The Langley Boy: A Trilogy, Part 1

Front Cover
AuthorHouse, Dec 12, 2006 - Fiction - 524 pages

Surviving the might of the Luftwaffes attacks on Hawkers aerodrome and the doodlebug flying bombs, the Langley Boy is an eyewitness account of a working class boy, growing up in the rural village of Langley, Buckinghamshire, during the period of wartime austerity and rationing until the more prosperous Rock n Roll years. It is a boys own story of gang warfare, trolley racing and escapades in an adventure playground of a rubbish dump, a surplus army vehicle compound, the Grand Union canal, a gravel pit, cherry orchards and open meadowland. On a more sombre note, it deals with the tug-of-war relationship with his parents, their jealousies, harshness, love and affection.

It provides a perspective on the strict teaching regimes at Langley primary and junior schools and the overpowering influence of the dreaded 11+ examination. It describes family weddings with aunts dressed in flamboyant hats, and annual family holidays on the beach at Jaywick Sands and Llandudno. It recalls the memorable Saturday morning trips to the Granada cinema to see Roy Rogers, Laurel and Hardy and the delights of boys comics, and it relives the thrills and spills at Pelhams fair and Langley fete, festive bonfire night celebrations, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd and the advent of television.

The painful voyage from boyhood to manhood takes place at Slough Grammar School for Boys, marked by the struggle to master the sciences with ultimate academic and sporting success in the sixth form. It covers the social impact of the Teddy boy era, the influence of the church, the advent of pop music with Bill Haley and Lonnie Donegan and life behind the bar at the North Star public house in Slough. In short, the book is about a boys determination to escape from his roots.

 

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Contents

Post War Austerity
34
Langley Infant School
44
Langley Junior School
68
Family Cousins And Friends
103
Gang Wars And Adventures
133
Family And Social Events
182
Grammar School The Early Years
199
Thrills On Wheels
232
Grammar School The Olevel Years
273
Work And Play
307
Grammar School The Sixth Form
377
The Rock And Roll Years
443
About The Author
515
Back Cover
517
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Charles Tyrie was born in the village of Langley in Buckinghamshire, is married to Hilary and has a son Jonathan and two grandchildren, Naomi and Beth. He is a chartered civil engineer and has spent most of his career working in local government. The death of his father and mother made him realise how little he knew of their earlier lives and how much local and family history died with them and is lost to future generations.

He therefore decided to write an autobiography about his childhood years in Langley and this book, the first of a planned trilogy is a small time capsule of what is was like to be brought up in a small community during the post war years of austerity. The spirit of those times is vividly captured by his cameo portraits of childhood friends and their escapades and the colourful family members, teachers and acquaintances, who played such an important part in his formative years.

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