We are now well settled in at Sans Souci Park. 1953 saw an add holiday at a cottage in Rostrevor, and me starting a new school at Inchmarlo

My father wa a violent man - my mother would blame this on his experiences during the war - but I could not forgive him. Once on holiday, he beat me for breaking a croquet mallet in a guest house - Charlie had broken it not me - father beat me for breaking the mallet, then beat me again for refusing to admit that I had done it

Another beating I remember him giving me was because I was sent off to Sunday School every Sunday morning. Now Sunday School was not something that I either believed in, or enjoyed. So I would just leave the house and play around for a couple of hours and then return home for lunch. He bumped into the vicar sometime later, and the vicar told him he had not seen me for months. Father went ballistic and as is the way of Christians, beat me. The fact that I told him that he did not go to church, probably did not help his humour.

Corporal punishment was par for the course at that time, but he appeared worse than most. Mother tried to justify his violence on two grounds; one being that father was beaten as a child; and secondly that the war had affected him. I was never sold on either of these two arguments, and never beat my children nor did I beat boys at Campbell when I was a prefect and could have done so. In fact most prefects used their authority to beat boys, whereas I could keep order more effectively than they could without the need for corporal punishment

I started at Inchmarlo in Sept 1953. A preparatory school for Inst (Royal Belfast Academical Institution). I was in Miss Strahan's class. The school was only three quarters of a mile from home, and I was given the bus fare every day. Most days I walked and saved the fare. Transport was readily available either by tram or trolleybus. I enjoyed most of my time at Inchmarlo
The lady above is my father's cousin, Peg Robinson. Although she was always presented as very upper class, I learnt, later in life, that she had had in illegitimate child during the war, which was handed over for adoption at a railway station.. She later married and adopted a child herself.


Again I never found out why this was chosen by my father for a family holiday this year - it was a pretty basic terraced house in Rostrevor. Rostrevor was hardly an obvious place to choose. Again he dumped us there, and by now mother was looking after 3 small children. The only souvenir is an odd series of photos taken by mother of people standing in front of a shabby window

I remember that mother told me that I could remember I was there the day that England won the Ashes on 19 Aug 1953


My parents thought that my speech was bad/accented and sent me to elocution lessons. These, along with piano lessons, were never a favourite pastime of mine

On to 1954

David Grant - Life