The end of the war was imminent and at school our teacher, Mrs Steel, was like a cat on a hot tin roof. In and out of the classroom as she went to listen to the wireless in the staffroom. Finally she came in and wore what Mrs Steel never wore, a huge smile. Yelling at the top of her voice she informed us the war was over. This was on 7th May. She produced a tin box from which every child was given one shilling. Our celebrations were nothing compared with those of the seniors upstairs. (Perhaps they had received 2 bob). Anyway, suddenly the ceiling collapsed and a huge chunk of plaster fell into the area in front of us kids. Fortunately no one was hurt and the celebrations continued until we were sent home.
The next day May 8th was a public holiday with no school. Those things for which I had yearned and was promised I would get when the war ended didn't magically materialise. When I arrived home there was no bike and the chocolate machine in the bus station still didn't work. However, out of nowhere we had a street party with lots of home made goodies. Tables had been set up on the footpath of our street. An accordion played and a jolly time was had by parents as much as by children which made us all happy. Pity about the bike and the chocolate machine - sort of spoiled it all and made the war rather pointless.
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