I passed the 11 plus so it was off to grammar school for me and four others from my class in Meadlands and, as we later found out, some other local kids from the other local junior schools as well. We didn’t know them at the time but we then became new friends when we went off to grammar school. I asked to go to Kingston Grammar School, which would have been nearer, but in those days the catchment area, we came under Richmond, so the grammar school for Richmond was Sheen – East Sheen Grammar School for Boys – so going to school was a double bus journey. It was catching the bus from Ham to Richmond – the buses were then were the 65 or the other route was the 71 bus route but that was the forerunner of the 371 route, so 65 or 71 to Richmond and get off the bus there and then we would have to take another bus on to Sheen, either the 33 or 37 bus to Sheen to where I went to grammar school there.
He wrote to my parents and said he thought I should stay on because he felt confident I would get A levels and go on to university but that wasn’t to be and so I left and started to earn money and look after …. so from that day forward I didn’t expect my parents to pay for me anymore. That would be from the age of 16, coming up to 17.