Memories PDF Print E-mail
Written by Clive Horner   
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 11:26
Article Index
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Photos - Page 1
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Chapter 1

I am sitting in a hotel room in a town called Almetyevsk. The town is situated in the state of Tartarstan, approximately 1200 kilometres from Moscow. The temperature outside is minus 30 degrees centigrade, the window on the outside is so thick with ice. It is almost impossible to tell night from day by trying to look through the glass. It is not really possible to go out in the evenings, so instead I am sitting here in this silent room and letting my thoughts drift back through the years. As the memories start coming back, I realise that my life has been quite exciting with a great amount of travel. The further I drift into the past, the more I feel the urge to put on paper these memories, as already many are becoming difficult to recall. At the start it was my intention to write only of my travels but once I had started I realised that my life and travels were so inter-mixed that I would have to write about both. Why not travel back with me through the years, you may find my writing, interesting, amusing, or you may have had similar experiences. Perhaps reading of my memories will cause you to think back in time and gain happiness and amusement from the memories you recall. The same happiness and amusement I have found by looking back into mine. I was born in June 1944 at Great Yarmouth, my parents were normal working people who although they had very little money to spare always ensured that we children were well fed and clothed even though it meant they often had to go without some of the things they would have liked. I had two brothers, one two years older and one two years younger. I would not like to say that we always agreed with each other and never teased and scrapped as I am sure most children do with their brothers and sisters. Having said that we, still had a great deal of fun together. My early childhood was spent doing all the things that were wrong, such as scrumping ie:- Pinching apples and pears from orchards around the area where we lived, it was more the excitement of not getting caught by the owners than actually needing the fruit that made it so much fun. We also spent many long hours in the timber yard playing among the timber and building dens etc. and of course there was the cattle market, with its large variety of animals for sale. We would spend many hours roaming the market looking at the animals. There was such a variety ie:- cattle, pigs, sheep and much more. To us at the time it was great fun. These places I speak of no longer exist, with the passage of time all have disappeared. Today where they once were are now Superstores and Industrial Estates. One of my best childhood memories has to be walking along the river Yare when the Scottish drifters were in port, even today I can still remember all the different smells and the noise of the gulls. How I remember going from boat to boat saying “mister have you any fish please” and of course at that time the fishermen usually say yes “come aboard, take what you need”, I think that during the fishing season our main diet must have consisted of herring,(sometimes known as silver darlings). Today the fishing industry of Great Yarmouth is a distant memory from the past for those who remember.

In 1953 Great Yarmouth was flooded, the areas most affected were Southtown and Cobholm plus Gorleston-on-sea. Unfortunately we were the worst hit in Southtown. At the time we lads thought it was great fun, as the water level rose we all had to move upstairs. The level kept rising until it was over four feet. It did not stop rising until the level was only three steps from the top of the stairs. We had very little food and the only water we had to drink was from the hot water bottles which fortunately our mum had put in the beds earlier. After three days the police arrived in a rowing boat. They had a small ladder and with their help we climbed into the boat and were taken to dry land. We were fortunate in that our parents had friends in the town and we were able to stay with them until my father and older brother had cleaned the house up enough to make it liveable again. However it took many years for the house to dry out and was quite costly in the years to follow. It would be impossible today to imagine living three days and nights, surviving on two tins of sprats and water tasting of rubber but somehow we did.