Other Days Around Me: A Suffolk Boyhood in War and Peace by James Knutson
ames Knutson was born in 1934 in a Suffolk coastal town which had been one of the principal ports in the North Sea herring fishery. By the time he was old enough to notice such things, the town was being developed from a fishing port into a naval base on the approach of World War II.
During the ensuing six years, ‘Nutty’ Knutson (the initial K being silent), always the inveterate wanderer, would roam the town and its surroundings, witnessing the accelerating changes, as well as dodging the descending bombs and welcoming the eventual arrival of the United States Army Air Force.
Following the end of hostilities, his schooling had reached the stage where he was destined to sit the feared 11-plus examination to determine which type of secondary school he should attend. In 1951, after five years at a secondary modern and two at the local technical college, he left home to embark on a course of ‘social mobility’ – long before we had ever heard of that term. This is Nutty’s account of those years.