It was the mid 1950s in Newcastle, a time of world unrest from the expansion of communism, and balloted national conscription by birthday. To supplement the meagre income of a second-year resident (a princely sum of 12 pounds, 5 shillings for a 70–80 hour week), I would go and examine the “nashos” (national conscripts) for their induction into the army, when the work was available. It paid as much as two or three pounds for a couple of hours’ work.
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