Sidney Day was born in Highgate in 1912. The youngest son in a family of eight, Sid did odd jobs from the age of six to supplement the family income and was taught by his father how to fish, catch birds and gather wild foods from Hampstead Heath and Kenwood. He left school without being able to read or write and followed his dad and brothers into the building trade, working on many estates and public buildings in London. Determined to improve his lot, Sid worked hard but he also went ‘on the fiddle’ and this landed him a spell in Wormwood Scrubs. After marrying Mary he combined building and removals with running a greengrocer’s in East Finchley.
In 1970 Sid and Mary moved to Yeovil in Somerset where they ran a small newsagent’s shop. After Mary died in 1990, Sid became a fixture at local car boot sales where he enjoyed searching for bargains and making a bob or two. In 2001 Sid moved to live with his daughter Shirley in Dorset, where he lives today. His memoir, London Born, was compiled and edited by his granddaughter, Helen Day.