The house we lived in was a Victorian terrace house, with a cellar. It was my job to go down and collect the coal. There were some very rickety wooden steps that led down to the cellar. It was very scary every time but I never showed that I was scared. Outside there was a nice sized grass area with an outside loo. Gooseberries grew in the garden which I always ate when they were not ripe making you screw up your face as you ate them. I still ate them though.
I remember running away from home, I had saved up my 1 and 2 pennies and told my brother not to say a word as me and my cousin Michael climbed the fence at the bottom of the garden that led to an alley way. Of course my brother Jeremy went straight to my mum and dad and told them. Clutching my bag of £1.03 I made my way to the end of the backs where we found a wheel and tyre that we were sure we would get 50pence for at the garage. I was not allowed to cross the road so we went around the corner, then the next which led us to the front of the houses on our street. We then saw 2 figures walking towards us. Our dads! They saw us and to our surprise they took it as a bit of fun, how dare they I was serious, I was running away did they not know? Looking back that was exactly the right thing to do. It never stopped me planning my next escape though.
My dad had been doing his teaching training in London, when he had finished we left the south to the north. Where he had a job working as a teacher at billange high school. We had to go to church every Sunday both morning and night. Cub’s mid-week then scouts. There was a school near us where I and dad used to go playing cricket with my brother. We soon realised that it wasn’t for our pleasure it was merely batting practice for my dad. As he hit ball after ball for four, me and Jeremy were run ragged and soon got sick of it. No wonder my brother objected so much to playing games with me.
Again in the long garden we would play more adventurous games, like obstacle races. Consisting of ladders and planks supported by objects, see saws and a big bowl of water at the end where we had to bite a bobbing apple. Sure I nearly drowned in that water, such was my competitive spirit.
We had cabbages at the bottom of the garden where we used to get literally hundreds of caterpillars. I used to get 1p for everyone as did my brother. Even that was a race. I just had to win everything. I went to a school called feniscowles in Blackburn. The head master was called Mr sour butts; looking back maybe he had never had a nice sandwich made for him as he never looked happy. I was always in trouble, misunderstood constantly and found myself watching fish as punishment to try to contain me. What was that all about? At that age I did not know how I should conduct myself, I thought I was better than all the other kids at sports, faster, stronger and more competitive. Why I was never picked for any of the teams? I found myself taking pictures of the teams myself which I still have to this day.