Ration books lasted a little longer until everything slowly recovered, and things became ‘normal’ once more. April, now aged 14, was leaving school and growing up, she often was out with friends going to a main road which consisted of shops, a café and picture place. April, her friends and most young people termed this place ‘The Monkey Run’ although they didn’t quite know why. They would meet up in the cafés and chat whilst drinking warm drinks before they would buy some chips, which was always wrapped in newspaper. They would continue to chat some more for hours and then walk home. Some days they would all meet up and go to the pictures. They often met next to the clock for a chat. The boys used to pinch the girls head scarves teasingly for a promise of a kiss. When getting ready to go out the girls would rub sand on their legs to make them look tanned and smear soot to beneath their eyes to darken them. April’s friend helped her out with picking clothes for the dance; although much of the time her friends would borrow April clothes as she had so few. April and her friends they were similar sizes.
46 Saturday night was dance night in the hall: April and her friend loved the dance hall at the weekend, she loved the music. April looked quite grown up now and pretty. The parents enjoyed Sundays listening to the wireless: news and music. April also enjoyed babysitting at Betty’s younger sisters home. Jane was very kind unlike her sister Betty, April felt relaxed there and loved babysitting. Jane was so grateful to have April to give her a break, she also enjoyed April’s company, they would sit styling each other’s hair whilst having a good chat. April shared her worries with Jane. To have an adult whom is kind and understanding helped April to feel better about herself. Jane was a quiet person with a caring husband and a young baby. They often came to visit, and they would go to the park then back for tea. April felt happy when Jane was around, although Betty still got on to April, Jane would say “Oh, Betty leave it she’s only young” Betty tried to hold her tongue. April just left the room when Betty started as she did not want to let Jane get into an argument with her.
A Girl Called April P.Allsop