Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Shoes

Boys always kick at stones with their shoes; well I always did when I was nine and three quarters.

It was February 1946 and we had just moved house to another town and I had worn my shoes out and I only had that one pair as we were so poor.

The day after we moved the school inspector came and looking down at me he said, “He must attend school…on Thursday!”

My mother nodded sadly and somehow a trip to the shoe shop was made and I was a normal boy again kicking stones in the gutter.

We still had food to eat, well my brother and I did; don’t know about Mum as I was too busy stuffing my own face to notice.

Then I heard Dad whisper to Mum, “It’s alright dear, it's pay day Friday.”


  1. Kids don't know these things until they become parents themselves. I didn't, until I was on their shoes . . . . .

  2. A very well told story.

    Some people have never know lack of essential things. Lack is a good teacher.

  3. This was a touching story, Robin, as it is true that parents who love their children always put their needs first. I know that my Mom went without things she needed many times to make sure we had what we needed, and I have done the same for my children. As grownups, they realize this and are grateful for it. When they were children I was glad they could keep a bit of innocence and believe that life was ok, even though they knew at times we were struggling. I know your Mom managed to keep you all fed until payday, mom's are miracle workers when it comes to that!

  4. 1946, I believe. Your Dad getting the winner of the Grand National at 100/1 (Lovely Cottage) might have helped a bit, I suppose.

  5. I've been told that on this side of the pond, it was still quite common for kids to go to school without shoes in the '40s and '50s, even in urban areas. I'm not sure I believe it, though. I'm amazed at the ways our parents and grandparents were able to stretch their money to cover all the necessities. Now we live surrounded by abundance, but we always want more.