Stuart Oliver

Welcome to my world!

There was a time when this site was not visible to anyone who did not have the username and password or had been given direct bypass access. However, browser "spiders" have made that redundant as they search through for various threads through all pages and I have decided it no longer matters.

Stu and Marg


I have been asked many times for copies of my various stories, so I have included a selection in the PDF files for anyone who has the patience to read them. (These are mostly those written since I started using a computer so that I had copies. My old portable typewriter didn't produce copies so they are not included.)


My newspaper letters started when I was 18 and doing National Service. One newspaper had the audacity to print a full page story on how good us national servicemen had it. Claimed we had a golf course, tennis courts and (the one claim that got up all our noses and we simply could not let ride) that the food we were fed was "as good as we got at home"!


As I say, we couldn't let that ride, so on talking it over it was left to me to write a rebuff and the whole of my platoon signed it.


However, we did not send it to the paper that printed this scurrilous story as we figured they would bin it rather than admit their error. We sent it to an opposition newpaper.


Although we didn't receive a reply, a couple of weeks later we were all put to work cleaning and polishing everything throughout the battalion. Then came a day when lots of top brass and men in plain clothes came to inspect everything.


On that day, guys were playing tennis and...the food was as good as we got at home!


You see, there were 4 tennis courts to service a battalion - around 700-odd men - and only those good enough to represent the battalion got to use them. There was a 9-hole golf course - built by the national servicemen - but the nashoes were not allowed to use it because the regular army put a "wet" cantoon on it and the drinking age then was 21 - couldn't let us 18-year-olds near booze! So we had no use of the golf course we built. In fact my intake group never even got to see it.


Anyway, we had the satisfaction of stiring the pot and making a change - even if only for one day!


Hence the start of my letter writing to many newspapers over the years.


(Background pics are a mix of photos I have taken over the years.)