So Long Ago So Clear - Title and Contents

© Copyright P Crawford 20107


The task confronting the authors was to describe as clearly as possible the childhood and youth of their subject. 
All the information found in this biography was provided by the subject himself, and so the book can hardly be described as an unbiased or objective account. 
This, however, may well be a strength, rather than a weakness, for it is the study of a child's remembered experiences – the joys and sorrows, hopes and fears.
Maybe the memories have been distorted by the passage of time – but they are, essentially, the subject's memories, rather than the memories of those around him, and very suitably, as you will probably understand subsequently, the subject therefore become the centre of his own universe, with family friends, and even social, cultural and historical events orbiting round him. 
The authors have made no attempt to insert invented dialogue or any descriptions or judgements other than those provided by the subject. 
Far from being a 'post-modern', self referential piece of literature, this study is a simple, traditional biography, plotting one individual's progress through a world that had just emerged from one of the most shattering events in history – the Second World War. 

Certain chapters contain text which features explicit descriptions of adult themes.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2017
unless otherwise stated

'So why is this book dedicated to Peter and to J M Barrie ?
What is childhood ?
The introduction reviews childhood and children's literature, and considers the significance of the family, parents, time and death.
And eventually we meet the subject of our story - Peter.'


This chapter tells of Peter's arrival in Pears Road, gives information about his adoptive family, and their history -
and describes how Peter slowly adapts to his new life in the setting of the early fifties.

'The chapter opens with the death of King-Emperor George VI and the accession of his daughter.
The chapter is dominated by Peter's strange experiences with 'the visitors', and ends with intriguing information about the numerous 'skeletons in the cupboard' of Peter's adoptive family.'

In this chapter the drive for reform and novelty, evident after the victory of 1945,
is swamped by a heartfelt desire to return to the past as the Conservatives,
led by Churchill are swept to power.
We them look at Peter's developing psychology, before turning to the crowning of a new, young Queen amid a nostalgic revival of medieval piety and imperial pomp and ceremony.

In this chapter we look at Peter's increasing interest in music and his continuing obsession with his hero, Dan Dare.
A more sombre note is sounded when Peter is subjected to serious sexual abuse by his cousin, and his cousin's 'boy-friend'.

In which we see how Peter discovers his own sexuality, which has been prematurely awoken by his previous experience of sexual abuse.
Peter also meets a new branch of his family, and his horizons broaden with regular visits to London and the newly developed Heathrow Airport – and Peter has his first real encounter with Death.

'As the fifties roll on, Peter becomes aware of America through his American friend Zac
but what secrets does this American boy bring to a tranquil, suburban life ?'

'In this chapter the world opens up even more for 'our Peter',
and things start to get very strange indeed.
New friends and new and remarkable places mark a turning point in Peter's life'

Jane and John decide to take a holiday in Bavaria - which is a bit odd in 1959,
and Peter meets a German family, goes to the Eagles Nest, and gets a present from Eva Braun's Uncle

Jane goes into Hospital and John arranges for Peter to stay with Richard and Gladys in York Street, near Baker Street in London - and so Peter, separated form jane and John for the first time does a bit more growing up.

Jane return from hospital. Then everything changes. Jane and John and Peter move home and begin a 'new life' - and Peter starts to grow up - very quickly.

The next holiday involves a trip to Holland - not Peter's favorite country - and a visit to the Friedags, in their home city of Münster - where we learn just a little more about this enigmatic family.
to be continued .....


Links are provided to guide you back to the main narrative 
follow the links below - where required

A Brief History of the Great War
how the Great war affected Pete's adoptive family

The Twenties and Thirties
the 'Long Weekend'

John Crawford in Egypt
'What did you do in the War, Daddy ?'

the style of the Thirties - even in Hounslow

once a village  - later a suburb of London

the lands that Pete often visited

Pete and the Media in the 1950s
the Americanisation of our Pete

the decade when it all began

Pete's great hero in the 50s

The Swinging Sixties ?
did they really 'swing' ?

the big event of the decade
photos of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012,13, 14 & 15


'However old we become, we yet feel within ourselves that we are absolutely the same as we were when we were young.

'Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung' 
('The World as Will & Representation') 

Arthur Schopenhauer

To continue reading, select chapters from above, or from the