit.  They are obviously clued up about women. Whatever you do darling remember I love you and always will. I have tried to be a man about this and I’m sure you won’t let me down.

Ronny has written that he is going to Brixham for a weekend.  Brixham is a very quaint Olde English village that Ron and myself honoured with our presence a few years back.  We were at Pontins Holiday Camp, Paignton, Devon and one day we decided to get away from it all so we went a-riding on my scooter down through these glorious Devon lanes until we came to the great metropolis of Brixham, Devon, England.  It is a charming spot situated in what I consider the best part of dear old Blighty. The River Dart runs into the sea at this point so it provides ideal fishing conditions. We went out in a small boat and did some mackerel fishing. It was just great.  It was a beautiful day and the sea was very calm which probably accounts for the many catches we had. We felt like old fishermen when we swaggered into the local pub that evening with fish in hand. They were most friendly people and one kind gentleman was good enough to buy us both a drink.  We tried to give the fish away after a few drinks but nobody was interested in a dozen dead mackerel, so we decided to take them back with us. Anyway, we stood around drinking and talking (we never stopped) until late evening before climbing back on my scooter and heading back to Paignton.

Don’t quite remember what happened to the fish when we got back although I did hear that some very surprised young ladies had been finding cold clammy mackerels in their beds.  Wonder who did such a thing? One of these days I’ll have to take you there Maureen, it’s a very charming place.

It was the same year that I went touring on my scooter and covered over a thousand miles in a week and all on my own.  My scooter just kept going nice and steady without any trouble whatsoever. I left London with my mate and we went to Herne Bay for the weekend to stay with his relations.  On Sunday evening I left him there and carried on to Torquay via Brighton, Winchester, Salisbury and Exeter. The return journey of over 250 miles was done in one glorious sunny day, non-stop, without shirt (sex appeal!)  I could possibly write a book about that week so I’ll save it until August when I’ll tell you all sorts of stories.

Was just dragged away for a game of whist – we won, again.  Let’s face it, Paddy and I are becoming unbeatable lately. It is pure skill.  Do you play the game? (Whist I mean) darling. If not you had better ask your dad to clue you up on it.  I mean to say, we will have to play something on the winter nights next season.

You ask ‘what is a storm trench’ in your recent letter.  Well Maureen, me old dear, it’s a trench where storms are stored in case of fire.  Seriously though, sometimes during the monsoon season small lakes form and the purpose of these deep concrete trenches is to carry the water away fast, thus avoiding small lakes to cause damage or obstruction to traffic.

It seems you had quite a wedding party alright, good for you.  Ages ago I dreamt you got the wedding bouquet at this wedding. Strange coincidence eh!

I don’t consider you to be big-headed at all although you have every right to be.  Just like me you are the centre of attraction because you are charming and good-looking.  Still like me you’ll get used to these fans hanging around waiting to be noticed. They are all peasants, dear girl but you will get used to them – your turn…..!

Well, darling, not long now is it. (yes) only five months to go through.  It will be August before we know it. Easter, Whitsun and then August Bank Holiday to pass in quick succession.

Goodnight darling.  Take care of yourself and have fun.  Remember I love you.




Letters from Alan Week 9: 3rd - 7th March 1961

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