20 FEBRUARY 1953, Page 20

The Roadman

"My old dad was roadman with the County Council all his life. If we wanted him we always knew where he was, between the quarry and the crossing. My mother would send me along the road, and I'd come up with him. Sometimes he'd be cracking stones or filling a hole. Well, lad.' he'd say, 'what is it now ? ' And rd say, 'Mother thinks her pains has started,' or 'Did you take the money that was in the box at the end of the mantelpiece ? ' He liked a jug of ale, you see, but he was a good old chap just the same. Made us all go to chapel every Sunday and worked till he died. There was eleven of us in the family. Two was killed in the war before last. Dad died when he was seventy-nine. He was off the Council then, of course, but he didn't give up working. He never had nothing wrong with him, even at the last, the doctor said. Just wore out, cracking stones and filling holes summer and winter, year after year from when he was twenty till he was seventy. They do it all mechanical now. You won't see nobody like my old dad mending roads now. They're extinct. Unless a young chap's got a seat to sit on he don't reckon to wort."