Why I Like The Yanks

    It was May 1944. A nice day, so I decided to visit and explore the ammunition dumps on the Barkby Thorpe Road followed by a quick check on the crop of fruit on a certain damson tree situated on Thorpe Farm, which we regularly 'scrumped'.

    I had just acquired for my birthday a bike for which my mother had paid, at great sacrifice, the sum of £3.10 shillings. This bike was purchased second hand from a local bike shop on the Green Lane Road and was a weird hybrid! - An adult frame with child’s handlebars and odd size wheels - but to me it was my pride and joy liberating me from the confines of my local estate.

    It was when I neared the site of the aforesaid damson tree when I came across two rather large American soldiers who greeted me with 'hey son! Where’s the Town?' On my answer that it was at least 3 miles away they asked me if they could buy my bike. For £5.00!

    This represented a fortune to me, equal to at least 6 months spending money, so I quickly accepted their offer and watched as these two 15 stone soldiers - one on the crossbar, set off - with shouts of 'Yippee' on an alarmingly wobbly downhill course towards Leicester.

    As I started my long walk home I began to have misgivings and wondered what my mother would say when she found out I had sold my birthday present. But I need not have worried, as when I arrived at the junction of Thurmaston road I could not believe my eyes. There – indignantly thrown to one side of the road - was my bike. I found both tyres had burst and the front wheel was buckled! They had obviously decided to abandon the bike as they were no where to be seen!

    I could not believe my luck! A few 'raids' on the council tip at Spence Street soon enabled me to get the bike back in running order, giving me constant use for the remainder of the war.

    Yes - I do like the Yanks.

By T. Cartwright

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