Mum was a SAHM. My Dad had gone to Grammar school and college and apprenticed at the “Dock” in the Engineering department. My Grandad was a blacksmith and had worked there from leaving school at 14, so you could say that shipbuilding ran in my blood. All the other males in the family either worked at the Docks, the steel yard or the chemical works. I grew up in Teesside an area of heavy industry born from iron and built of steel.
My parents were the first in their family to buy there own house and we lived a relatively good life. As a family there was two male incomes coming in to the house and we never really wanted for anything. We ate well, had great holidays and life was fab. I remember riding my bike after school to meet my Dad on the way home from work. We would get half way and he would stop the car and put the bikes in the back and go home together for a meal that my mum had cooked. We spent many a summer evening on my Granddad’s allotment where he grew vegetables cutting flowers and kept Hens. We would often build Dens in the nearby Nature reserve. Life was uncomplicated. My Dad was often to be found in the garage repairing car’s for friends or doing up one to sell for some extra cash.
I remember homemade clothes, family get togethers and riding my bike everywhere. I remember having to be home for 4.30 for dinner as Dad and Granddad got home at 4.15 and a meal was on the table at 4.30 every night. There was band practice twice a week and my Dad got his PSV so he could drive the Band Bus on a weekend to cpmpetitions. I remember sitting with my tape recording in the bedroom I shared with my brother taping songs off the radio trying to pause it before the presenter spoke, so that I could make mix tapes for the weekends journeys on the bus.
I went to a good primary school and an even better senior school and my Mum became a School Crossing Warden or LollyPop lady. We walked to school on our own from about seven years old and could often be found in the park after school fishing for guppies in the beck, carrying on at the golf links, crabbing at the boating lake or messing around on the beach.