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15-06-2015, 09:33
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I was a stoker in the Navy, but there was more to it than shovelling coal into the oven which is what people thought I did. I don’t even know when they stopped using coal on ships, long before my time.
My father was in the home guard in Ilfracombe and he used tell me all the tales.

I always thought he was talking a load of old rubbish about being in the Navy and then the Merchant Navy, he was only in his 40s and he’d spent at least 20 years working in pubs.

The Yanks joined in an exercise once and they sent a Sherman tank towards the pier, they all ended up getting pissed with each other.

I joined the Legion but it only used to open on the first Monday of the month, I thought bollocks and never went back.

My grandfather was a reserve policeman in the war and he went on a manhunt in 1942 or was it 43 after a murder, years later I went to school with the grandson of the killer.

Oh you mean he worked during the day and ‘put that light out’ the rest of the time.

He had flat feet, did ok though he had a grocer’s shop.

Can I give the dog another biscuit?

They always used to fight in the NAAFI.

Well I’ve got a picture of the old man in the NAAFI and he’s surrounded by women, no fighting there.

I remember the RAF club after a Battle of Britain parade when I was a cadet, you’d think some of the old boys at the bar had won the bloody war. It was Spitfire this and Spitfire that.

The dog needs a walk.

See you later.


Sunday lunchtime in the pub and three of us are at the bar, chatting, remembering, laughing, the dog is getting his biscuits, and I’m sipping at a pint of St Austell’s Proper Job. It’s easy to forget sometimes that one of the reasons for the pub is social, talking to people, enjoying tales, remembering people from the past, whether family or friends. It’s a pleasure not a duty.

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