"I was a war baby who was born in 1942, but my earliest memories of my childhood years was from the end of the war onwards. Even though I was a young boy aged 6 or 7 years, I was aware of the difference in mood that pervaded the country after the 'Second World War' had been brought to an end.
Whatever station and class in life one were born into, everyone, particularly the working classes started to look forward again to a more peaceful and prosperous land and a return to more settled family ways and traditions. Families returned to their Sunday walks after the morning church service and visits to the local park to listen to the brass bands resumed. Fresh air was consumed in abundance as most people walked everywhere within a good half-hour stretch of the legs, and children played out from morning until bedtime at weekends. All around the land, one could sense a newborn freedom that promised advancement for all, providing one was prepared to offer a good day's labour for a fair day's pay.
Nowhere exemplified this post-war freedom better than the change in colours that surrounded one's daily life. Out went the drab colours and boring patterns that painted our houses and partitioned walls. Young women no longer had to crayon the lines up the back of their legs anymore to disguise the fact that they had no nylon stockings to wear. Whereas previously, the only women who wore proper nylons (often provided as payment for services rendered by the Yanks based on British soil), were those who were considered 'improper' by those English beauties who refused to sell out. The fashion and colours in women's clothes and dresses and undergarments underwent a revolutionary transformation. Out went tightly clinging twin-suits and in came free-flowing dresses in all the colours of the rainbow, patterned in wild polka dots peppering the contours of the attractive feminine bodies they wrapped around.
There was a general abandonment of the more 'stuffy' by the younger generation in favour of all manner of new thinking and more fashionable ways that often set them at odds with their elders as 'the generation gap' came into being and started to widen with the passing of each year. Instead of wanting to be like their mum and dad as they grew through their middle-to-late teenage years, young men and women were determined to be different and look different from their parents.
Ever since childhood, I have been different to many other youngsters of my own age in the way that I think and the things that I sometimes think about. Having been separated from my peer group for a number of years because of a serious accident I incurred at age 11-12 years that kept me immobile for three years, I was always more comfortable in the company of adults much older than myself. Also, I knew that I formulated my communication from visual images more than concrete ideas and intentions. In short; images and pictures in my mind controlled all my spoken words, my written words, and even my abstract thoughts. Later I.Q. tests revealed my 'thinking' to be significantly different to other children of my own age.
Today, I am still controlled by thoughts, words and deed by the pictures and images I have in my head. That is one of the main reasons that I love all manner of paintings by accomplished artists, and have so many in my home to keep me mentally stimulated.
The earliest images I can recall and still retain pertaining to those immediate post-war years in Yorkshire are the two I have illustrated in my post. The sailor kissing a strange woman in the street after the news became public that the 'Second World War' had ended shows the immediate pleasurable releases of the masses that represented a happiness that could not be contained and must be shared. The second image that has always stayed with me is of the two attractive young women on the seafront, sitting on the railings merrily chatting away in the sun, unable to contain their smiles or an unexpected gust of wind providing any male onlooker with an eyeful they probably found too hard to ignore.
I was always a romantic even since my childhood years and this character trait has never left me and probably, never will. I have no doubt whatsoever that other males receive the same images as I do, and are undoubtedly sensually stirred by such pleasurable sights. Whereas they may not openly express such imagery and hidden thoughts, it is my tendency to state precisely what I see in the spoken and written word that leads me towards being an author and a lover of all visual art form. " William Forde: May 6th, 2018