NEW HORIZONS



In this chapter we look at Peter's increasing interest in music and his continuing obsession with his hero, Dan Dare.
A more sombre note is sounded when Peter  is subjected to serious sexual abuse by his cousin, and his cousin's 'boy-friend'.


PLEASE NOTE 
This chapter contains text which features 
explicit descritions of adult themes.



MORE IMAGES TO BE UPLOADED IN THE NEAR FUTURE

1950s CHRISTMAS

During the war (1939-1945) Christmas was very much 'on hold'.
For those were serving abroad, Christmas could be a very miserable affair.


Shepherd's Hotel - Cairo
For John Crawford, in Egypt, Christmas had plenty of alcholic cheer at Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo, but little of the atmosphere of an English Christmas.


Blitz
For Jane, it was a very much a series of 'Utility Christmases', as London limped along, first with the 'Blitz', and then later, with the VI's and VII's.
And, of course, rationing and shortages made Christmas very much a matter of 'make do and mend'.
When the war ended, however, things began to get back to normal.
Much to everyone's disappointment, though, rationing continued, with even bread (which had not been rationed during the war) being strictly rationed.
It was only in the early fifties that,  at last, things began to return to normal, and this included Christmas.
Even the relatively wealthy middle and upper-middle classes, however, didn't indulge in the uncontrolled extravagance that is now, in the twenty-first century, considered 'normal'.
This was partly because people could not obtain a Christmas on credit, as people do now, but was also because years of privation had tempered people's appetites.
With sales of alcohol a tiny fraction, nationwide, compared to now, most people had a relatively 'sober' Christmas.
In addition, preparations for Christmas only began in the second half of December, and most Christmas shopping took place on the last few days before Christmas Day, with much of it centering on Christmas Eve.
There was also a strong religious element to Christmas celebrations, with large attendances at Anglican and Catholic Churches for Midnight Mass, and Christmas Morning Services.

TOYS


Hamleys
Baker Street
For Pete, Christmas began in early December with a number of trips to Poulton's 'Toy Shop'.
'Poultons' was an old established shop, situated where Hounslow Broadway and Hounslow high Street met - and it was very close to where Pete lived.
Of course such 'toy shops', it seems, no longer exist in the average high street, but in the 1950s practically every high street had at least one shop dedicated to selling toys.
Although the trips to Poultons were supposedly to buy one or two of 'Britain's' toy soldiers, in reality Jane was checking to see which toys Pete was really interested in.
The 'W. Britain' brand name of toy and collectable soldiers is derived from a company founded by William Britain Jr., a British toy manufacturer, who in 1893 invented the process of hollow casting in lead, and revolutionized the production of toy soldiers. The company quickly became the industry leader, and was imitated by many other companies. The style and scale of Britain's figures became the industry standard for toy soldiers for many years. In 1907 the family proprietorship, William Britain & Sons, incorporated as 'Britains, Ltd'. The Britain family controlled the firm until 1984. In the 1950s, besides soldiers, a variety of vehicles began to appear, mostly in the military field. 
In addition, there would be at least one trip to Baker Street, and then to the shops in Oxford Street - Selfridges, in Oxford Street and, of course,  Hamley's in Regent's 


Selfridges
Street, to further determine the toys that Peter might like.  
Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and one of the world's best-known retailers of toys. Founded by William Hamley as "Noahs Ark" in High Holborn, London, in 1760, it moved to its current site on Regent Street in 1881. This flagship store is set over seven floors, with more than 50,000 toys on sale. In 1938, Queen Mary, consort of King George V, gave Hamleys a royal warrant.[3] During the Second World War, the Regent Street store was bombed five times. In 1955, Queen Elizabeth II gave the company a second royal warrant as a 'toys and sports merchant'.
Later, of course, unknown to Pete, Jane and John would make their own trip to buy the toys that Peter wanted.


'Cussons' Talcum Powder
On Christmas Eve, while Jane got on with preparing the Christmas meal, John would take Peter to the carol singing outside Murfits, (a now long gone department store), on the Broadway, and then to Boots the Chemist (nothing like today's self service stores), and Pete would be given a special Christmas allowance that he was expected to spend on a present for Jane - which was usually some 'Yardley' or 'Cussons' soap and talcum powder.
With the sound of Carols under the Christmas tree in the high street, and the briliantly lit shops, with their sparkling displays of Christmas goods, Christmas Eve was always a magical time for Pete.


Christmas Turkey
And, of course, there would be meetings with neighbours, and friendly shopkeepers, because in the early fifties everyone (or almost everyone) knew one another (and many, of course, had been together through the dangers and privations of the war).
John would also buy the Christmas turkey.
Turkeys, in the early fifties, were more popular than chicken because, surprisingly, chicken was extremely expensive.
And the turkey was not frozen, but hanging, half plucked, from the outside of the butcher's shop, which had sawdust on the floor.

'GOT NO WORRIES - GOT NO CARES!'

Triang Mimic Clockwork Sherman Tank
The Christmas Tree
note the Art Deco fireplace
The Christmas of 1953 was, for 'our Peter', just as wonderful as all his previous Christmases at 55 Pears Road had been.
The important Christmas toy of that year was a large, clockwork Triang Mimic Sherman tank.
Not only could it roll over numerous obstacles on its caterpillar tracks, while the turret turned from side to side, but it also emitted puffs of white 'smoke' from the gun barrel, as if it were firing shells.
Now Pete had already had his Coronation Coach, and many new toy soldiers, but Peter was 'spoilt', so there were even more soldiers, and also a rifle and a couple of pistols.

And of course there was the inevitable 'Eagle Annual' (see left), featuring Dan Dare.
Despite the 'visitors', Pete was still completely 'taken with' Dan Dare.

For some reason, it seems, Pete had never connected up the 'visitors' with the aliens and the adventures of Dan Dare.
It was as if he somehow realized that the 'visitors' (see right) were of another realm, but not the world of 2000 inhabited by Dan Dare.
For a start Pete was smart enough to understand that the 'visitors' were 'real' in a way that Dan Dare and the 'Treens' and Venusians could not possibly be.
Dan Dare, and all the characters of his adventures, always stayed firmly on the comic page, although they lived very fully in Pete's imagination, while the 'visitors' could be seen as solid, could be felt and heard, and Peter would feel the cold wind against his skin as he was swept out of the bedroom window and taken to that other place for a strange meeting.

PETE'S CHRISTMAS
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
By the Christmas 1953 Pete had got through Dan's first, unnamed adventure, and he had also worked his way through the 'Red Moon Mystery' and 'Marooned on Mercury'.
1953 had opened with 'Operation Saturn' (see right) which would turn out to be a long story, and one that would have some considerable significance for Pete, as we shall see later.
Space was not the only thing that interested Pete, and by this stage in his life, Peter was becoming quite interested in music.
There was, however, very little music on television, and it was on the radio that Pete heard most music.
'In a Golden Coach' was a rather sentimental song about the Coronation, but regardless of its rather syrupy melody it managed to get into the 'top ten' records.

IN A GOLDEN COACH

'In a golden coach, there's a heart of gold
Driving through old London town
With the sweetest Queen the world's ever seen
Wearing her golden crown.

As she drives in state through the palace gate
Her beauty the whole world will see
In a golden coach there's a heart of gold
That belongs to you and me.'

More significantly, 1953 was the year that Walt Disney's cartoon version of 'Peter Pan' was released.
Now Pete didn't see the film until just before Christmas.
Musically, however, 'Peter Pan' was significant because of two songs, 'You can Fly', and 'The Second Star to the Right'.
Pete didn't like the song 'You can Fly' very much – despite the fact that he could !
But 'The Second Star to the Right' he 'fell in love with', and he would often drift off to sleep humming the gentle melody, which always reminded him of the star-spangled night sky that he knew so well.
One particularly annoying song was, 'How much is that Doggy in the Window', and Pete, who didn't like the song at all, was forced to sing it, along with many of the other local children, at a special Coronation Concert given at the Old School Hall.
At the same concert Pete, and the other children, also sung 'Me and my Teddy Bear', by Jack Winters.
Teddy
For this song each child had to cuddle their own teddy bear, so Pete's bear, called Teddy, was provided with a beautiful matching jacket and trousers, carefully made by Jane.
And the colour ? 
Well, as Jane had made the little 'teddy-suit' it was, of course, green tartan.
That year was also the year when one of Pete's favourite songs, 'You belong to Me', was published.
Now Pete, of course, didn't really 'belong' to anybody, (that was the big problem) so perhaps that was why, perversely, he was so fond of the song.
But there was another reason, however.

The song began with the words -


'See the pyramid along the Nile,
Watch the sunrise on a tropic isle,
Just remember darling all the while -
You belong to me.

See the marketplace in old Algiers,
Send me photographs and souvenirs,
But remember when a dream appears -
You belong to me -'


'YOU BELONG TO ME'
(Pee Wee King, Chilton Price, and Redd Stewart)

The melody, for Peter, had an aching wistfulness, and always it made him think of the mysterious East – with the Nile and 'old Algiers'.

For Peter, of course, the 'mysterious East' was ever present, as the house where he lived was littered with mementoes of the Middle East, and particularly Egypt.
There was the 'Syrian Crucifix', the New Testament from Jerusalem, (see left) Arab daggers, (see right) handbags and wallets of camel leather, and endless photos and pictures.
And of course, eventually Peter would 'see the pyramids along the Nile', although, despite that, he would never really belong to anybody – and perhaps in a way, like that other Peter  who never grew up, our Peter never really did want to 'belong' to anybody.
After all, to 'always be a boy and have fun', you must be free !
Alone, maybe, but free.

Nineteen fifty-four would be a significant year for Peter.
This was the year when popular culture began to change, although it would be some time before Peter felt those effects directly.

In that year an American song was released called 'Rock Around the Clock' (see right), which was performed by Bill Haley (see left) and the Comets.
Now by later standards, Bill Haley was not a particularly revolutionary figure, being a little chubby, and considerably older than his adoring fans. Even his music, although unusual at the time by the traditional standards of 'Tin Pan Alley', was not particularly revolutionary - but it was, in England, the beginning of 'Rock and Roll', and the teenage sub-culture.

Not surprisingly, many older people of a conservative persuasion saw 'Rock and Roll' as a disruptive force that was expected to subvert traditional values.
It is therefore somewhat surprising to note that the East German Communist Government considered 'Rock and Roll' to be part of a Western plot to undermine Communism ! - or perhaps in some strange way Left wing Communism is as traditional as the Right.
Rather more significant to most people, and particularly the older generation, was the final abolition of rationing.

Finally, nine years after the end of the war, people could go to the shops and buy whatever they could afford without the government restricting or controlling the quantity or quality of their purchases.
It is perhaps difficult, in retrospect to understand the sense of liberation and freedom that this change brought to the average person, and it was undoubtedly a factor in maintaining the Conservative Party in power, despite the fact that their management of the economy would have long term effects that would bring many problems to the country.

The last form of rationing to disappear was the Sweet Ration, which was welcomed by children everywhere, including our Peter, who had a penchant for Kit-Kats, Penguin Biscuits and Fry's Cream Bars (Peter's favourite - see right).
For Peter, however, things went on very much as before.
He continued to 'plod along' at school, an amenable, but rather dull pupil as far as his teachers were concerned.

DAN DARE
Dan Dare (see left), the space hero of the 'Eagle' comic, continued to preoccupy and fascinate Peter, and for the Christmas of 1954 he had managed to nag Jane and John into buying him a 'Space Station Communications Centre' (see right), which was one of the most elaborate and expensive of the Dan Dare spin-offs that were then flooding the toy shops.


In many ways, although, the Dan Dare serial was set in the then distant future, - the year 2000 - Dan Dare was very much a child of its times.
The central character, of course, who had been invented by Frank Hampson, the comic's artistic director, was Colonel Dan McGregor Dare - Chief Test Pilot for the Space Fleet.

Originally Colonel Dare was to have been a 'space padre' (see left), in deference to the Rev Morris.
It soon became clear, even before the first publication, that this was not only an impractical character to be the mainstay of the comic, but it was also highly unlikely that boys, to whom the comic was aimed, would be able to identify with such an improbable character.
Colonel Dare (see right), now minus the 'dog-collar', was supposedly born in Manchester in 1967, and he attended Rossal School (see right), eventually becoming School Captain, (as our Peter did), and later went to Trinity College Cambridge.
His hobbies were listed as cricket, fencing, riding, painting and model making.
In the 1950s, of course, any boy or man worth his salt was expected to have a number of worthwhile and improving hobbies.

His side-kick was a very different individual.
Albert Fitzwilliam Digby (see right) was short and fat, unlike the tall, athletic Dan. Digby was Dan's 'bat-man'.
He was born in Wigan in 1960, and had been brought up by his aunt Anastasia.
Unlike the other characters, Digby was married with four children, Frances, Albert, Mary and Anna.
He was only described as having two hobbies; football and sleeping, but then Digby was a stereotypical working-class northerner.

Dan's boss was Sir Hubert Guest (see left), (modelled, in appearance, on Frank Hampson's father, 'Pop'), and was the 'upper class' commander of the Space Fleet, who was supposedly born in 1943.
Grey haired and distinguished, with a neatly clipped RAF style moustache, Sir Hubert was undoubtedly Dan's father figure.
Sir Hubert was one of the initiators of interplanetary flight, opening up routes to the Moon and  Mars with Dan's father.
There was only one female in the Dan Dare series, and that was Professor Jocelyn Peabody (see right), (who was based on Greta Tomlinson - one of Hampson's artists).
Miss Peabody was young, slim and very attractive, as well as being very intellectual - well she was a professor and a qualified space pilot !
Strangely, none of the men, Dan, Hank - an American, Pierre - a Frenchman, or Lex O'Mally - an Irish naval commander, took the slightest romantic interest in her, and always treated her a just 'one of the boys'.

And speaking of boys, there was one boy in the team - Christopher Philip Spry (see left).
Christopher Spry was born in Middlesex, but no date was ever given.
In the stories he appears to be about thirteen or fourteen.
Christopher; always known as 'Flamer', first appeared in the 'Eagle' on 28th May, 1954, when Pete was about eight years old.
Of course, Hampson was quite clever in introducing a character into the stories who was relatively close to the reader's' own age, and with whom the reader could easily identify.
'Flamer' himself was based on Hampson's son, Peter - another coincidence of names which take us back to Barrie's eponymous hero.

Just as Hampson thought of himself as Dare, and thought of his father 'Pops' (see left) as Sir Hubert, so Peter Hampson (see right) became the inspiration and literally the model - in the sense of artist's model - for 'Flamer' Spry.
Now there were some strange similarities between Flamer Spry (see right), our Peter and the other Peter - that is Peter Pan, - but we will need to supply some background information for those readers who are not familiar with the Dan Dare stories, in order to make these similarities clearer.
'Flamer' first appears in the Eagle in a story called 'Lost in Space', when he accidentally launches a spaceship containing himself, another, slightly older boy called Steve Valiant, (both are cadets at the Astral College), and an old mechanic called 'Groupie'.
The trio are captured by the Mekon, (Dan's arch-enemy), but eventually all turns out well, as it inevitably must.
What is strange is that, although Sir Hubert Guest is distraught at the thought of the two cadets being 'lost in space', no mention is made of any actions to contact the boys' parents or relatives.
As already stated, everything turns out fine in the end, and in subsequent stories Steve Valiant disappears from the scene.
In 'The Man from Nowhere', Flamer appears in the opening scenes, where he is attending a gala reception at the Venusian Embassy in London, along with Steve Valiant, Dan, Digby and Sir Hubert (see right).
He then disappears, during the initial flap, when an alien spaceship suddenly appears in earth orbit.
After the spaceship crashes into the Pacific, Flamer, on the insistence of Commander Lex O'Mally, accompanies Dan and Digby on an underwater rescue mission in the Tuscarora Deep.
He then disappears from the story again while the alien survivors, the Crypts led by Lero, who have come to Earth seeking help in their fight against the Phants, are rescued.
The story then continues as the 'Terra Nova' trilogy, which is the point where Frank Hampson, and Flamer leave the Dan Dare saga.
Now granting that Flamer Spry is just an imaginary character in a boys' comic, there are still aspects about this young man that impinge on Pete's story.
Firstly, like Pete, Flamer's origins are completely unknown.

He is given no date of birth, unlike all the other characters, and all we know is that 'Flamer' was born in Middlesex, which strangely enough is where Peter lived.
Equally, we do not know if 'Flamer' had any brothers or sisters, or even who his parents were.

Peter and Flamer Spry on Phantos
© Copyright Zac Sawyer 2014
for more of the Art of Zac go to
theartofzac.blogspot.com
Was he an orphan, like Peter ? - certainly there were no parents worried and grieving when 'Flamer' is captured by the evil Mekon, or any parents to raise any objections when Sir Hubert decided to allow the boy off on long and dangerous missions out into the unknown (see left), or parents to consult when Dan decided to take the boy on a holiday to Venus.
Names are strange things, and are often involved in inexplicable co-incidences.
'Flamer's' first name was Christopher, and as we shall see there was, later on, a very important person called Christopher in Peter's life.
But also 'Flamer' was based on Peter Hampson, Frank Hampson's young son, and so he shared a name with our Peter, and, looking further back, with Peter Pan.
And like Peter Pan, 'Flamer' never grew up.

Flamer Spry on Phantos
© Copyright Zac Sawyer 2014
for more of the Art of Zac go to
theartofzac.blogspot.com




Dan and 'Flamer' - Operation Cryptos
When Flamer first appeared in the Eagle, in 'Prisoners of Space', he was about thirteen or fourteen, and that was in 1954. In 1960, at the end of 'Terra Nova', when he should have been twenty, he was still thirteen or fourteen !
And of course, Flamer is still a teenager now - and always will be - still fourteen, and following his hero, Dan, through the endless reaches of outer space to the glittering stars, - so Pan lives on in yet another boy - and another story !
From the Eagle comic serial 'The Rogue Planet' - originally illustrated by Frank Hampson Christopher 'Flamer' Spry was supposedly based on the artist's son, Peter Hampson, but bears no resemblance to him. 'Flamer' was what Frank called a 'mind drawing'. Unlike Commander Lex O'Mally, who was also drawn from imagination, and was very realistily and convincingly represented, 'Flamer' was far less successful - So here is 'Flamer', as he really was (or should we say is - as he is still 14, and on trips in space with Colonel Dan) - and we know this to be correct because 'Little Peter' was with 'Flamer' during Operation Crypt.ace with Colonel Dan) - and we know this to be correct because 'Little Peter' was with 'Flamer' during Operation Crypt.
So 1954 was the year that Christopher (Flamer) Spry came into Pete's life.
And now, thanks to computer graphics, we have an image of how Peter remembers 'Flamer' to have really been - not just a comic drawing - but a real boy.


MORE MUSIC

It was also the year that Pete watched one of the first 'soaps', as they were later to be called, that appeared on British television.

This was six part 'Teckman Biography' by Francis Durbridge (see left) - creator of Paul Temple (see right); a series that is now of course almost completely forgotten.
The plot involved an author who was commissioned to write the biography of a dead airman, but subsequently found that the dead man was very much alive while, as a result, the author's own life was in danger.
Now Pete didn't really understand anything of the plot, but he was captivated by the sophistication of the characters, and the elegant life-style that they led.

More particularly he was enchanted by the theme music, which was called "The Shadow Waltz", and was written by Clive Richardson (see right), under the pseudonym of Paul Dubois - those were the days when it was considered sophisticated and sheik to be French.
This swirling, mysterious waltz endlessly whirled round in Peter's thoughts in those years, summing up for him the mystery and romance of a sophisticated, adult world that part of him longed to enjoy.



'The Shadow Waltz'
Clive Richardson - Paul Dubois

Despite the fact that television had become an important part of many people's lives, radio was still extremely popular.

Jane regularly listened to 'the Archers' (see left), although Peter didn't have a clue as to what it was about.

All the dialogue in that particular radio 'soap' however, seemed to him very much like the endless and pointless conversations that he was forced to endure when he was taken out by Jane and she met, and started chatting, to a neighbour or friend.

More to Peter's liking was 'the Goon Show' (see right), although much of the humour went 'straight over his head'.

Peter also enjoyed 'Family Favourites' (see left).
The programme started during the war as 'Forces Favourites', and was presented by Jean Metcalfe, along with Marjorie Anderson, Joan Griffiths and Barbara McFadyean. After the war, the BBC reintroduced the programme as 'Family Favourites'.
A special edition, Two-Way Family Favourites, linked service personnel abroad with their families at home, and from 1947 Jean Metcalfe, who later married Cliff Michelmore, was the announcer at the London end.
Much of the music played on this programme was what is now described as 'middle of the road' popular music, very similar in form and content to wartime 'hits'.
Usually the programme ended with a popular classical piece, and so the programme moulded Peter's musical taste early on.
Family Favourites always had a special place in Peter's thoughts - for him it was always associated with weekends, and the huge roast lunch that Jane would always prepare for Saturday and Sunday.

BRITANNIA

1954 was the year of the Royal Commonwealth Tour.

After all the excitement had died down after the Coronation, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were required to show themselves to the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth was rather more important in the nineteen-fifties than it was in later decades, as memories of Empire had not yet faded.
Strangely, at this time 'Empire Day' was still celebrated in Britain, and at school it was the one day when pupils were allowed to wear 'para-military' uniform, such as the uniforms of the Scouts, Boy's brigade, Army cadets, St John's Ambulance etc.
At Peter's school the Commonwealth Tour was the subject of many lessons and projects, and Peter's class set to work to build what seemed to be a huge cardboard replica of the Royal Yacht Britannia, which sailed majestically along the broad window sill of the airy, well-lit classroom.



THE VISITORS - AGAIN

By now the 'visitors' had been gone for some time.
Peter just seemed to accept this fact, and life seemed to go on as usual.
There might, however, have been a reason for their sudden and unexpected appearance in Peter's life at that particular time.
Although Peter had never been able to remember what the friendly young man had talked to him about, those meetings presumably had some purpose, significance and meaning.




Now Jacques Vallee (see right), John Keel (see left) and Whitely Streiber have all maintained that the 'visitors' know practically everything about us, and our species.
They seem to be able to read our minds, and they know about our past.
In addition, they seem to know something of our future – and just in case you start thinking that the future is un-knowable, you should possibly consider Stephen Hawking's latest thoughts on that matter.
So perhaps the 'visitors' had some knowledge or premonition of something that was going to happen to our Peter in the near future, and in some way wanted to prepare him for it, or at least make it more bearable – for something did happen in 1954, that would have many profound repercussions for Peter for the rest of his life.


THE SPRING OF '54

Despite the mystery of the 'visitors', School went on as usual.
By this time Peter was not spending so much time with the girls - Linda, Sylvia, Janet and Susan (see left).
He still saw them regularly at school (see right), but as he was now getting older he was tending to spend most of his time with other boys in his class, and in particular with David and John.

Much of their time was spent playing in Inwood Park (see left) which, strangely, was the place where the owls (see right) had originally come from - the owls that had sat on Peter's bedroom window sill, and had metamorphosed into the 'visitors'.
The main game that the boys played in the park was cowboys and Indians.

These games were mainly fuelled by a popular film called 'The Battle of Powder River' 1951 (see left) (originally called Tomohawk in the US), featuring fighting between the Cheyenne and the US Cavalry.
So school and play continued until the Easter holidays, and then things happened.
Because Jane and John had made a number of visits to the family in Newcastle, some of the family had decided to come to London for an Easter break.

As has already been explained, Jane had a brother, Richard Walker, who had married Gladys (see left).
They had two boys; Richard, always called Ritchie, and Norman, who had originally been called 'Norma' because Gladys had very much wanted her second child to be a girl.
This, of course, was not good news for Norman, and as a result of being brought up as a girl in his early years, he developed as an extremely effeminate boy.
In 1954 Norman was seventeen, and by then he had a boyfriend.
Now it is not unusual for boys to have a best friend at such an age, but Norman's boyfriend, Jackie, really was a boyfriend, in the sense of 'boyfriend and girlfriend'.

At the beginning of Spring, Richard & Gladys came on a visit to Pears Road, bringing Norman with them.
By this time Ritchie, the eldest son, was abroad, serving in the Royal Navy.
After a long weekend of 'sight-seeing' in London, the Richard and Gladys then returned to Newcastle, after having arranged that Norman and his friend Jackie would travel down in a few days for a further visit.
Now possibly Jane didn't realize what Norman was like, as she was quite innocent in many respects, regardless of her 'escapade' during the war, but John had made it quite clear to Peter a couple of years previously, when visiting the Walkers in Newcastle, that he thought that Norman was a 'pansy'.
So, it was rather strange that the two young men were allowed to come to Hounslow for their Easter break.
Of course they didn't stay at the local hotel, but instead they stayed at Pears Road, and were allowed sleep together on the sofa that could be converted into a double bed, that was situated in the drawing-room.

Now Norman was pale and skinny and, of course, effeminate, although by the time he was seventeen he had learned to hide it quite well.
Jackie, on the other hand was suntanned, with jet-black hair, (like Peter), and was slim rather than skinny, with a well proportioned physique. He was remarkably good-looking, unlike Norman, and had a winning, boyish smile. The problem was, as we shall see later, that Peter liked Jackie, whereas he didn't really like his 'cousin' Norman.
Norman, however, did his best to befriend Peter, and Peter, who was a polite boy who didn't want to make any trouble, did he best to be friendly to Norman.
When they returned to the house, after the trip to Inwood park, Norman and Jackie would usually take Peter into the drawing-room which, for the duration of the holiday, was their room, and there they would let Pete play - sometimes with his soldiers, and sometimes with other toys, and because it was so hot Peter usually didn't bother getting changed after being in the pool.
Usually Norman and Jackie would join in Peter's games, helping him arrange the soldiers, or setting up his Triang train set.
Occasionally they would also have games as cowboys and Indians ( political correctness now requires they be called 'Native Americans').

This was an interest that Peter had developed after reading the new series in the Eagle called 'Riders of the Range'.
'Riders of the Range', written by Charles Chilton, was drawn by Frank Humphris. Humphris was nearly as good an artist as Frank Hampson, and his drawings for 'Riders of the Range' were exceptionally well researched and detailed.
His depictions of 'Plains Indians' were particularly accurate, and despite the fact that the comic strip was aimed at young boys, Humphris, for reasons probably best known to himself, always depicted the muscular Indian braves in states of almost complete nudity.
Well the two boys took advantage of Peter's interest in Indian fights, and used this to sexually abuse their young cousin.
As a result, Norman and Jackie had had their bit of 'fun', and yet were safe - after threatening Peter with dire consequences if he told his parents.

And so when Jane returned from work nothing was said, and nothing needed to be said as there was no sign that anything untoward had happened.
The venerable Dr Sigmund Freud had an early stage in his career considered such abuse as being widespread, and had come to this conclusion based on the recollections of his neurotic patients.
Later, and in particular considering that most of these instances had occurred within respectable, middle-class families, Freud had concluded that he was mistaken, and proposed that such recollections were well-meaning fantasies concocted by his patients.
This view continued to hold for some considerable time after Freud's death.
Subsequent research,however, has shown that such sexual abuse is in fact widespread, and is particularly prone to occur within families.
It is now considered that an abused child, almost by definition, will know and probably be related to his abuser.
There are, however, many problems related to childhood sexual abuse.
While it is wrong to suggest that an abuser can in any way justify their behaviour, the is often a series of events that make the occurrence of abuse more likely, and we can give example from Peter's case to show this.
Firstly, Norman and Jackie were entrusted with Peter's care, and were not supervised in any way whilst giving this care.
The two boys, in fact, had unhindered, uninterrupted and private access to Peter for about four hours on a daily basis.
Often those who are abused feel guilty, in that they were either responsible in some way for the abuse, or enjoyed the abuse to some extent.
In Peter's case he was an attractive, cute young boy, who was in the habit of roaming about with very little clothing on, in fact he often spent hot summer day wearing only swimming trunks and plimsolls, as we have seen.

This was the custom with other boys that lived in the same area, but to Norman and Jackie, who came from a more 'straight-laced' and working class environment, in the North of England, such behaviour could be taken as provocative.
In addition Peter was complicit in proposing games involving Cowboys and Indians, and in showing Jackie and Norman pictures in his comics which could have been considered to be quite sexually arousing for young men of Jackie and Norman's orientation.
Equally, by not disclosing to Jane and John, or any other responsible adult, what had happened, Peter seemed in some way to be complicit events, although his silence appears to have been the result of fear of exposure or physical violence.
The other problem that many abused individuals also face is that Peter like and was attracted to one of his abusers, that person being Jackie. Even after the abuse Peter continued to look up to Jackie and see him as an idealized masculine role model, despite Jackie's sexual inclinations.
Sexual abuse obviously has serious repercussions for children.
To begin with it disrupts the faith that children have in adults. Children need adults to sustain them, care for them and protect them. When a child is abused, the child realises that he can no longer make this simple assumption, and comes to believe that in some vitally important areas he is essentially alone, and has to fend for himself with the meagre resources that he has available to him as an immature child.
At its deepest level this involves a basic undermining of the child's sense of what psychiatrists call 'ontological security' - the ultimate sense of safety that a person has - the sense that all is basically well.
This sense of ontological security is essential for a child's normal development, and in Peter's case this basic sense of security had almost certainly been radically undermined by his experiences before his adoption.
As we have seen, Peter had managed to hide the effects of his early traumas, although it had cost him a great deal of effort.
The events of Easter of 1954, however, put an even greater strain on him, and the results seemed to be evident in some quite profound changes in his personality. 
The sexual abuse of children has other unfortunate effects on the child in question, and one of the most serious of these is the fact that the child's psyche is opened up to sexual experiences and emotions that are not appropriate to the child's age and level of psychological development. 
In Peter's case is is also important to take into account the times in which he lived.
In the 1950s there was practically no sexually explicit material available to adults, let alone children. There was not internet, no sexually explicit DVD, no references to sexuality on television of the radio, and even sexually explicit magazines were very difficult to obtain even for adults. Equally the relatively middle-class surrounding in which Peter was brought up meant that there was particularly no discussion of, or reference to sexual matter by adults or even children.
As a result of living in such a milieu, Peter had very little awareness of sexual matters.
Of course all of this changed as a result of his experiences that Summer in 1954.
From then on, as we shall see, many things that had previously had a neutral effect on Peter now became sexually charged in a way that was completely inappropriate for a child of his age, and this would place Peter in a position which would further alienate him from most of those people with whom he was involved.

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CHAPTER 6



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