So Long Ago - So Clear

However old we become, we yet feel within ourselves that we are absolutely the same as we were when we were young.

This thing, which is unaltered and always remains absolutely the same, which does not grow old with us, is just the kernel of our inner nature, and that does not lie in time.
We are accustomed to regard the subject of knowing, 'the knowing I', as our real self. This, however, is the mere function of the brain, and is not our real self. Our true self  is that which produces that other thing, which does not sleep, when it sleeps; which also remains unimpaired when that other thing becomes extinct in death.
The Will itself is still exactly the same now as then. The Will itself, alone and by itself, endures; for it alone is unchangeable, indestructible, does not grow old, is not physical but metaphysical, does not belong to the phenomenal appearance, but to the 'thing in in itself'.'

 'Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung'
('The World as Will & Representation')
Arthur Schopenhauer


A view of one childhood as it relates to the eternal child - J M  Barrie's Peter Pan, and the unfolding of a fantasy world in the unlikely setting of Hounslow, Middlesex in the nineteen fifties.'



Where have those days gone ?
The days of long ago.
The days of endless summer,
Half real - and half a dream.

Of Indians stalking 'cross the plain.
Of deserts swept by sand-filled winds,
Of endless tracts of star-filled space,
And alien foes as yet unseen.

Of 'Tizer' drunk in secret 'camps',
And 'sherbert-dabs' and sticky gum,
Of 'penny caps', and cowboy hats
And sweet, quick-melting, soft ice-cream.

Melted away in endless years,
Those dreams disolve in adult's dawning.
Yet still, in the stillness of the night,
Those sweet, young dreams return.

And for those, who still can dream,
That fierce, bold child shall never die,
And in those tracts of star-filled space,
The boyish grin, once more is born,

And smiles forever on.

The study opens with an investigation into the 'invention' of 'childhood in the Nineteenth century, and then looks at children's literature, with particular emphasis on J M Barrie's 'Peter Pan'.
Very early on the other Peter is introduced, and we consider the mystery of his origins, and the family of which he became a part.
Next, the 1950s - a unique period in British history, - are described, before the narratives settle on Peter, as he starts to grow up and face the problems of life, such as he weak eyes, his inability to read, his first contact with school, and the rich fantasy life that he gradually builds up during his early years.

Peter's biography continues into 1953, with the gradual end of rationing, and the preparations for the Queen's Coronation.
We consider how Peter develops as an individual, in consideration of the fact that he almost certainly suffers from Aspergers as a child.

On a lighter note, Peter ends up in fancy dress, as a Yeoman of the Guard, for the local Coronation Street Party - but he only comes second. Big changes are afoot in 1953, however, as the Crawford's beat most of their friends by having a Bush television to view the great day in June, and TV then becomes an important part of life.

Peter's fascination with his hero, Dan Dare, continues, and he gradually starts to develop an interest in music, mainly through 'Family Favorites', on the radio.

A more somber note is sounded when Peter is subjected to sexual abuse by his cousin, Norman Walker, and his 'boyfriend' Jackie.
Having had his sexuality prematurely awoken a the early age of eight, Peter then finds himself exploring his own libido, which because of his abuse, take a rather unusual turn.
In addition to this rather 'steamy' aspect of Peter's life, he discovers a new part of John's family, living in Baker Street, and his horizons are widened by regular visits to London, and the recently developed Heathrow Airport, and he starts to develop a fascination with cars and air planes.
The mid fifties brings death, a transatlantic stranger and a plethora of transatlantic 'kids crazes' which become the model for games in the park and Peter's fantasies..
A new school, and continental holidays further widen Peter's horizon , and a family illness involves Peter in a long stay in the centre of a very cosmopolitan London.

There is still a long way to go until 'childhood's end', so please check this document for notification of the next expanded version in a few weeks time



'So why is this book dedicated to Peter and to J M Barrie ?
What is childhood ?
The introduction reviews childhood and children's literature, and considers the significance of the family, parents, time and death.
And eventually we meet the subject of our story - Peter.'


This chapter tells of Peter's arrival in Pears Road, gives information about his adoptive family, and their history -
and describes how Peter slowly adapts to his new life in the setting of the early fifties.

'The chapter opens with the death of King-Emperor George VI and the accession of his daughter.
The chapter is dominated by Peter's strange experiences with 'the visitors', and ends with intriguing information about the numerous 'skeletons in the cupboard' of Peter's adoptive family.'

In this chapter the drive for reform and novelty, evident after the victory of 1945,
is swamped by a heartfelt desire to return to the past as the Conservatives,
led by Churchill are swept to power.
We them look at Peter's developing psychology, before turning to the crowning of a new, young Queen amid a nostalgic revival of medieval piety and imperial pomp and ceremony.

In this chapter we look at Peter's increasing interest in music and his continuing obsession with his hero, Dan Dare.
A more sombre note is sounded when Peter is subjected to serious sexual abuse by his cousin, and his cousin's 'boy-friend'.

In which we see how Peter discovers his own sexuality, which has been prematurely awoken by his previous experience of sexual abuse.
Peter also meets a new branch of his family, and his horizons broaden with regular visits to London and the newly developed Heathrow Airport – and Peter has his first real encounter with Death.

'As the fifties roll on, Peter becomes aware of America through his American friend Glen
but what secrets does this American boy bring to a tranquil, suburban life ?'

'In this chapter the world opens up even more for 'our Peter',
and things start to get very strange indeed.
New friends and new and remarkable places mark a turning point in Peter's life'

Peter's adventures in Germany and Austria.

Jane and John decide to take a holiday in Bavaria - which is a bit odd in 1959,
and Peter meets a German family, goes to the Eagles Nest, and gets a present from Eva Braun's Uncle

Jane falls ill, and John leaves Peter with Uncle Dick and Auntie Gladys in York Street.
Freed from school, and set adrift in a cosmopolitan world of adults, Peter develops new tastes and interests, and starts to grow up.


Peter returns from London and Jane returns from hospital.
Then the family moves house - and everything changes.

to be continued .....

just a few



mother of Jane Walker (Crawford)

Jane Crawford
Mother of John Crawford

Peter in 1950

Peter - pretending to read

left - Peter with Chloe

right - Peter in the Garden

left - Peter and Jane
Isle of Wight Lido

right - Peter
Southshields beach

Southshields Beach - Northumberland - early 50s

(right to left) Peter, John Faulkner, Jean Faulkner, Molly McGill (Molly Crawford)

Southshields Beach - Northumberland - early 50s

(right to left) Jane Crawford (Jane Walker), Peter, John Faulkner, Jean Faulkner

Southshields Beach - Northumberland - early 50s

(left to right - back row) - Joan McGill (Merrilese), unknown, unknown, Molly McGill, unknown, Mary Faulkner (Walker)
(middle row) - Jack McGill, unknown, Peter Crawford, John Faulkner Senior
(front row) - John Faulkner junior, Jane Crawford (Walker)

-  V I D E O S  -

for more photos of Peter's early life see

Also go to 'crawfordpeter' channel at


'Peter - the early years'

18+ only - features explicit descriptions of adult themes.

 Now includes excerpts from the newly published 'Thebes of the 1000 Gates' by the same author.


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