My parents’ new home was in a small village with a poor bus service to larger towns. The most common method of public transport was the trains, and the train station was a good 20 minute walk from their home!
They loved the rural nature of the area but, to me, I felt very isolated. During my time there, I did look for work in the surrounding towns but there were few jobs that paid close to what I would need for any semblance of independence, and those jobs that came close were seasonal.
While there in 1964, I did do a little sketching which resulted in the pen and ink drawing below.
I often think back to those times and cannot help but feel rather disappointed that neither of my parents became involved the decisions that I had to make. They both knew that my two career choices were now history, and yet my Dad was presumably too involved in his house building and otherwise working to get involved. My Mum probably just had no idea how to handle it. Even just a “friendly ear” would have been nice, although some discussion and suggested directions would have been better. I knew nobody there outside of my family, and would have really liked to talk my predicament through with somebody.
After a few months of living in relative isolation, I decided that I needed to go back to Peterborough where I knew the area, and where there should be opportunities for reasonably well paying employment.
While I was in Cardiff, my sister Valerie had got married and now lived just outside Peterborough, and worked for Perkins Diesel Engines (div. of Massey-Ferguson). When she knew that I was planning on returning to Peterborough, she not only put me in touch with a family who were thinking about renting out a spare bedroom, but she also noticed that there were a few current job openings at “Perkins” that I might be interested in.
I moved back to Peterborough that Summer, applied for a position at “Perkins”, and started working there immediately. The job was processing orders from European customers however, an opportunity arose shortly after which paid significantly better. It was the scheduling of engines for production, given line capacities, holidays, firm orders and inventory requirements. I applied for the position and was successful.
The place where I was staying did not last long as their daughter (whose room I was renting) had decided to move back with her parents. I rented another couple of rooms over the next 12 months but the instability of those arrangements dictated that I look for something more permanent. I was very lucky in that a short walk from “Perkins” was a caravan site which just happened to have a small caravan for rent. I had my first home of my own!