another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Friday, 13 May 2011


 from 1966 until 1974 my summer holiday was spent at butlin's holiday camp at filey on the east coast, my mum was a dinner lady and my old man a fitter at bemrose, the big printing firm, if you were from derby you were in engineering, rolls royce, celanese, international combustion or the carriage works, [british rail], ley's malleable casting foundry, or, one of the hundreds of small support units that supplied the big factories, we used to go to butlin's for a week, my mum and dad, nan, my auntie cath, uncle roy and two cousins, louise and david, the minute we got through those gates was like entering another world, we waited at the reception to receive our enamel year badges and chalet key's, [worn proudly around the neck on a nan provided ribbon], one week, seven day's, one hundred and sixty eight hours of fun, amusement park, chair lift, beach, swimming pools, [one heated indoor with loads of plastic tropical birds and jungle greenery hanging above it] and one outdoor, [freezing, but with a fountain at each end, i gave myself an enema sitting on it one year!], three square's a day in the canteen, crazy golf, my nan arguing with the other pensioners in the 'gaiety' theatre before each night's performance, [we used to sit with her on the front row which was reseved for disabled people], we got to know the coolest bloke in the world ever, he worked 'the whip' on the amusements, he must have been in his late thirties and he let us sit in the garden shed that doubled as the control room for the ride, regulation long greasy hair, dirty levis and 'steely's', [toe 'tecter boots with an external steel toe-cap], a nylon 'butlin's' jacket with sleeves rolled up to expose a skull and dagger tattoo on one forearm and  a tombstone and rose on the other, i was fascinated by his knuckle tattoos as he made a roll-up,' a.c.a.b.' on the left and 'hate' on the right, i'm sure he was more interested in the budding teenage charms of louise than me but when he told us about his bsa, that was it, [i really don't think now looking back that he actually had one but....], blissful long summer's, in 1974 i was 14 and i met a pretty brunette from glasgow, gillian and i spent the week swimming, playing football and listening to the groups playing in the 'beachcomber' bar, i had really never seen anything like it before, a tropical island theme, complete with streams running through it, little wooden bridges and a shipwreck, the sky would darken and there would be a tropical rainstorm complete with thunder and lightning, the last night of the holiday gillian kissed me, my first proper kiss, i thought my head was going to explode, we wrote to each other for about three months afterwards, life would never be the same again, eight months later in tha april of 1975 i left school and started my engineering apprenticeship, we never went back to butlin's again and i got my puch three-speed moped.......


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