'In this chapter the world opens up even more for 'our Peter' - as Jane liked to call Pete, and things start to get very strange indeed.
New friends and new and remarkable places mark a turning point in Pete's life'

This chapter is entitled 'Distant Shores' - but they were only 'distant' as far as Pete was concerned.
By today's' standards a 'hop' across the Channel is nothing !

As the late fifties dawned the world changed for young Pete.
There were new interests, new friends, and new places - and the new places, being far away (at least for Pete), brought with them new culture, new foods, strange languages, new music and the beginnings of an understanding of history. 


At this time Pete was still extremely interested in all things American.
In addition he had developed an interest in aircraft, which is not surprising since he lived so close to London (now called Heathrow) Airport.
Airfix Spitfire Instructions
Airfix Spitfire Model
John Crawford, in his spare time was avid model maker, (in the 1950s grown men were not ashamed to have hobbies), making model sailing ships, both in wood, and the newly developed plastic construction kits - mainly produced by Airfix.
Close to home, next to Poultons Toy Shop, on Hounslow Broadway, was a model shop where John bought his models, and as Peter grew older and more capable, he would occasionally buy Pete a simple Airfix model.
The first model that Pete made, with some help from John, was an Airfix Supermarine Spitfire.

Chrysler Limosine
Cadillac Eldorado
'Planes and ships were all very well, but Pete was still obsessed with America, and in particular American cars.
When Revell started selling construction kits featuring American cars, Peter pestered John until he got two of the finest Revell models.
The first was a model of a Chrysler limousine, and the second was a truly fabulous Cadillac Eldorado.
What Pete really liked about these models were the tinted windows and the real chrome fittings - and little did Peter know that one day he would actually own a Cadillac.

Airfix is a UK manufacturer of plastic scale model kits of aircraft and other subjects. In Britain, the name Airfix is synonymous with the hobby, a model of this type is often referred to as "an airfix kit" even if made by another manufacturer. The name Airfix was selected to be the first alphabetically in any toy catalogue. In 1954, Woolworth suggested to Airfix that they produce a model kit of  Drake's Golden Hind. The kit would be made in polystyrene plastic. In order to meet Woolworth's retail price of 2 shillings, Airfix changed the packaging from a cardboard box to a plastic bag with a paper header which also included the instructions. It was a huge success and led the company to produce new kit designs. The first aircraft kit was released in 1955, a model of the Supermarine Spitfire, in 1/72 scale.

Revell was founded in 1943, as a plastics molding firm called Precision Specialties in Venice, California, in the United States by Lewis H. Glaser (1917–1972) and Jacque Fresco (1916 - ). One of the first toy related products were HO scale (1:87) train sets including locomotives, and a variety of cars along with buildings. In 1953, Revell introduced its first plastic molded kit, a replica of the battleship USS Missouri. Reportedly, their models of U.S. Navy warships were so accurate, that in 1960 it was discovered that the Kremlin had purchased a significant number of different models to help fill in blank spots in their intelligence regarding the design of American warships. In the later 1950s, Revell began making automotive related models.


Bulstrode School - Hounslow - 1950s
1957 was an important year for Pete as he was to move to a new school.
Now John Crawford had very definite ideas about schooling.
The first thing he wanted was for Pete to be educated in a 'single sex' school.
This, of course, was not really a problem in the late 1950s.
Any senior school with any reputation would be a 'single sex' school.
John also expected a high academic standard, with a pathway to GCE (General Certificate of Education) examinations, and firm discipline, combined with a strong emphasis on physical education.

L. Dennis - M. A.
Jane and John therefore had an interview arranged by their friend from Heston, Frank Tollman.
Frank had a friend called Leonard Dennis (M.A.), who was the headmaster of a local senior school.
Leonard Dennis was a Catholic, like Frank,  (although the school of which Leonard was headmaster was nominally C. of E.) and, more to the point, Leonard was an ex-army officer (Sherwood Forresters), like John (Army Intelligence) - which was just what John Crawford was looking for).
Frank, however, was RAF.

Sherwood Foresters Regiment
The Sherwood Foresters Regiment was formed during the 1881 Childers Reforms of the British Army. The 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot (raised in 1741) and the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot (raised in 1823) were re-designated as the 1st and 2nd battalions of The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment). The Derbyshire and Royal Sherwood Foresters Militias (militia and rifle volunteers) became the 3rd (Robin Hood Rifles) and 4th Battalions respectively. These were joined by the 1st and 2nd (Derbyshire) and the 3rd and 4th (Nottinghamshire) Volunteer Battalions. The Headquarters of the Regimental District was established at Derby.
In 1902, the Nottinghamshire association was made explicit, the name changing to The Sherwood Foresters (Nottingham and Derbyshire) Regiment. 

Leonard's degree was in history and classics, and his obsession was the local history of Middlesex, which was another point of contact that he had with John.
And so it was decided, - and that September, Pete began the second part of his scholastic career in a 'new', all boys school, with a headmaster, instead of a headmistress.
Now Pete knew about the school because 'Bunny' Warren, one of the choirboys at St. Stephen's Church, who was a year older than Pete, was a pupil there - and Pete did not like what 'Bunny' had to say about the school.
But John's mind was made up, and Pete knew that it was no use protesting.
He could get round Jane easily, but when John had made up his mind then it was no use arguing.
The next step was the school uniform.
There was a complete list provided detailing badge, cap, blazer, scarf, shirt, tie, shorts (first and second year boys were expected to wear shorts), socks, shoes, sports vest, sports shorts and swimming trunks.
The school colors were black and yellow (gold), (white was added some years later for the school scarf).
So Jane took Pete to be kitted out, and on a cold September morning he arrived in the playground, - very nervous and unnaturally smart.
Fortunately it was only a short walk from Pete's house to the school.
This new school was nothing like Pete's Junior School.
That school had been really new - ultra-modern, light and airy - like something out of the 'Festival of Britain', or 'Dan Dare'.
In contrast, Bulstrode was, to Pete's eyes at least, old and ponderous.
In fact it had only been built in the early 1930s, but it was in a classical style, with a formidable flight of stone steps leading to a tall arched and pedimented entrance.
Sculpted into the pediment, in bold relief was the school's coat of arms, (three scimitars under a Saxon crown) along with the motto - 'Finis Coronat Opus'.

Prefects in the Quadrangle
Kieth Ellwood
Pete didn't have a clue what the Latin motto meant, but he was soon to find out as the morning progressed.
Inside it had echoing corridors and dark stained wood paneling - and there were two quadrangles - but only the prefects could use these.
And, of course, 'prefects' were another novel feature of the school - Hounslow Town Junior had no prefects.
It was later in the morning that Pete, along with the other 'new boys' met Mr Ellwood.
Mr Ellwood had been an Army Officer, (Pete later learned).
He was tall, slim and very stern looking - and he was the music master.
And that was another thing.
At Hounslow Town there were 'teachers' and at Bulstrode there were 'masters'.
And so the morning was spent learning the 'School Song' - 'Inheritors' - words and music by Mr Piper - Mr Ellwoods predecessor.

It was a good introduction to the school - the song very forcefully expressed the school's ethos.
And singing it repeatedly for a whole morning made the 'new boys' learn the word without even realizing what was happening.
And just to make sure each boy was given a copy of the words to learn at home - and then be tested at the end of the week.
The only two people that Pete knew in his new school, apart from 'Bunny', were Kieth and John.
Pete saw very little of Kieth, but he became firm friends with John, however, there was a new custom to learn.
In this new schools nobody was called by their first name - only surnames were allowed.
The most intimidating thing about Pete's new school were the older boys, particularly the prefects.
In charge of the prefects was the School Captain and the Vice Captains.
The captain was called Gent (remember - only surnames), and to Peter's eyes he was a fully grown man, as tall and as broad as the Headmaster.



As the fifties progressed, Jane and John decided to 'spread their wings' - to use a phrase taken from the 'Eagle' comic.
The next trip was a trip to France !
The first part of this trip involved travelling to Lydd Airport in Kent.

Bristol Type 170 Freighter
Lydd Airport was the first airport built in the UK after the Second World War, in 1956. It was used initially for air ferry services, and was known as Lydd Ferryfield. The airlines operating at that time included Silver City Airways and British United Air Ferries (BUAF) – later becoming British United Airways, (BUA) – which flew Bristol Freighters, Super-freighters and Aviation Traders Carvair aircraft, the latter three types being used for transporting cars and their occupants across the English Channel. One common destination was Le Touquet.

Apart from his flight in a de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide, this was the first time that Pete had flown.
Unlike the Rapide, which was a bi-plane, the Silver City Airways, Bristol Type 170 Freighter was a relatively modern mono-plane, and the version that Pete flew in had first flown in 1946, and so it was probably the same age as Pete.
The flight was short - just a short hop across the English Channel.
The destination was  Aéroport de Calais - Dunkerque.
On landing there was the passport control, customs, and   the  Bureau de Change (to change sterling into Francs), as this was long before the tragedy of the European Union.
Then there was a drive to Calais.

Calais is a town and major ferry port in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture.

Coat of Arms of Calais
Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras. Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km (21 miles) wide here, and is the closest French town to England. The White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais.The old part of the town, Calais proper (known as Calais-Nord), is situated on an artificial island surrounded by canals and harbors. The modern part of the town, St-Pierre, lies to the south and southeast. In the center of the old town is the Place d'Armes, in which stands the former Hôtel-de-ville, now the town hall and police offices. The belfry belongs to the 16th and early 17th century. Close by is the Tour du Guet, or watch-tower, a structure dated to the 13th century which was used as a lighthouse until 1848 when a new lighthouse was built by the port. The church of Notre-Dame, built during the English occupancy of Calais, is arguably the only church built in the English perpendicular style in all of France. Today, Calais is visited by more than 10 million annually. Aside from being a key transport hub, Calais is also a notable fishing port and a center for fish marketing and some 3,000 people are still employed in the lace industry for which the town is also famed.

The first thing that Pete noticed about France,  as he entered a restaurant in Calais, was the smell - or perhaps we would say the 'aroma', for the smell was far from unpleasant.
It was a smell unique to the continent at that time, and probably no longer exists.

It was a heady mixture of freshly baked French bread, cheese, Gaulois Bleu, and vin de table.
Of course they were the days when people still had the option of damaging their health in restaurant and other public places.

Gauloises were short, wide, unfiltered and made with dark tobaccos from Syria and Turkey which produced a strong and distinctive aroma. George Orwell tells of how he "squandered two francs fifty on a packet of Gaulois Bleu" in his 1933 book 'Down and Out in Paris and London'.The brand was also linked to high-status and inspirational figures representing the worlds of art (e.g. Pablo Picasso) and the intellectual elite (e.g. Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Jean Baudrillard).
And there was a surprise for Pete - Jane could speak French - not wonderfully well, but good enough to ask directions, buy things in shops and order in restaurants.
This was the result of her rather 'upmarket' education in Edinburgh - supervised by 'great aunt' Sarah.
But it was only a day trip - so there was a race back to the airport to catch the return flight.
What Peter noticed, however, was that Jane and John, in France, were completely different from Jane and John in England.
Maybe it was the drinking - cognac for John and white wine for Jane.
French Clasp Knife
John became very relaxed, telling jokes to those French people who could speak English,  while Jane seemed to be 'flirting' with a handsome young waiter.
Before leaving Jane and John bought some postcards and souvenirs.
Pete saw a small clasp knife (lock blade knife - now illegal in the UK) with a Calais crest.
John saw him looking at it, and offered to buy it.
Pete was amazed - the last thing John would buy Pete in England was a knife, but here in France everything seemed different.

Now what Pete didn't know was that the day-trip to Calais was just a 'try-out' for a week's holiday in Paris.

Hotel George Cinq - Logo
Hotel George Cinq
Once again Jane John and Peter crossed the Channel on a Bristol Freighter, and then traveled down to Paris.
For this holiday Pete was to be introduced to the real 'high life', even if it was just for six days.
John had chosen the Hotel George Cinq (George V Hotel)  on the Avenue George V (31), just off the Champs-Élyséese  - one of the best hotels in Paris in the 1950s.
Pete had never seen anything like it - the sheer luxury and opulence overwhelmed him.
What was odd was that Jane and John seemed quite at home in the plush hotel with its grovelling staff.

Jane and John's Room - Hotel George Cinq
Hotel George Cinq - le Bar
And to add to the excitement Pete even had his own room - while Jane and John's room was positively palatial.
The meals Pete didn't really like.
The French cuisine was too rich, and obviously too 'foreign' for his palate.
When not sightseeing Jane and John spent a lot of time in the bar, chatting and reading. John would enjoy his cognac, while Jane would delicately sip her wine.
Pete would have either orangeade (French orangeade tasted nothing like English orangeade), or Cola.

The  Louvre
'Winged Victory of Samothrace'
Paris - France
For Pete this holiday was really the beginning of his appreciation of the arts.
One of the first places he was taken too was the Louvre museum.
Much of what was on display, particularly some of the paintings did not really appeal to Peter.
One thing that did make a strong impression on him, however, was the 'Winged Victory of Samothrace'.
It was not so much the sculpture that Pete like, but rather the setting and the lighting - and this was the beginning of Pete's 'love-affair' with classicism.



As if to enhance the continental feel of the year Pete saw a wonderful film at the 'Regal' in Hounslow,
Arrivederci Roma - Mario Lanza - 1958
'Seven Hills of Rome' in 'Technirama' told the story of Marc Revere, an American TV singer of Italian heritage who travels to Italy in search of his jet-setting fiancée, Carol Ralston, played by Peggie Castle.
Revere moves in with his comical and good hearted cousin Pepe Bonelli (Renato Rascel), a struggling artist who also befriends a beautiful young girl, Raffaella Marini (Marisa Allasio), whom Revere had met on a train.
Electric Radio-gram
The film starred Mario Lanza.
Now Lanza was the singer who featured on the 78s that Peter used to play on the Downing's super radio-gram - including selections from the 'Student Prince'.
The 'hit song' from 'Seven Hills of Rome' was 'Arrivederci Roma', performed in the Piazza Navona, (and recorded) with a young street urchin, Luisa Di Meo.
In typical Lanza fashion, the star had encountered the youngster while in Rome and insisted on her appearing in the film

'From the Earth to the Moon' - 1958
With Pete's continuing fascination with outer space, originating with the 'visitors', and constantly fed by weekly installments of 'Dan Dare' in the 'Eagle', another significant film was 'From the Earth to the Moon'.
This was a Technicolor science fiction film
It was an adaptation of the Jules Verne novel 'From the Earth to the Moon'.
It starred Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, Debra Paget, and Don Dubbins.

As a result of seeing '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea', Peter had also become fascinated by submarines, snorkeling and the underwater world.

'Run Silent, Run Deep' - 1958
The film 'Run Silent, Run Deep' therefore had a strong impact on him.
'Run Silent, Run Deep' is a novel published first in 1955 by then-Commander Edward L. Beach, Jr.
The name refers to "silent running", a submarine stealth tactic.
The 1958 film of the book starring, Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster (both playing very 'moody' characters, described World War II submarine warfare, and deals with themes of vengeance, endurance, courage, loyalty, and honor, and how these can be tested during time of war.
In addition to Gable and Lancaster playing the leads, the movie also features Jack Warden as well as the film debut of Don Rickles, and was directed by Robert Wise.

Cecil Hotel - Alexandria - Egypt
'Ice Cold in Alex' - 1958
When 'Ice Cold in Alex' appeared, John Crawford insisted on taking Pete to see the film.
John, of course, had spent considerable time in Alexandria, working in the Cecil Hotel, which had been taken over by the British Army 'for the duration'.
'Ice Cold in Alex' was a film based on the novel of the same name by British author Christopher Landon.
The film was directed by J. Lee Thompson and starred John Mills.
The film features Tobruk, the Qattara Depression and Alexandria (actually filmed in Tripoli, Lybia) - all locations well known to John Crawford
The film was a prizewinner at the 8th Berlin International Film Festival.
For Pete, however, the action was slow, and as he was unable to understand Mill's struggles with alcoholism, which was one of the main themes of the film.
Little did Pete know that later in life he was to visit Alexandria on a number of occasions.

SS Titanic - 'A Night to Remember'
As far as Pete was concerned 'A Night to Remember' was probably the best film of the year.
'A Night to Remember' was a 1958 British drama film adaptation of Walter Lord's book 'A Night to Remember' (1955), recounting the final night of the RMS Titanic.
Kenneth Moore

It was adapted by Eric Ambler, directed by Roy Ward Baker, and filmed in the United Kingdom.
The production team, supervised by producer William MacQuitty, used blueprints of the ship to create the sets accurately, while Titanic fourth officer Joseph Boxhall and ex-Cunard Commodore Harry Grattidge both worked as technical advisers on the film.
The film premièred in the United Kingdom on Tuesday 1 July 1958.
Among the many films about the Titanic, 'A Night to Remember' has long been regarded as a high point by Titanic historians, and survivors alike, for its accuracy, despite its modest production values when compared with the 1997 Oscar-winning film 'Titanic'.
Pete particularly enjoyed 'A Night to Remember' because it starred Kenneth Moore, one of Pete's favorite film actors.
(Oddly enough some of the scenes of the ship itself were 'lifted' from a German version of the 'Titanic' story, made during the period of the Third Reich)


Grundig TK 8
As for music, Pete had to rely on the radio, as there was no 'gramophone' (record player) in the house, although there was the Grundig tape recorder.
In keeping with the continental theme there was the Italian-American Dean Martin singing 'Volare

Dean Martin - Volare

"Nel blu dipinto di blu" (In the Blue, Painted Blue), popularly known as "Volare" ('To fly'), is a song recorded by Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno.
Written by Franco Migliacci and Domenico Modugno, it was released as a single on 1 February 1958.
Winning the 8th Sanremo Music Festival, the song was chosen as the Italian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958, where it won third place out of ten songs in total.
The combined sales of all the versions of the song exceed 22 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most popular Eurovision songs of all time.
It spent five non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in August and September 1958, and was Billboard's number-one single for the year.
The song was later translated in several languages and it was recorded by a wide range of performers, including Dean Martin

'All I Have To Do Is Dream'
Everly Brothers - 1958
Another important hit of the decade was 'All I Have To Do Is Dreamby the Everly Brothers.
Isaac Donald "Don" Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip "Phil" Everly (born January 19, 1939), together known as the Everly Brothers, were country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing.
The Everlys signed to Cadence, and entered the recording studio for their first Cadence session in February 1957.
They became stalwarts of the Cadence label.
Working with the Bryants, the duo had hits in the United States and the United Kingdom, the biggest being "All I Have to Do Is Dream".

"Move It" is a song recorded by the young Anglo-Indian boy, Harry Rodger Webb (Cliff Richard), and a group known as the 'Drifters' (the UK band that would evolve into The Shadows).

Cliff Richard - 'Move It'
Harry Rodger Webb
Harry Rodger Webb was born in India at the King George Hospital, Victoria Street, in Lucknow , which was then part of British India or the British Raj. The family lived in a modest home with other Anglo-Indians (Anglo Indians were then called Eurasians) at Maqbara, near the main shopping center of Hazratganj. The Anglo-Indians living at Maqbara were often employed as musicians; a band played at the Royal Cafe Restaurant, Lucknow, and another at the Mohmmad Bagh club, which was the officers' club serving the garrison at Lucknow. Dorothy's mother served as the dormitory matron at the La Martiniere Girls' School. Anglo-Indians did not enjoy any great social status in India, and were looked down upon by the British. In around 1945, his family moved to Howrah, near Calcutta, where he started his schooling in St. Thomas' Church School, Howrah, which still exists. Webb has cosmetically disguised his Indian origins, leaving little photographic evidence on the internet - resulting in very few people realizing that he is part Indian.

Originally intended as the B-side to "Schoolboy Crush", it was released as Richard's debut single on 29 August 1958 and became his first hit record.
It is credited with being one of the first authentic rock and roll songs produced outside the United States.
The song was written by Ian Samwell.

Connie Francis - 'Who's Sorry Now'
Connie Francis - 1958
In 1958 Connie Francis released her great 'hit' 'Who's Sorry Now ?'.
"Who's Sorry Now ?" was a popular song with music written by Ted Snyder and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.
It was published in 1923.
The song has been recorded by a number of artists.
Johnnie Ray recorded his version in 1956 for the Columbia Records label.
It reached number 17 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1956.
The song was recorded in 1958 by Connie Francis, and since then the song has become closely identified with her due to the immense popularity of her version, which was her breakout hit.
Francis' father had pestered her to record "Who's Sorry Now ?", being adamant that the song would be a rock and roll smash hit.
Francis did not share this enthusiasm but when an October 1957 recording session - scheduled to be Francis' last as she had scored no hits - wrapped early the singer used the leftover studio time to record "Who's Sorry Now ?" as a goodwill gesture to her father.
In the UK, "Who's Sorry Now ?" was number 1 for six weeks in May and June 1958.
It was one of Pete's favorite songs.

'Catch a Falling Star' - Perry Como
Another song redolent of that year was 'Catch a Falling Star'.
'Catch a Falling Star', written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss.
The song was made famous by Perry Como's hit version, released in 1957.
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como
It was Como's last #1 hit, and won Como the 1959 Grammy Award for 'Best Vocal Performance, Male'.

Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como (May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001) was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943. "Mr. C.", as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history. Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963. His television shows and seasonal specials were broadcast throughout the world, including the UK.

"All the Way" was another famous song popular in 1958.
The music was written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Sammy Cahn.
It was introduced in the film 'The Joker Is Wild'. 
Frank Sinatra's version was published in 1957 by Maraville Music Corporation. 
The track peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
The song received the 1957 Academy Award for 'Best Original Song'.
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and film actor. Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found unprecedented success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the "bobby soxers", he released his first album, 'The Voice of Frank Sinatra' in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in 'From Here to Eternity'. Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, however, he came out of retirement and in 1973 recorded several albums. He then toured both within the United States and internationally, until a short time before his death in 1998.
While music seemed to be carrying on in very much 'the same old way', unknown to Pete, and almost everybody else, a new development was just beginning in popular music in the UK.
On the 6th July two future members of what were to become known as 'The Beatles' - John Lennon and Paul McCartney, first met as teenagers at a garden fête at St. Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool, at which Lennon's skiffle group, 'The Quarrymen', were playing.


Patrick Moore
The great event on TV for Pete occurred on the 24 April, when 'The Sky at Night' first appeared on BBC, presented by Patrick Moore.
The program continued to be shown, with Moore as presenter, until his death in December 2012.
Unfortunately for Pete, both 'The Appleyards', and 'The Grove Family' - two programs that Pete enjoyed very much, came to an end.
They were both 'comfortable' programs, steeped in the morality engendered by the so-called 'wartime spirit' - and were no longer appropriate to the more affluent, and abrasive late fifties.


As for books, although Pete's reading was by then excellent, he did not read very much fro pleasure.
Most of his reading was done at school - and otherwise he would be either playing in the park, or watching television.
Obviously he read his weekly 'Eagle' comic.
Pete was a member of the local library, but almost all the books that he borrowed were non-fiction - mainly about history, - being ancient history (Greeks and Romans), or recent history (First and Second World Wars).
Non fiction didnt interest him much as his Aspergers meant that he had a very poor 'theory of mind', and so was unable to understand or sympathise with the character portrayed in novels.


It was in the Summer of that year that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made an optimistic speech to his fellow Conservative Party members at Bedford, telling them that "most of our people have never had it so good'.
Peter was not really aware of the fact of the speech, but was undoubtedly aware that in his own littl life things were certainly 'looking up'.


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