Childhood memoir tells of bomb craters and fish baiting on the broads
- Credit: Roy Webster
When he wasn't either catching fish or poaching rabbits, he may have been playing cards or digging around in the latest bomb crater.
It was a childhood that revolved around the outdoors, tempered by the nature of the north Norfolk Broads and lived in the shadow of the Second World War.
And now the wordsmith and raconteur Roy Webster has penned a book about his experience of growing up in Dilham, called The Adventures of the boy Roy: Memories of Growing up in North Norfolk.
Mr Webster, 88, said: "There are very few people alive today who could have written it - it was a much different sort of childhood in those days.
"I was a wartime kid. When you're that young, you don't know what fear is, so it was a period of excitement for us.
"I went to school one morning and found there were four holes in the road from where bombs had dropped overnight.
"The headteacher rounded us up and told us not to go into the bomb craters, but we were out day and night making explorations and picking up red hot lumps of shrapnel."
Mr Webster was a sports reporter for many years and now lives in Heron Lodge care home in Wroxham.
He was born into a working class family and grew up in a house with no electricity or running water. He said it was a childhood "unspoilt by diesel engines and alive with fish, otter and adventure, where food was scarce enough to ensure living off the land was a daily activity".
Mr Webster said he learned much of his rural craft from his father, Ernest, who was "a man of fierce knowledge of country, unafraid of where food came from as long as his family was fed."
The first print run of the book has already sold out, but further copies will be available in the new year.
To order, email TheBoyRoyBook@outlook.com. The cost is £7 for one copy including postage and packing or £13 for two, with all profits to go to the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust.