I get up at 630am, wash and shave, then walk downstairs to the kitchen, where I stand awhile, pondering about what I should have for breakfast.
Will it be Shredded Wheat, Kelloggs Cornflakes, egg, sausages and bacon, Rice Krispies, or just buttered toast and Marmite? I opt for scrambled egg….it’s easier and filling!
Breakfast over, it’s back upstairs to get dressed….I throw on a pair of corduroy pants and one of my flowery shirts.
I need to get to the bus stop at precisely 730am, which is when the No 207 bus from Uxbridge passes through Ealing in London, on it’s way to Shepherd’s Bush, where I will get off and walk to the Underground station, catching the Circle line train to central London where I study at a local college there. In time, I finish my college studies and enter university to complete a degree in Electronics.
I step out of the house, and meet John the milkman, heading up our garden path with 4 pints of Gold Top full cream milk that we have been using for so many years. His milk float is parked outside our house, and his milk-round boy is sorting out the milk for the next customer. People keep telling us that it’s bad for health, contains too much fat…so we try Green Top instead, but it tastes like water, so we go back to our favorite Gold Top again! John says he will come around on Friday morning for the milk money.
Walking down the pavement, I pass Trevor’s newsagent shop, his newspapers folded and slotted into the metal frame that hangs outside his shop, by the side of the door. Trevor’s shop is always open early from 6am every morning apart from Sunday, when all the shops are closed anyway. But his work starts far earlier than that, as the newspapers are delivered at 430am and then need to be sorted out for the newspaper round boys to deliver, so even though the shop is closed, there is frenetic business going on inside.
I pick up a copy of the Daily Mirror, which has the headlines “Man on the Moon” emblazoned across it in big, black letters….I throw a “tanner” (an English coin worth 6 pennies) into the little wooden box that Trevor has put up underneath the paper rack for customers to leave their money in…my paper costs 5 pennies so I let Trevor keep the extra 1 penny!
I watched the moon landing at our neighbours house as it happened, as we don’t have a TV yet….my parents are radio fanatics and prefer to listen rather than see!
I reach the bus stop and meet Mrs Jones from up the road, waiting to catch the bus to see her daughter, who lives in Acton. “Bootiful day, innit, Jak?” she says and I nod back politely. The bus stop is near the big Woolworth’s store and I see the Staff busy working inside, getting the shelves stocked up before opening time at 9am.
The buses are running a little late today, so I wile away the time looking at the passing traffic…I see Triumph Heralds, Morris Minors, Hillman Minx, Humber Snipe, Ford Anglia, Ford Zephyr, Ford Classic, Austin Morris cars drive past. There are motorcyclists with sidecars attached, too.
Then a horse and cart ride past as well….it’s the local “rag and bone” man ringing his bell and shouting out his need for your scrap iron, and other stuff.
The bus arrives at last, and we let some passengers off first before climbing onto the bus ourselves…it is my favorite bus, the typical London Routemaster red bus you see in adverts, with the back open allowing passengers to get on or off whenever they want, as long as the bus is slow enough.
We ride past Ealing Broadway, with the Underground station on the left, past one of my favorite toy shops, Confiserie Francaise, absolutely chock-full of all the toy cars you’d ever want! Then we pass Ealing Common, with the big field on the right where the circus and fairground arrives in the summer.
We pass through Ealing Common and through to Acton, with the little Doll’s Hospital shop on the right (it sells and repairs toy dolls!), passing into Acton town centre, with Victor Value the first ever supermaket in town on the left, past Acton Town hall and the rest of the shopping area.
The bus arrives at Shepherd’s Bush, I get off and walk to the Underground station for my train to London.
That was a typical day of my student life in London UK in the 1960s……still as fresh as a daisy in my mind even now……!