Irene and Bert (story)

This is taken from my early life in the 1950’s, witnessing domestic violence at first hand. Bert was my mother’s partner for part of my early childhood – and he was a practising sadist, as it turns out. Anyone who has seen a man and woman fighting might recognise “stiff arm dancing”.
Bread and jam remain a favourite snack; bed-wetting, thankfully, a thing of the past.

History notes: Workers’ Playtime was a popular radio programme which was broadcast on the BBC Home Service (now R4) and then the Light Programme (now R2) between 1941 and 1964. You might find a radiogram in a museum – it was a combined radio and gramophone deck inside a polished wood cabinet, and had pride of place where the TV now goes. Mantovani and his orchestra were the musical celebrities of my early years, before rock ‘n’ roll, and massively popular. Charmaine was a memorable hit in 1951.