Private George Crook, 1st Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment, remembers the fun of annual training camps and inadvertently demolishing a bus shelter.
George Crook
Private George Crook

That was the end of my career but the 3 years in the Colours was really another thing. If you can imagine how much you have to pay to go paint balling today, well you were firing real bullets at a target and they were telling you to do it. I mean how much is it going to cost you to do it in your private life? Being on Salisbury Plain for 2 weeks on an activity holiday. I mean there was an incident I had a huge Scammel lorry. I don’t know if you know what a Scammel lorry looks like? They don’t come much bigger. I had this huge Scammel lorry full of tree trunks with big spikes on, to help prop up bombed buildings. It was all part of the logistics of the day and we were obviously on our way back to barracks and I had to go to Folkestone and one of the chaps in the cabin with us had badly gashed his hand and he wanted some plasters so we are going through Folkestone High Street and we saw a pharmacy, chemist shop, and they had this huge concrete shelter outside, bus shelter - huge, ugly thing and nothing pleasant about it at all. The pharmacy shop was right there. I parked alongside - a bus can park there, so can I. No buses around. I was only going to run in the shop and come out again. Luckily a bus had just been and there was no passengers in the bus stop. I parked there, you have the camber of the road and my lorry is there and the weight of the lorry slowly went like this, rested against the bus shelter and the whole lot tumbled to the ground. The whole bus shelter. The pharmacist came running out of the shop, clambered up the back and I thought "Oh, no!" "Thank you, get on your way quick, no one has taken your number. You have done something the Council has never done and I have been asking them for years." I had done it in about 3 minutes. So I made someone very happy but I don’t think I made Folkestone Council very happy. That is the sort of thing that happened.