My father had to get special permission for me to leave. I went to work for a Mr Gliddon as a butcher’s improver. One of the best men I had ever worked with was a Mr Frank Bolton, he was also a Butcher.


My first weeks pay was sixpence which was the same for one month. Then for another month I got one shilling, mother then gave 3 pence back, after three months I was getting two and sixpence a week, mum then gave me 6 pence back.

By this time I knew that money was very important but my boss was not prepared to play ball, so I started to look for a higher paid job. When I found it, I told Mum, she told Dad and because the job was paying three times my wage, both of my parents said, if that's what you want, then carry on. So, after learning to be a Butcher for just over two years, I left and went to work for a Mr Sleeman who was a builder & undertaker. He was starting to build the first two bunglows in Sidney Road, the man in charge was Mr Chard, a good man who taught me many tricks of the trade.

One day the boss said, tomorrow young Banks you come to work in clean clothes. This I did and he and I loaded a new coffin on to his hand cart, we took it to a house next to where the opticians is now at the top of Antony Road. We carried it upstairs to a bedroom where there were two wooden tressels Mr Sleeman said turn the coffin around and I will take the shoulders and you the feet. This we did and of course the body bent a bit and let out air making the sound of AH! It frightened hell out of me and I ran down the stairs to where Mrs Frogget was, she guessed what had happened and said do you want a cup of tea? I must have said yes because I got one. She left and helped to put her own husband in his coffin
I was never asked to do this job again. I WONDER WHY ??

At school I was very interested in electricity and was usually top of the class for that subject. But when I was about 10 years old, my father took me to Flushing where my Uncle Bob who worked for the Shell Mex petrol company was repairing his car, it was a Morris Cowley, it had a side valve engine & the head was off, uncle gave me the valves one by one and I poked them into a piece of cardboard and wrote their number. This got me hooked on engines and I have worked on them ever since.

A high-light of my life at this tine was being taught to drive by a Mr Earnest Trisuider who came up from Mabe in Cornwall the same time as my father. It is interesting to note that this car had an ochkiss engine and a starter dynamo combined, which worked through a chain drive into the clutch housing. We always started it on the handle from cold. It also had magneto ignition. One day when my father was driving it back from Polbathic, he was blinded by the headlights of a car, coming towards him he crashed into the stone wall and almost ripped the side out. Of course the car belonged to his brother in-law Dad made a really good job of the repair and in the end Uncle Bob gave him the car, it was registered as PL 6243. We still had it long after the war. I do not know what became of it because

I had several jobs just prior to the war and lots more during the early part of the war. One was a steel erector working for the firm Redpath Brown who were building the HMS Raleigh and Fisguard. Another was as a carpenter working for the firm of Wimpy. I worked on the AA site near Millbrooke and the last job was at Radford Dip where they were building under ground storage tanks for aircraft fuel and fuel for the battle ships. While I was working there I trod on a nail and got a poisoned foot, by the way I had to cycle 6 miles each way every day. A Mr Lilliman who lived at Antony offered me a job as a drayman at Symonds brewery, this I accepted because it was just over the other side from Torpoint and I did not have to get up so early. Also it was more money. I made lots of friends and later became a driver once when I was going down to Fort Bovisand the steering broke and I went over the cliff, lorry and all but because of the way I had secured the load before leaving, it saved me and the lorry with its contents. Later on I had an up & down argument with the foreman and when the next time came for my (deferment) it was refused.