Monthly Archives: October 2016

Frights and Scares, Under the Stairs

I lived¬†with my brothers and parents in Beecher Street, which was in some state of dilapidation¬†at the bottom end. Conditions were such that I remember the landlord coming one day to cold-chisel off the plaster in the tiny bedroom I … Continue reading

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The Daredevil

The bunting that stretched between lamp posts, and the cheering crowd that lined the route were only present in my imagination, but when I wheeled my MoBo scooter up to the top of the street, I felt like Evel Kinevil … Continue reading

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Grammar School, Here I Come

At the end of the school day, everyone in the fourth year of the juniors was given a sealed buff envelope to take home. What these envelopes contained were our futures: the results of our eleven plus exams we had … Continue reading

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Child Exploitation

In the small two-street enclave of Cowpen where I grew up, my friends and I got to know by name virtually all the adults who lived there. It didn’t take us long to suss out which housewives paid the best … Continue reading

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A Chewing-gum Standoff

When I was a child, there stood a house at the top of our street that served as a general dealer’s. Several vending machines were mounted on the wall to the right of the bay window of the shop: one … Continue reading

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Halloween, Then and Now

For a good few weeks now, supermarkets have allocated a considerable amount of aisle space to the promotion of Halloween related goods. Walking down the designated aisles in some supermarkets is a scarier journey than a ride on the Ghost … Continue reading

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When Children Were Encouraged to Smoke

Attitudes towards smoking have hardened considerably in recent years, particularly around children. Things were much different during my childhood though. I quit smoking almost twenty years ago. The day came just after the Budget, when I told myself that enough … Continue reading

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My CVD and Me

I recently read Danny Baker’s autobiographical book Going to Sea in a Sieve. It’s quite a good read – I did laugh out loud a few times, especially at his tale of what happened when he went to see the … Continue reading

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Freeing the Alnwick Two

Let me take you on a journey back in time. To 1879, when Victoria was on the throne, Disraeli sat in No 10, and Alexander Graham Bell was progressing with his new invention, the telephone. Inside a vicarage in the … Continue reading

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Nightmare on Strawberry Place

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I started going about with my friend, Stan, on his hot dog van, this being an old Mini van with a fibreglass shell fitted to the back. I didn’t get paid, … Continue reading

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