Vic Bennett was born in an air shelter in the middle of the London blitz, grew up playing on the bomb sites of North London. His first taste of riot was watching 'Teddy boys wreck the local cinema at the start of the film a'Rock around the clock'. Through the swinging sixties he joined the union and become the steel workers youngest shop steward. In the seventies flower power he campaigned against nuclear weapons joining student riots on the streets of paris in the ban the bomb marches. The eighties he become a business man, the owner of a large mini cab firm he survived the London mini cab wars and the race riots in Tottenham. In the nineties he re-maried and settled down working in management for excusive 5 star hotels. Called for the defence in the Charlie Kray drug trial, mixing with the stars and royalty he retired in 2000, to the sound of new millenium celebrations. He moved to the quiteness of the Norfolk Broads to write about the many bizare and unique charectors he met along the way. He writes about murder mystery and science fiction with a ripple of 'tongue in cheek' cockney humour.
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Victor Bennett, school photo circa 1952, the shirt tie and jacket, which was several sizes too big, were borrowed from the schools photographer, who bought a large sack of second hand clothing for the kids to wear, and were returned as soon as the pupil stood up. Just after this was taken he blotted his maths book in class, they had to use open nib ink pens and blotting paper if they could not aford a fountain pen. He was hauled to the front of the class and the book held up and a deterent punishment was dolled out in front of all. This was to bend over and have six slaps with a steel ruler on the back of his bare legs causing them to bleed and stain his socks. He did not feel hard done by, this was quite a normal event, he had to stay in at playtime and re-write his maths tables, but was more worried about getting a 'good hiding' when he got home for staining his only pair of grey school socks.
Amy Ivy Bennett; Two days after giving birth to her 8th child she was back in the local munitions factory helping fight the war. The matriach of 13 sons daughters, in an extended family, she held the purse strings and managed to 'make do and mend' recycling not to save the planet but to clothe her kids. A large galvinised pot of stew lasted two days and the same pot would line all their stomaches with poridge to start the day. No one they knew had more than them so they did not 'feel' poor.Saving all year for a weeks camping on the East coast with as many as 50 members of the one family they certainly never felt alone.Her motto; 'look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'. Her rule was do as I say, or I will tell your father, if you were too big to be told you were shown the door.
Robert Charles Bennetts Grandfather was a stone mason from 3 Newland cottages Coggs Oxfordshire. His father was a bricklayer who lived at 8 Heather street Camden and came to London to work building St Pancras Station. Bob ran away to join the army and Fought on the beaches of Normandy, the deserts of North Africa and the invasion of Italy.He was awarded 6 medals for his bravery, discovered after his death, when his son asked him about his expieriances he replied "there are no winners in war boy only widows, I just followed orders". He never mentioned it again. If his son had one wish it would not be for fame or fortune as an author but to go back in time and buy him a pint of brown and mild at the bar of his local pub.
Such indelible memories make us who we are, keep us warm and make us strong.