Kenneth Young interview: Early school years

As soon as I arrived in Wimbledon I went to Wimbledon High School kindergarten (Miss Penny) at the bottom of Wimbledon Hill. I must by now in 2011 be the oldest old boy of Wimbledon High School for Girls! I was there for three years before going on to King’s College junior school aged eight.

While I was at Miss Penny’s, one of my earliest memories was being knocked down by a bike on Wimbledon Hill. There was very little traffic then but I was run down by an errand boy while I was crossing the road coming back home for lunch. I saw this chap coming down at breakneck speed. Although he swerved to avoid me, he hit me. I wasn’t badly hurt so I got up and ran up the hill. He chased me and I collapsed as I met my mother. She said “What’s the matter with you?” I was bleeding and I told her what had happened. She said to the cyclist: “What are you going to do about this?” but the cyclist asked who would pay for his broken bike. My mother asked who would pay for her damaged son. He said he would return in the evening with his four brothers who were all policemen. She said: “You do that.” But he never came back although his bike had been damaged. I still have the scar on my knee but I didn’t go to a doctor. I was just bandaged up and sent back to school in the afternoon.

I became Senior Boy at Miss Penny’s. I remember she got three of us together one day by an old tree trunk in the playground. She said we were looking for something to do so it was decided that we would hollow it out and make a canoe to sail on the pond together. It was a bit stupid really because she was a large lady who would never have got into it. As far as I know the log may still be there, half chopped down, as it was never finished.

I was not good at sport as a boy although I was always interested in cricket. Unlike my younger brother who was a real cricketer. As a child we would go together to the Oval and that was where he learned his cricket. I just watched. But I was the family handyman and used to do all the odd jobs around the house.