I SUPPOSE that my Granddad was a bit of a mixture, really. He had no formal education or "book learning" as he called it, but he could read, although he could not write. When a signature was required on any simple form or document he. like so many of his contemporaries would place an 'x' on the appropriate line, and when some upright citizen like the parson or postmaster bestowed the seal of authenticity by adding and signing the endorsement 'Alfred Macro, his mark' the document became adequate and acceptable for all legal purposes.
MY GRAN DAD
More surprising was his numerate ability. He would not know where to start on the sums in a child's simple arithmetic book, but he could, with remarkable speed and accuracy deal with the very considerable mathematical complexities involved in keeping the score at darts, dominoes or five card brag, and he could, within seconds tell how many cabbages, placed a foot apart, he would require to plant out any given garden plot. A mixture indeed, but I think he felt that he knew all he needed to know as he made his way through life, contentedly pulling away on his old large howl pipe tilled with a half handful of cheap black shag tobacco which provided him with a permanent personal smoke screen, and gave off a smell like a kipper curing house gone wrong. I am sure that he harboured no resentment against those with more adequate academic background, and indeed, if at times they tended to make an ostentatious display of their imagined superiority he has been heard to express the opinion that "they go to these here schools and colleges and get their heads so full of brains that there hent no room for any sense".