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 childs handlebars and odd size wheels - but to me it
was my pride and joy liberating me from the confines of my local
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! Wheres 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 Terence C. Cartwright
1st July 2002