Another chance for me to prove my sporting prowess came in the boxing competition.
I'm not sure how they graded the competitors, but I (all 4ft 2in and 4 stone soaking wet of me) was matched against a 5' 8' 10 stone dude! The school Gym master in his corner, and the caretaker in mine?
The bell sounded, and I prayed I wouldn't burst into tears if he actually hit me.
To my own amazement, he rarely made contact with his roundhouse swings, and I found myself well ahead on points with my jabs and occasional upper cuts (Not that they hurt or bothered him at all).
At the end of the third round, Bob (The caretaker) told me to go for his stomach as he thought that was a weak area - so I did, managing to despatch my best ever punch, and I recall thinking how much it hurt my hand - the next thing I recalled was waking up in the showers.
Apparently it was such a good blow, that it made the dude so angry, and I never saw his punch coming.
So, it was off to the Children's Hospital for an x-ray on my hand, and broken nose.
I was plonked on a trolley to await my turn in the queue, as
I was a little dizzy still. I'm not sure how long I waited, but I fell asleep I think, or must have moved, and fell off the trolley onto the marble floor.
So they x-rayed my ankle at the same time as the hand and nose, which was just bruised, but the ankle was badly sprained.
Now this naturally worried both mummy and daddy - mummy wanted to know if I could still go nub-ending for her, and daddy showed anxious concern that I could still do my double paper-rounds! Dad said "Surely you can still ride yer bike?"
I explained that dear mummy sold my bike two weeks ago. (Dad had always been observant) Determined that I should continue with my duties to the household, he went out to his cobbling bench, got some wood out of the coal-house, and supplied me with a knobbly home-made walking stick! (Which was more than the hospital did)
When I returned to the Children's Hospital to have the wadding removed, (Mummy would have come with me but it was double money winnings at the bingo club that day) they decided I had to have another tetanus jab, and believe me, in those days the needle was more like a sword! It seemed to me that it was about a foot long, anyway after the nurse said "What a brave little boy, even if you have got holes in your socks and shoes, you didn't even cry at all!"
Well, it's hard to cry when you're as frozen with fear as I was!
One of the many duties Mummy gave me, was one of 'supply officer' - I'd get sent around to a neighbour to accrue various supplies, on loan, but of course they rarely if ever got returned.
The items would be, 'a cup of sugar', 'a spoonful of tea', 'three slices of bread', ' a knob of Echo (margarine, no one in our Terrace had butter), 'a cup of milk', or 'two fags' until whichever day she said she would return them.
The responses I would get would differ, but generally they would be: 'Sod off', 'She hasn't gave me, me bread (or whichever commodity) back from last week', 'A swift belt around the head and the door slamming to', or occasionally they would encourage their dog to attack and chew on my leg.'
Oddly enough, I cannot recall any of our neighbours coming to our house to 'borrow food or anything else really from us'.
For a while, apart from the nub collecting, fag making, and hairnet packing - I was ensconced into a job in the wood yard, either bundling the wood or collecting scrap from building sites etc.
It was a friend of mothers who owned the yard, and he paid very well... it soon ended when he was sentenced to three years for nicking the wood in the first place.