Chapter 4

There were three sacks hanging on nails in Greenwood’s entry.   Two were for old paper and one for uneaten food and peelings.   We were often amazed that there were half-loaves to be found, hidden among the cabbage leaves.   We sometimes tried to give them to our mothers who were strangely disgusted.

We were told that the paper was going to help the War Effort.   Imagining the papier-mache bombs pouring down on Hitler’s Germany, we used to find all sorts of odd bits of paper to put into the sacks

Today, our efforts would be called “overkill”.

The edible remnants, we knew, went to feed the pigs which lived out in the country, lucky things.   My Gran’dad got an extra dustbin and collected the family’s odd bits of food in that.   When the men came to collect Greenwood’s sacks, they emptied Gran’dad’s bin as well.   For years after the War had ended, we called the dustmen “pig-bin men”.   They are “Waste Disposal Operatives” now, of course:  several steps up the social ladder.

The whole system may well have been the cause of my Gran’ma vehemently objecting to us putting our rubbish into her dustbin when ours was full, even though after Gran’dad died she hardly made any rubbish at all.

I wondered then, as I do now, how Greenwoods were selected by the Government to gain the distinction of aiding the War Effort – and having a smelly entry.

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