Book: The Co-Op’s Got Bananas: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Post-War North by Hunter Davies

Book: The Co-Op’s Got Bananas: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Post-War North by Hunter Davies

I think this was recommend to me somehow because I enjoyed Alan Johnson’s memoirs. Whereas this doesn’t have the poverty of Johnson’s London story, Davies’ upbringing in Cumbria was by no mean’s comfortable.

However, the enjoyable part for me here is reading about his education and how he somehow managed to get into the top school in his area and therefore into university. This the 1950s when university was free – in fact he was practicably paid to be there as he never knew such riches as his grant! However, having had my early career in the media, it was most fascinating reading about his interest in writing developing to such a degree at university that he decided upon this as his career.

It hadn’t occurred to me that at this point, everybody was employed. There were apprenticeships or simply going to work wherever your parents worked even as a young-teen. ‘Teenager’ is another word that didn’t exist when the author was one.

He met his wife, Margaret (Forster, the writer, d. 2016) early on and she went to Oxford while he was finishing up at Durham but they kept their relationship going. It’s really rather sweet to see how much he was besotted by her and fascinating to hear about a thoroughly, modern, independent, young woman in the late 1950s being accepted into Oxford. Even more to learn that they never were going to get married and have children. Of course they, but only when the 1960s came. The book ends there but what a wonderful life they must have had.

 

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