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Showing posts from 2017
St James Churchyard It was around about this time I learnt my first harsh lesson in life. I learnt that nothing good lasts for ever. It was a warm April afternoon, and Mum, Mary, the pushchair and I headed down to St James Churchyard. This is now the site of the Primark store, but was then a triangular, concrete surfaced park. There was a weighbridge, a few scattered benches and, it seemed, something like a million pigeons. I would wander amongst the birds like a young St Francis of Assisi, scattering stale bread crumbs for them. They were very tame, and it gave me a great sense of power.    On this particular day I had run out of bread crumbs and turned to Mum for reinforcements. To my shock, she was talking to a stranger. He was a tall, thin man, with very white teeth. Apart from a white collarless shirt, he was dressed entirely in brown. Shiny brown shoes, three piece  suit, and a trilby hat, which was perched at a jaunty angle on the back of his head. A mop of thick, bla
Chapter 2 1946: A series of brief  encounters   There was always laughter, music and song in our house. The old wireless set had been a constant companion for as long as I could remember. During the dark days of World War 2, the BBC Home Service and the 9 o'clock news had provided my lullabies and Alvar Lidel had been the singer. Now, in our brave new post-war era we still had the Home Service, but now we also had Light Programmes and Third Programmes. During our waking hours the radio was always switched on and the volume cranked up to maximum.
    JUST A BOY FROM BRISTOL PART TWO   Chapter Eight     Somewhere down by the Ropewalk     It was a lazy, grey Friday evening in late September 1951 when the two girls took a wrong turning and came wandering into our young lives. 'Scattered showers', had been the official forecast, but although the clouds were threatening, the rain hadn't arrived. One by one, our little gang gathered on the steps outside of number 2 Marlborough Flats, Eugene Street, Bristol. This was the home of Johnny, Frankie and Alan Millar, who were three of the members of our little gang. Another weekend was upon us, and, we always met here to discuss the events of the past week, and make our plans and arrangements for the next seven days. Bristol Rovers were entertaining Norwich the following day, so Saturday afternoon was already taken care of, because we would be taking our usual places on the Tote End at Eastville. Rovers had made a promising start to the season, and we