Review by Pat Ross - March 2023
Peter Stevens was born in 1929 in Abbey Street, Faversham and attended school here. After having written 16 Faversham Papers previously, and at the age of 85, he was asked to write about what life was like in the town in the 1930s and 1940s. Not only was he able to recall a lot of detail from his own memory, it is clear he has thoroughly researched these years, covering the period before, during and after the 2nd World War.
Picking out just a few choice gems, as a taster:
Few families had cars, so children attended the school nearest their home. It was not unusual for there to be classes of 40 supervised by one teacher in the junior school in Church Road.
Most men had bicycles to get to work. So theft of a bicycle was considered a very serious offence, the maximum prison sentence being seven years’ imprisonment.
Few homes had bathroom scales. You could weigh yourself in Child’s department store in Court Street for one penny.
During the war years, with blackout restrictions, all vehicles had to drive with masked headlights at night, which made driving or being driven very dangerous.
After the war, Peter used to catch the 8.05 am bus to Canterbury six days a week with many others to get to work. The East Kent bus company issued Workers Priority tickets, which enabled the bearers to get to the head of the queue. He adds the comment that this did not go down very well with heavily laden shoppers on the return trips.
A very enjoyable, interesting and informative read.