Brian Rabson
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Sandhurst School, 1936. Brian Rabson is in the second row from the front, far right

Table of Contents

Growing up

"At the time, I was going through the eleven plus exam. I didn't pass, but in those days there was three stages of school.

There was a grammar school, a central school and there was a secondary boys, for the boys who didn't pass anything. I was good enough to go to Catford Central and I was there for two years until the war broke out, when the whole school was evacuated on the September 2nd and we all went down to Ashford, everyone including the teachers as well.

We were all billeted out, and I was lucky enough to go into a house in Francis Road in Ashford. They were quite a nice family, and there were three of us taken in and the family had a boy and a girl. The boy was a bit older than us, and the girl was a bit younger than us.

On the day that war broke out as the saying goes, I can remember being in the back garden in the sunlight, while the news came over the radio of Mr Chamberlain declaring war on Germany. The boy of the house was showing us his air pistol at the time."

Daily Life

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Brian Rabson in the back garden, Further Green Road, Catford, 1952

"We lived with Flo's father for 18 years after we got married. He was the council tenant at the time, and as Flo was considered his housekeeper, we had thought we'd better move in with him. But the council considered I was the lodger and they charged me 5 shillings a week extra on the rent, even though I was the only wage earner coming into the house!."

"The Right to Buy came in, and as we had been tenants for 20 or so years, I decided in about 1991 that we ought to buy it. Not because I thought that it was the right thing to do to buy council houses, because I think The Right to Buy isn't suitable for council houses.

I'd rather have seen them left as council estates where they were kept tidy and a certain uniformity amongst the houses. But as everybody was buying, I decided to buy the place, and we got the full rebate. I bought the house with my redundancy money. I'm glad that I bought the house purely because I will have something to leave my daughter and my grandchildren."

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