Tag Archives: aldridge

1. Summer 1961

Well, where do I begin, I am 11 years old, I live in Oakley Avenue, Aldridge, West Midlands together with my two elder brothers. We are from a working class family.  My father worked one week days, followed by one week nights, at a steel foundry.  I remember being normal, just like all the other lads in the street.  I had many friends.  We spent time playing football, going down the railway tracks hiding behind bushes, watching steam trains shunting in the goods yards.

When I was 11 years old, I attended Tynings Lane Secondary Modern School, In Tynings Lane, Aldridge, just ¼ of a mile from home.  I didn’t like school, because I wasn’t the brightest of lads.  My problem was that I found it very hard to concentrate because there was so much going on around me.  My brothers and I were taught to respect, the vicar, the policeman, the doctor.  Many a time a policeman in the same avenue would belt us one for climbing over his wall to get our ball.  We took it.  We didn’t tell our mom or dad because you would get another belting, when dad got home.  That was how things were.

On a weekly basis my mother used to send me to Poxon’s butchers, in Station Road, Aldridge, next door to Aurthur Thomas, fruit and veg shop.  I went to the shop probably twice a week to get meat or sausages.  This I did after school, or Saturday mornings. This went on for a few years.  After all, it was safe for kids to be on the streets in those days, or so my parents believed.  On one day, just like any other, I walked to the shop only to find a Triumph Bonneville motor bike standing against the front of the shop.  I still remember standing looking at this massive machine, trying to imagine what it was like to ride.  This was the day that my life changed forever.

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