The Diary of a Birmingham Schoolboy 1947–1953
Brian David Williams at King Edward’s School
Excerpts from other diaries:
Links to other Birmingham sites
The Diary for 1947–1953 runs to 250,000 words. It is a chronicle of my last seven years at school, of life at home in Acocks Green with Mam and Dad, and Clarice and Julia (my younger sisters), and Ginger our beloved greyhound.
It gives a vivid picture of everyday life at Hartfield Crescent Primary, King Edward’s Camp Hill, and then King Edward’s High School, with references to hundreds of boys (and the occasional girl!) from my schooldays; of the War, the bombing, rationing, visits of the Royal Family; daily and Sunday newspapers — some long since defunct.
It is a chronicle of radio programmes and personalities, films seen at suburban cinemas, the excitement of television; astronomy, bird-watching, nature study, pond life, seaside holidays, of long walks with Ginger (and later with girl friends) in roads and streets and countryside which no longer exist; of singing, music, theatre, church, the spiritual life. If it existed, I was interested in it, and especially in people.
There are copious references to cigarette cards, coins, foreign stamps, lead soldiers, Dinky Toys, children’s books and comics, Meccano Magazine, Boy’s Own Paper, Beano, Dandy, Rover, Wizard, Hotspur, Adventure, Eagle, Enid Blyton and earlier children’s writers; locomotives, buses, football matches, cricket, rugby, J.T.C., meetings with “famous” people.
You will also find hundreds of references to Birmingham City Football Club, whose exploits I follow with enthusiasm — and some anxiety — to this day. My boyhood heroes were Gilbert Merrick, Mahatma Gandhi, Field Marshal Montgomery, and Bishop Barnes — though not necessarily in that order!
The present Diary is backed up with an archive of family photographs, school reports, form lists, timetables, newspaper cuttings, picture postcards, maps etc. You may find it funny, painful, sad, occasionally poignant, mostly banal, but, I hope, always interesting — a picture of a world long since passed. I trust you will enjoy it.