Here is a cops-and-robbers film set in Woolworth’s where the hero
manages to smuggle a small Derringer from under the very noses of the enemy.
He is then on the run from the police and starts a journey that may end with
his being a Chief Inspector himself. Here is the violence of a drunken father,
still wielding the belt of his own coal-mining father’s authority:
anger, fear, desire for the revenge which will come in Time’s inevitable,
slow way, as boy grows up to manhood and man grows down to second childhood.
Here is a simple hope of being chosen to play for the cricket team. There
is a love for another boy - never to be spoken of in a time when it is a
nameless sin, arousing even more guilt than the more general, but still largely
hidden, sexual desires of boy for girl. Here is a joke remembered, “A
boy is in the bath. He asks his mother, ‘What is this called?’ ‘That’s
your canoe.’ Another day he sees her in the bath and asks, ‘What’s
yours called?’ ‘That’s my harbour.’ ‘Can I
put my canoe in your harbour?’ ‘No, that’s reserved for
Such is sex education between the agricultural days when it was
a matter of daily observation in the fields and the technological days when
the small screen will be the medium. Here is a proud owner of a Meccano set,
revisiting the rich greens and reds of plates and girders with inner eyes;
the spanners, nuts and bolts with twitching fingers; the turning wheels and
gears and pulleys with feelings of power and control. Here is a boy who had
no breakfast who is thinking of food and the long time until school dinner.
Here is another and another and another.... There is no end to the stories