THE PERIOD FROM 1950 TO ABOUT1965
Chapter 18. Danny.
Woody introduced another boy, 'Danny'. Danny was Hungarian, his parents had come to England to escape the Russian invasion of Hungary that had caused protest from the Western World at the time. His real name was Adam Danovitz but to us he was just Danny.
The Danovitz family was cultured and wealthy having been an aristocratic, wealthy family back in their own land. They obviously thought that was worth giving up in exchange for freedom.
Danny together with Woody and Stansby were the innovators in our gang. They soon became almost a separate group from the gang with their common interest in science but they were always connected to us through friendship. One November we all gave orders and money to Woody to get us our year's supply of fireworks. A new super banger was now made, the 'Block buster' made by Standard fireworks. Danny also bought a good supply of rockets. The bombs we made were now being developed by our 'boffins' into rockets. It must have been the influence of Stansby with his love of flight and the spirit of the times with both America and Russia competing in the 'Space race'. We adapted their concoctions to our own ends as a portable rocket launcher!
A lighted banger was dropped fizzing into the handle bar of your bike and the explosion shot it out with great force. This theme was developed into a cartouche rather like those used by the 'Three Musketeers'! It consisted of a banger with a ball bearing at its rear end wrapped tightly in brown paper. This was then lit and stuffed fizzing head first into the handlebar end. At the right trajectory these missiles went a huge distance clattering through distant trees and making all the nesting crows get into the air and start 'Cawing' madly.
But to us this was getting too far removed from our beloved guns and we tended to go our separate ways, Boffins and Shooters. I sometimes think back and wonder what became of those boys; nuclear armaments spring to mind!
- Tony Sheppard