SIR: When he was stationed at RAF Doncaster during the war, Flt Lt Jimmy Edwards DFC (The Old Un’s Notes, July issue) was billeted in what was to become my parents’ house. He made an inauspicious start to his time at Ellers Avenue. In his autobiography, Six of the Best, Jimmy recounted an embarrassing episode on the day of his arrival.
‘The bar stayed open until only a few stalwarts like myself were left,’ he recalled. ‘I found Mrs Moon’s house with the precision of an experienced transport pilot, and crept quietly up to my room. My deep sleep was interrupted in the early hours by a compelling desire to empty my bladder, so I stumbled out of bed and tried to find the light switch.
‘What drunk has not been in that dilemma? I groped along the walls, in a room pitch dark because of the blackout, and eventually found a fireplace. There was nothing for it. This would have to do. With a groan of relief I unburdened myself, and slumped back into bed.’
Jimmy forgot about the incident until he returned to the house the following teatime. ‘Mrs Moon was at the door, arms folded, cold fury on her face. “Come into my front room, Mr Edwards,” she said menacingly. She pointed silently upwards to a great yellow stain on the ornate ceiling, stretching from the wall halfway across the room. I never lived it down.’
I certainly don’t remember any yellow stain on the lounge ceiling (it became our family home in 1948); so I can only assume that Mrs Moon had some good quality distemper to paint over it. Graham Snowdon, Sheffield