Oh to be in a Teenager Times
Early years and teenage times, but at what point do I mention those times – now! I started hanging around with teenagers when I was about 5-6 years old, running with those guys and missing a turning and falling what seemed like 6’ onto the old railway tracks, amazingly I landed on a mattress, they came back and I can remember them saying “he’s not moving is he ok?” I opened my eyes and up and off we went – I had fallen some way over the wall and landed on a mattress… I so wanted to be a teenager!
On one occasion we broke into a mill, cash till I think was raided? We got in the lift to get out and the lift got stuck between floors, that were scary as we heard noises arriving, one of the lads got a pick axe and smashed the door open and we got out. Another factory I remember them going into but somehow the police seemed to be on the way, as they came in the front I think we went through windows at the back, I’m a little unsure but feel that someone got caught though never said anything.
This might be taking me to the age of about 11 (ok still not a teenager but others were), 11 and the money spent on alcohol – my first binge drink maybe? Washing a glass milk bottle out and filling it with a mix of spirits from my parents house, I am sure the bottles had lines on them showing where the level of liquor was, C’mon it would have been very weak by the time I had done…
Oh yes that mattress was later used to shelter a den we had made but unfortunately when the fire got going so did the mattress and the rest of the ‘tip’ by those old railway lines hence a lot of fire engines turned up and so did we asking who they thought might have done it???
Lots of youngsters follow in parent’s footsteps, I simply saw this amazing clip of cycling on the TV and I was hooked, that’s where I needed to be. Cycling is fun, keeps you fit and healthy and its increasing dramatically, much more on this soon.
Teenager at last
Here we go and maybe now I’m 13? And the same month I had been watching a funny coloured red dot shirt on this cyclist (Lucien van Imp) in the 1977 Tour de France, He was on the way up the L’Alp du Huez (I think that’s the spelling, I should check on Google earth?!), that’s it I was hooked, and spent so much time in the Ellis Briggs cycling shop – my mind was occupied and I pretty much stopped hanging about with those friends?
I was in the 7th Shipley Scout group and in September of 1977 we did the three peaks walk but I struggled and wanted to be fitter, I never stopped talking to them about the cycling that I wanted to do but I didn’t have a bike (lies I tell as I could use my sisters moulton mini if I asked nicely!). I spent the autumn just wanting a drop handlebar road bike; I made a cycling shirt in school but some folks though it strange that a boy wanted to go into the clothing/knitting classes!
Towards the end of the year I took my dad down to the cycling shop, I knew he didn’t have any available money so I looked for the cheapest but ‘ok’ bike that I would enjoy riding. It was an Ellis Briggs own brand. Having got the bike I started changing it to how I would like it to look. I took the saddle apart and removed the springs, it looked a site but ok, I removed the great big heavy mudguards.
Teenage years and my first very heavy party (think I was 14?), we used some lads house to have a party as his dad was away, we took as many of those old flashing road work lights as possible and adjusted them so they could be switched on and off externally, maybe we got about a dozen (12!) or so of those lights and hung them around the house. The party was completely bonkers; tons of alcohol and folks, my school heartthrob were there, teenage adolescence hmmm. One of the guys had been stripped of his clothes and he just carried on naked… and then knock knock on the door, hey it’s the police and on the way in they grabbed some cans!!!
They got us all in the same room and were asking where we got the lighting from, erm the road works I reckon! They took all names but some of the lads were on the verge of wanting to fight the police-nightmare, hang on what’s that noise upstairs? Walking in the room is the lad who had no clothes, what he had done was dress himself in the fishing gear from the guys dads wardrobe, but also had a very tight small girls top on which was the guys sisters-getting confused yet, so am I – and what a site with waist high fishing wellingtons, tight jeans, and a girls blouse!!! The police finally left.
Now at Nab Wood Grammar school and doing terrible apart from art, I was very good with this subject and had a crush on a teacher, she was French and once overhead a little fantasy I was once mentioning to some friends, oh behold she walked down the steps saying “well hello big boy” and wondered off – arghhh! Apart from art I started missing many lessons and not going to school, the art teacher used to push me, she loved my work and so really tried talking me into going further, maybe the music ended up being my savoir through the cycling??? I’ve not really got much to say about school as I was even quieter, bullying comes to thoughts. No I was never a trouble starter and hated fighting but this is something that seemed to follow my teenage years.
I officially left school at 15 and way to early as I wasn’t anywhere near ready for the world of working ‘Youth Opportunities Program’ or ‘YOPs’ as they called it, couldn’t get any kind of apprentice position and ended on the teenage wasteland of forgotten people.
My first official pint of beer was at Windhill Cricket Club and events in there sometimes looked like some bars in the Wild West!!! I wasn’t interested in girls at that time but I’m afraid for some reason a few married women had other thoughts and I regret what I carried out, may be that’s a case of what goes around comes around, and my turn was due…
One night I was out in the local club the Mississippi bar and sat nice and quiet, this fella came and sat next to me saying “see him over there, well I’m gonna beat him?” I did reply saying its best not to, the guy he was pointing to was the hardest man in our town and was in fact my future brother in-law, so this guy said “I’ll have you instead then” fantastic I thought and the next thing I’m receiving some right punches, a friend of mine pulled me off and next thing my future brother in-laws brother give this geezer a bit of a pounding and threw him out of the club, this seemed to happen a few times-why me ha.
Finally I joined the RAF, though I also passed for the Navy, they asked what I was going to do while on board ship, I mentioned I would play my guitar, so they said well that’s a non starter but do you enjoy swimming? I told them I can’t swim “you best go to the RAF son!”
The RAF will need to be another story as it was a great few years and even better when they found out I had never flown!!!
Oh to be a teenager…