As we grew older we began to learn all the places to go to get food. The Lewington kids would travel far and wide to fill their stomachs. There was an orchard nearby and, whether the apples were ripe or not, we’d fill our jumpers with them and run away before the smallholder could catch us. As we got bolder and bolder we began to take chances.
>One day Johnny and I actually climbed a tree to take the fruit from the branches. We sat there happily stuffing ourselves with apples until we got a shock. It must have been a day when the smallholder was looking for us because along he came -- sending his massive and fierce-looking dog in front of him. We just sat there, realising that we would be in bad trouble if we came down.
The man tried to talk us down, telling us that we wouldn’t be punished and we had nothing to fear. But there was no fooling us. We just sat tight in the tree.
Finally he said he was going to his house to call the police. Needless to say, the moment he got out of sight we got down the tree the quickest way possible – which was by dropping from the branch. It must’ve been a ten-foot drop. We scampered over the wall and were off at full pelt, apples scattering everywhere from our jumpers. We’d got about ten yards and collided – bang -- with a member of the local constabulary.
“What’re you two doin’?”
“I suppose these apples got here all by themselves?”
“Someone’s been throwin’ them at us.”
We were not always so lucky. Once I was on my way home with a large turnip, pinched from an allotment, when again I ran into a policeman. This was worse as it was near home and the local beat policeman knew everyone in the area.
“What’ve you got under your jumper?” he asked me. It really was one of the biggest turnips I’ve seen; there was no hiding it under my sweater.
“Come on, where did you get it?” he asked. At this point I was so scared I dropped the thing right on his toe. It really was a big turnip.
Taking my chance I fled down the hill, pursued only by his curses. But later on he was round knocking on our front door. I got leathered that night.