Archive for January, 2008

by admin
on Jan 26th, 2008


My younger brother, Paddy, died some two and a bit years ago. I deeply miss him but when your time comes you have to go, and I know I will not be an exception to this rule,unless I can find a loophole in the Bible.

 It makes me recall our childhood together, along with an older brother and four sisters. No, my Father was not a Catholic we just couldn’t afford a TV.

I recall our days in Eighton Banks primary school, a small Village establishment, -  in a small Village. It used to be called Barrington Charitable School and was built in 1757. We were six and seven years old, respectively. This true story happened when one day the teacher was educating us on the Law of Gravity. The teacher said to my brother, “Paddy Bull, come to the front of the class and jump in the air”. Paddy did as bid, jumped in the air and landed on the floor again. “Do it again”, said the teacher.Again Paddy jumped in the air and landed on the floor.”Once more”, said the teacher. For the third time Paddy jumped in the air and landed on the floor. “Now Paddy”, teacher said, “why do you always come back to the earth?”"Cause I live here”,Paddy exclaimed.

Opposite the school was the equally old Church of St. Thomas. Eighton Banks was in the Parish of St. Thomas. I recall my brother finding a human skull in the Churchyard and bringing it into the school yard, a now sacraligious act, but in those days it was looked on as a gruesome act of a young boy.

In the summer the whole area was festoned in mother nature’s glory. An old Roman Camp lay at the back of the school and open country-side thereafter up to the boudry of the Springwell council Estate, a once nice area to live among open fields as far as the eye could see, right down to South Shield, but now an estate of yobbish behaviours and crime, making it one of the worst place’s to live in Gateshead.

Christmass times were hard for us, being such a large family.Dad always worked though, never ever claiming state benifits, he worked till he dropped. I recall the Christmass of 1954, a particularlly good year for us. We filled bags of coal from the pit-heap, pushed them home on our bikes through six feet of snow, up-hill both ways, re-visted the pit-heap, got more coal and sold it to neighbours we hadn’t borrowed off, for 6d a bag. With the proceeds we bought a small Christmass cake among the ten of us. Bro’ was given a small piece. “Mam”, he chirped, “can I have two pieces”? “Of course”, she replied, “cut that one in half!” She was a hard woman.

Despite the severe hardship these were very happy days to Bro’ and me. Cricket on the field with mates, football, fishing for newts, chasing wild rabbits, foxes and birds. At Easter time every child in the street got new clothes. My mother bought one new hat and stood us in turn at the window. Girls were abundent, Glady’s Gallon, Carol Clayton, Heather, Gloria Richardson, Dot, ?? Starr, Liz Iverson, Kathy, Carol Cook, Angila Belford, and so many more whose names I no longer recall. I thank them all for the great pleasure of knowing them.

Mates too were of great value and importance during our childhood and youth. George Harrison, Tim Shield, Malcolm ??Dennis Tottin, Ray Richardson, the man who got me interested in guitar playing, Harry and Fred Bullock, Tony, Arther and Steven Gallon, Fred across the road from Tony Gallons who smoked like a trooper, Ian Flemming, and many, many more.Thanks guys, I have fond memories of you all. 

by admin
on Jan 7th, 2008


Gorden Brown in trouble again I see. This time the Cadbury Foundation is criticising the adverts on TV that recruit to the Army. They say it “gloryfies/glamourises war without showing the real role of the soldier”. I may be old but I always believed that soldiers fought wars.I must be out of touch or maybe the Cadbury Foundation  just wants chocolate soldiers.

In the bad old days men were not “Recruited” to the army, they bravely voluntered or were “shanghaid” into its ranks.

My Father was in the second World war. At the battle of the Somme he was awarded the Military Cross for outstanding bravery. He single handedly destroyed the enemies communications system - he ate the pidgeon.

by admin
on Jan 5th, 2008

America here we come

My son has just visited America. In my day of course you needed a passport to visit Gateshead, but these days travel is easy and available to all.

Whilst he was there a Yankie was bragging about his homeland. “Why”, said the yankie, ” I can get into my car at 7am in the morning, drive all day, and still be on my land at 7pm at night”!

My son replied, “I had a car like that once”.