The rain bounced off the car, then came the hailstones and yes; I realised how much I hadn’t missed Bradford. I was just a kid of barely 18 when I boarded a one way flight from Leeds/Bradford Airport to Jersey, that was 44 years ago. Apart from a brief day visit I’ve never been back; until Thursday.
Now I’ve deceived you, you’re thinking, ‘Ooh it’s great, just look at that architecture!’ Assurance is possibly required here? I decided to miss out the betting shops, the charity shops, the fast food shops and of course the One Pound and Less Shop. The Princess had never been in a One Pound and Less Shop! This is because we live in Beverley which is Posh, subsequently, we only have a Pound Shop. I showed the Princess the pub where I vomited on the Juke Box at 16 years-old and was thrown out. The infamous Red Light District on Lumb Lane. The place where I fought Billy Ashall and the school I went to aged 11-13. It was at this school that I was bullied; then I learnt to fight, pre-Billy Ashall of course. Ahh, Drummond Road Boys School.
My book opens with a scene in that playground, I’ll say n’more, so as t’not spoil it f’thee. OMG see, even my accent has reverted, anyways I think the Princess enjoyed herself, although that may be a little presumptuous. We then headed out for Chellow Dene which is a local beauty spot. As a child I loved this place more than school, possibly a little too much more than school, if you know what I mean.
Deep in the bottom of the photo on the right is Devil’s Cave, overgrown to a degree now. This is probably due to the fact that we as kids were always down there hunting the Devil or messing around on the top. Whereas today the kids are probably sat in front of an X-Box fighting monsters in caves. Oh well at least their mothers won’t be worried that they’ll fall the forty odd feet to their death, I guess. So. should you go back? In my case yes because this was research, my entire novel is set around Bradford in 1974, so it was good to get a feel of the place. The Princess gave invaluable support and after getting soaked for the umpteenth time asked me two questions.
” When you publish this book will there be a sequel?”
“Yes,” say I,
“Well do you think you could set it somewhere bloody warmer!?”
Have you ever gone back?