Trevor Hoyle's fictional memoir reinforces the saying that the
past is another country, with its own strange customs and mysterious
rituals. None stranger and more mysterious than the secret world
of childhood. Take a time trip back to the black-and-white 1950s,
to a northern cotton town struggling to emerge from a decade of
shortages and rationing, of make-do-and-mend.
But the war and its aftermath cast a long shadow. Gangs of feral
youth, inflamed by the exploits of Hollywood tough guys, fed on
Movietone News and the tales of dads and uncles who served in the
Forces, are still fighting the Nazzies and the Nips and each
other in the bits of wasteland between the streets and houses.
It all seems very innocent (even the fumbling exploration of sex
behind the garages) and indeed it is. Until Terry Webbs uncle
turns up, ex-Desert Rats, and brings a piece of the war home with
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