Now then. In Yorkshire that means hello. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called Are any of us where we set out to be?’ I ended it by saying I had left home at eighteen and gone travelling but that it was another story. Today I thought why not? When I was ten we left the farm (Boo) and moved to Bradford (bigger boo)
Dad and I on the farm
The maisonette with the boarded up windows was ours.
By the time I was seventeen Dad was dead, Mum was spending as much time as possible at sisters and I was drunk most nights. At seventeen I had got very wet one night on a motorbike so I decided to save up, buy a Landrover, and travel the world, it seemed a dryer option. Sadly I became impatient and bought an old Austin 1800 from a guy down a back street who told me I couldn’t test drive it because it wasn’t taxed.
A workhorse, but it didn’t work!
I was seventeen, I gave him the full asking price and drove off. After five miles I discovered it jumped out of third gear, overheated and you had to grip the steering wheel like Hercules to prevent it careering into the sidewalk (put that in for my American friends, we call it the pavement) When me and the smokin monster pitched and plunged our way back to the point of sale, he was gone and he hadn’t given me his mobile number. Possibly because it was 1975 and the cell phone was 15-20 years away. I was not daunted, I was seventeen, I could do anything, it was a challenge. I was going to repair it, supe it up and make a profit or even race it 🙂 Several months later I sold it for scrap and the world trip was postponed. I took my extensive savings of £70 and set sail for Jersey in the Channel Islands. The local bin man had worked there for a season and recommended it. OK I know this hasn’t gone well so far, but he appeared knowledgeable.
All my friends said I would be back in week that was forty two years ago. I wonder if they are still in the same pub that I left them in 🙂 So I landed in Jersey and………
To be continued (you don’t really want it all in one go, you’ll be sick 🙂
Well, I maybe, but that will depend on your opinion of a sucker. At the age of about five my niece and I were called in from our game in the farmyard to watch the newly arrived television (circa 1961)
This lasted about five minutes, the activity seemed pretty pointless not to mention boring and so we went back outside to play. As the T.V. didn’t go away and I became more curious I became hooked. I believe it started with Bill and Ben, swiftly followed by Andy Pandy. At the end of every show Andy went to bed in a basket with Teddy and a girl called Looby Loo, they wondered why I had a girlfriend by the time I was six-years-old. Then came my real downfall Rin Tin Tin he was the bravest dog in the world.
You see how I had already started to get suckered into ‘branding’? As the years rolled on I believed what people told me, as a child you have a tendency to do that. I thought the moon was made of cheese, fairies sneaked into your bedroom and swopped your tooth for a sixpence and a large man with a white beard broke into your house by climbing down the chimney and then after drinking your Dad’s whisky, eating a mince pie and taking a carrot for his flying reindeer left you some presents and flew off. I also believed that if you didn’t go to sleep at night ‘the bogeyman’ would creep into your bedroom. I was never told what he would do to me, but with all the comings and goings of men with white beards and fairies I wasn’t about to take a chance.
Couple all this with the fact that if I was naughty in any way I wouldn’t go to heaven, in fact I would probably burn in hell as a result I was, in the main, a good child. On top of this I knew that Gypsies stole children, babies were delivered by Storks and left under the Gooseberry bush, thunder and lightening was just God lighting his pipe and if I ate my crusts my hair would curl. So what saved me from becoming a paranoid recluse? Books, I disappeared into them every evening. This one I read when I was ten-years-old, although my sister wasn’t quite sure what year it was 🙂
It was through this book I understood that both love and hate can be destructive and not everything is always as it seems, but you can always find a redeeming quality in everyone. So I’m not bearing grudges for being suckered into all those stories, but I still make sure the door is locked at night because the bogeyman just might be out there 😉 Although it has taken me years to realise that not everyone who says they attended the first Bob Marley concert in London actually attended as the hall didn’t hold 300,00 people 😉 and after all these years I have an iPod an iPad and just about to buy an iPhone (thanks Steve Jobs) So maybe I am a sucker after all 🙂
Do you find it amusing that some of us end our working lives in a completely different career to the one we originally chose? I’m not sure if I ever really wanted to be a teacher. From the age of about four I often played at being a tradesman, usually a different one every day. Each morning my mum had a four-year-old electrician, plumber or carpenter knocking on the door. As I recall she would then supply me with a household fault and tools accordingly. I must have been very good because I never had a call back or a complaint. During this very busy period I pursued other avenues in my spare time, Cowboy, Astronaut, Superhero and footballer were amongst them.
I was meant to be an Olympian
As I got older further occupations seduced me and I recently found evidence of my days as an artist, and a racing car driver. My days as a tradesman served me in good stead as I built my own state of the art F1 racing car.
I soon realised that I couldn’t paint, but I remember that particular day well. My older sister’s bedroom was directly above my alfresco studio and her favourite song at the time was Running Bear. Not sure why, as it was seven years old by then? She put the song on her Dansette and left the arm up (as in the picture) this allowed it to play over and over. She then fell asleep.
During the following hour or so I learnt every word to that song 🙂 Not long after that Jim Clark my favourite driver was killed in Germany and this dampened my racing ambition permanently. I remember one particular day completing an application for the British Army. They wrote back to me explaining that they would be only too pleased to accept me but I would have to reapply in another six years. I began training in earnest.
By the time I left school at fifteen I was fresh out of ideas so they stuck me into an Engineering factory. That didn’t last long, by the time I was eighteen I had left home and was travelling, but that’s a whole different story. I wonder how many people are still doing the job they set out to do as a teenager? 🙂
This gallery contains 12 photos.
Originally posted on Sandra & Stuart Wander the World:
We left our hotel to catch the bus to Mandalay in a full on rain storm. We were picked up in a little pick up, crammed in the back with our…
Having recently moved to Beverley I decided to explore a little. Beverley Tourist Information supply a map complete with four walks. I should point out here Beverley is not London or Edinburgh, but is a delightful town with it’s own history and even a Minster so with an Indiana Jones attitude off we trudged. There were four walks and we chose number two Page 10 of the link. This seemed the shortest and I had to allow for an homemade ice cream stop for princess bride. What a delightful surprise because not only was it a historical walk but a treasure hunt of sorts. Some innovative people have placed various art forms or just simple artefacts for you to spot. The first location was where the medieval butchers traded, can you spot the Ox carcass? Shortly afterwards comes Walkergate where the ‘Waulkers’ walked on the cloth to shrink and thicken it and you have to find the footprints
Further along Walkergate you’ll come to the Cordwainers (leather shoe makers to the likes of us) and it’s here that you’ll find shoe patterns that you can take a rubbing of.
After the Spinners, near Swaby’s yard, Spinners need no introduction and no they’re not story tellers or an Irish Folk group 🙂 We moved onto Dyer Lane and the Dyers who used plants for dyes and the little treasure hunt was back on we had to find the plants and a spinning sculpture. Hmmm?
Clever Spinning sculpture
Great colours 🙂
I came out of the Saturday Market onto Toll Gavel and I’m looking for thimbles, six of them. Ok, so I had to nip into the Tourist Office and seek advice for the last three, I really needed a child with me 🙂 Were talking Tailors here and if you’ve heard of Wuthering Heights you’ll know we needed some serious tailors in Yorkshire all those years ago.
North Yorkshire moors from One_Glass_Eye on Flickr
Beverley Saturday Market from Lempicka.com
Whilst on Toll Gavel I’m looking at Apothecaries and four plants they used for healing. Yay!
Apparently medieval Barbers had a snake as a symbol and they were also surgeons, so I’m looking for a snake. Now we’re all up in the air.
Ice Cream has already been devoured by the Princess Bride and as I see an Ale House in the distance I am relenting on the decision to not bring a child 🙂 But first the challenge must be completed. Moving swiftly to Cross Street and Well Lane (originally Fishmarketmoorgate) you can see why they would change it? I’m looking for Merchants and Fishmongers. The explorer’s thirst is upon me so thankfully this is simple. Merchants Hall is right in front of me and then I see the eels on the kerb woohoo 🙂
There you are a bit of medieval Beverley. I thought this was quite an innovative way to explore a town, particularly if you have children and of course if you still want to visit the Ale House I presume you can tie the children up outside as I noticed most Alehouses had dishes of water outside. I mean what else could they be for? 😉