George Ernest Bull; Part 2

George and his brothers were members a boys club, He was very active in sports during his teen years. Boxing was his first love, he participated in many events including tournament between clubs. His favourite was when they put on exhibition matches at the “Posh” West End Clubs where they were treated royally. Later in his teens, his passion changed to hockey. He was a good player who played ice hockey and roller hockey on the professional Harringay Racers and Tiger teams, as an amateur. He was also a keen cyclist and may have tried out racing at Harringay.

At the onset of the second world war, George like his father, John Joseph, enlisted in the army. He left Kings Cross Station on a special train with other recruits, destination, an army camp in Co. Durham called Sedgefield. George told me that the only time he had been out of London was on a day trips to Southend and cycle trips into Kent. They arrived at Ferryhill Station in the middle of the night after hours on the train and marched to the camp at Sedgefield. He was bewildered, had no idea where he was and thought he was at the end of the earth. He survived the basic training and was assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps.

After the training period was over, he settled into the routine of army life and soon found that there was not much to do in Sedgefield, when he had free time. He had his racing bicycle shipped up from London and was soon touring the area. He was always with another Londoner who enlisted with him and was a close friend (can’t remember his name).

Hannah had left school at fourteen and found a job working as a servant at a house in Hutton Ave. Hartlepool. She left this job and was working as a maid in the Hardwick Arms Hotel when she met George. She was going out with a Sedgefield lad who bred Guinea pigs for medical research. For a while, Hannah had them both on the string. George knew about the other fellow and used to cycle up to Trimdon most days. Hannah’s brother Jim used to meet him at the camp gates and ride with him. Mother had some strong words with Hannah and told her to make her mind up, as both were getting serious. Fortunately, she chose George. He used to stay overnight  with the family when he got the time off. They loved dancing and listening to the big band music

They married on Christmas Day 1940, I am sure George told me they only gave him two days off. The war time wedding was very small with only a few people present. About five of George’s family came up from London for the wedding and were billeted with neighbours. I think only the adults went to the church, I remember watching the small group walk from Cleveland Avenue to the church from the upstairs bedroom window. After the service they came back to the house in Cleveland Ave. for the celebration. While they were in church, my brother Jim had sampled the various bottles and got a little drunk.

George had to live in the camp and only got limited time off. Hannah moved into Trimdon House, Trimdon House was an old style manor house which had been divided into one bedroom flats without any conveniences. There was no electricity, a communal kitchen, a single water tap in the hallway and outside toilets (netties). Of course there were no busses and it was a long hike over the fields to either Trimdon or Fishburn (about a mile each way). The residents were pretty well all service families, it was not very private, noisy with lots of children crying. Hannah had her first child George at Trimdon House. It was very difficult going over the fields to Trimdon Village since the path was rough and there were 2 or 3 stiles to manipulate. The longer way was by road, by way of Trimdon House farm and Hope House.

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