I can remember joining the Conway
School in 1953. In the assembly hall there was a large wall
display for the expedition to Antarctica, but my old brain cells
cannot remember who went. I seem to remember something about
giving money to buy a Husky to pull the sledge.
I didn't like Mr Bull (Headmaster) as
I was always in trouble and my name appeared too regularly in
the 'Cane Book'. I have no old school photos but still have
my reports. My children particularly like the comments from
Mr Reeves, “Brian is a noisy and fidgety boy and a nuisance
to others around him.” I hope I've changed, but I doubt
As I said, I have no old photos. I had
the original wicked stepmother and when my father died she wouldn't
pass anything to me. But I still have those school reports.
Memories are not so good and I have
forgotten most of my home life, which was, for the most part,
hell. School is a distant memory although I can remember quite
a few old names.
Never had money to go into corner shops,
unless I bunked over the wall of a local pub, 'borrowed' a few
quart bottles and took the empties round the corner for the
returns money. That was basically how I got into Saturday morning
pictures. Greathead's used to run the local shop on the corner
of Parkdale Rd and Chestnut Rise. They had a son but I can't
remember his name.
My brother followed two years behind
me and was in Mr Givens' class. On his first day in class, Givens
showed him the cane register with my name all over it and told
him that he had better be an improvement on his elder brother!
I went on to Bloomfield
Road School afterwards, leaving Conway
Primary School in 1956 from Olive Hancock's class: a great
did not attend any clubs and other activities and was not allowed
(wicked stepmother again) to play sports for the school. That,
together with my two years' probation at approx age 9, for something
that I did not do, seemed to make other parents not want to
let their children associate with me anyway. Hence I did not
have many friends and therefore not many happy memories.
I lived up the top of Parkdale Road,
last house on the right. I was easily recognised by my ginger
hair, patches in trousers, holes in shoes, stuffed daily with
cardboard; but always known by my clowning around, whistling
or singing. Three things that have caused annoyance to many
people over the years, and still do! Sod 'em!
I remember that I used to love going
Woods and also to the woods in the golf course on Shooters
Hill, where I went across the Common and up through the
allotments and across into the golf course - peace and quiet
- it was great!
I also used to hunt for slow worms in the ferns behind where
Mr Bull lived on Wynn's
I also got stuck up a tree on the steps
leading from St Mark's to the bottom of the hill at the two
ponds and had to have the fire brigade out to get me down!
I also used to be able to get into St Mark's church hall and
camped out in there on many an occasion. Was never caught out