‘I got stationed to Berlin. The west of it. Nineteen forty eight. Christ, what a mess. It was the Russians, see? They came in. They looked at the map, at their bit. They thought Right – that’s got to go, and that, and that. Flattened the lot. Drew a ring around the rest, nothing in or out without their say so. We had to fly supplies in. Or come in on a train – which of course the Russians stopped, and searched, front to back. They were young, a lot of them Russians. boys really. They would look at you – stare at you – like this… not say a word. But we was all cockney boys. We were just the same. We stared right back at them – like this…. So it went on. Funny, really. The Fusiliers. Fantastic.
‘When I came back, I got a job working the railways, but then Margaret Thatcher came along and that was that. The only job I could get then was at the Coroners. People thought I was a policeman, with the black suit and everything, but no – I was a glorified usher, I suppose. I met a lot of famous people. (…) came up to me and said “I must say you’re looking good after that fight” and I said “What d’ya mean? What fight?” and he said “That fight. You’re whatsisname aren’t you? What you doing here, anyway? I didn’t know you knew (…)” And I realised he thought I was (…)
‘My wife met a lot of famous people when she was younger, you know. That’s her in the photo. What a looker. She was an usherette at the Academy. All the famous film stars would come in for the first night and what have you, and she’d be the one who’d hop on stage and give them a bunch of flowers. Oh yes. She met them all.
‘Sixty years we’ve been married. Well, this year – sixty years. One child, Peter, but he’s gone now. We could only have the one, you see.
‘And of course, since she got ill, it’s been difficult. For both of us. You know, she’s been stuck in this flat six years. Six years. Not even down the stairs for some bingo. It’s her nerves, mostly. She gets all het up, it’s a job to know what to do. Things play on her mind, especially at night. When she’s reading the paper or watching the telly, she’s all right. But when she’s finished doing that, she just kind of sits and stews. But you do your best – what else can you do? It’s difficult, though. No question about it.