by Martin Knight
British author Martin Knight was born at the end of the 1950s on the outskirts of semi-rural South London. Broken Wafers tells of his life on a council estate as he navigates the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, charting a period when Britain emerged from post-war austerity into a more vibrant, hopeful, comfortable and colourful age. He contends that they may not have known it at the time, but for baby boomers it was the best years of their lives.
Against a backdrop of imminent nuclear annihilation, The Fab Four, England football heroes winning the World Cup, Batman, the horrors of Aberfan and the Moors Murders, mods, rockers, skinheads, hippies, Sgt Pepper and Sgt Bilko, Martin recounts his experiences at the ancient village church school, deliberately failing his eleven plus, and onto a secondary ‘modern’ education. He recalls everyday life in his multi-racial family and the thrill of the gradual arrival of such innovations as the refrigerator, the telephone, the colour television and hormones. As he approaches the day he leaves school some welcome and unwelcome experiences herald the end of his childhood.
Broken Wafers is an unashamed and forensic wallow in nostalgia. For a generation it will be a welcome immersion in their past and in an age that is receding from view at an alarming rate.