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Hi James,i don't know who Paul Mann is...maybe Jimmy Mann's [the policeman in Bedlington at the time]Son?...no?

HPW.

Paul Mann was indeed a Bedlington policeman`s son.

Keep an eye out for the interview I did with him back in March, when he recalls his early life in Bedlington.

Synergy audio archive coming soon...

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Eeee,a cud tell yi an aaful story [aaful for me...that is!]aboot P.C.Mann.......!!

Noo let's think...hoo can a put it nicely...!

The year?-1954-ish...[i was ten years old]

The place?-Whitley Memorial School

The story starts...

I asks teacher if i could go to the toilet,and gets permission to leave the class.

In the cloakroom area i see a letter and envelope lying on the floor..important-looking.

I pick it up,intending to give it to my teacher,but forget all about it and take it home..my Mother puts it on the sideboard under the old huge pre-war radio cabinet,which has never worked ever..that i knew of...just a bit of furniture.

Next Morning,Mr Nicholson,Headmaster,announces a theft from the cloakroom,[during his morning assembly speeches],that had taken place the day before.

Being a well-brought -up laddie,i told my Mother about it and she freaked out with me,for not handing the letter in straight away.

So i took the letter after dinner-break to Mr Nicholson's office personally,and got a pat[!!!] on the head from the one who usually terrorised us with his caning behavior.

Later that afternoon,Mr Nicholson sought me from my class and took me to his office,where two men were sitting smoking.

They were dressed in detectives typical caped-back macs,and their trilby hats were on the table by their side.

They said who they were,C.I.D.officers,and they informed me that i was under suspicion of stealing a pound note from the envelope,before handing it in...[ 10-years-old...nobody with me like my parents to be with me...][and a pound was a hell of a lot of money in 1954.]

The letter was an invoice for Orange's Garage's,for payment for car repairs to a lad called Morgan Dawson's Dad.[any relation John?]

Well,i was cross-examined for the rest of that afternoon,accused of lying,told by these two men to admit i stole the money,and spent it on sweets...i was literally shaking all over,in tears at the finish,I had to stand outside the office in the cold corridor,in winter,freezing,shaking,to"think it all over very carefully,then come back and tell us the strory again"

I did this about a dozen times,then was sent home..no letter,no escort home cos everyone had already gone home and i was late.

I told my Mother about it and she went beserk with me,threw my jacket and shoes back on,and physically dragged me off my feet to the police station,all the way to the top-end from Hollymount Square...a canny hike for little legs.

She barged into the police station like the proverbial bull..demanding to know what was going on,and what proof,or rights,did they have to accuse her Son of this crime.

The C.I.D. men were there,and they did a repeat of the performance earlier,in the Headmaster's office.

At last,to my relief,one said,[and i rember this event traumatically],"i think the boy's telling the truth,he's certainly sticking to his story.."

To which the other one stood up,ten feet tall to me..it seemed...and said.."Well it's obvious that the Boy is telling lies,...."to which he got no further...!!!!

My Mother,and i can picture this clearly,flipped her lid,and clasped her hands around the detectives throat screaming.."Aal bliddy kill ye,if ye caal my son a liar,....the bairn's terrified,he's telling ye the truth........"

The C.I.D.man was totally unprepared for the attack,and went back off his feet.......

P.C.Jimmy Mann,and Sargent Lucas knew my Mother to be a good God-fearing Mother with four kids to bring up,all with good characters,never in any trouble,till now.

Jimmy Mann grabbed my Mother,and did his best to pacify her,saying.."Jean,come on now,we don't want you to get into trouble do we.."

The rest went back inside and Jimmy stayed with my Mother,cos she was in a state of shock,and crying,and so was i,with all this commotion going on,and i thought they would take my Mother away.

After a while we went home.

Next night she howked me back up to the police station again,screaming,"aam bliddy sick of aal this carry on..next time yi see owt lying..leave the bugga where it is for sumbody else ti get wrang for"

Apparently,the C.I.D. men had been to see my Mother at home,and wanted to see me again.

By now,i was just a jellified wreck,terrified at the mention of the police.

I have always been very strong-willed,and an individual,who wouldn't copy others to keep in with them...

I had it in my mind that these two big terrifying men in trilby hats like i saw in gangster movies at the Saturday Matinees at the top-end picture hall,weren't going to make me say i had done something i hadn't done.

So we went through another two hours of questioning,i think this time it was a bit more gentle after my Mother's outrage the day before!

No derogatory comments today!!...."Well, Mrs Allison,we will keep in touch with you......that's all"

We went home,me shaking like jelly,and Mother giving me an earful all the way home.

A few days later my Mother heard from Matty Hall,my Teacher,that the real culprit had owned up to the crime.

Mother got no official apology from the school,from AAD NICKY the headmaster,from the Police,C.I.D....NOBODY!!!

I think P.C. Jimmy Mann quietly smoothed out the attack on the Detective,nothing said about it..case closed..

Except for one little matter..........

For years after if i walked up Bedlington main street,and saw a Policeman coming,i would start to shake like jelly all over,and i mean a physical wreck!

I finally got to realise my rights as a citizen by the time i was eighteen,and shed my fears.

I related this story word for word,to a new marra at Bates pit,when i went there ,in 1971,as a new Deputy,and after listening to me,he got up from his Bait seat,and arrogantly declared that he didn't believe one word of it,who did i think i was trying to kid........the C.I.D. wouldn't have sent two men,for two days,to investigate one-pound theft............

THIS MAN ...was a "Special Constable",which i hadn't known,and he was as hard as hell,he used to talk about shopping his own Mother for motoring offences!!

Anyway,little Bedlington created some terror in my little brain for years to come!

Before i went out to play,my Mother used to wave the big bread "gully" [like a sword!!]in front of my face,and say.."if aa hear yi swearing,or hear aboot ye being impitent ti anybody ootside,or daeing owt yi shudn't be daeing.......aal cut the skin off yi strip by strip mind ye little bugga's...[ti me older Brother also..],and aal cut ya bliddy tongue oot dae yi hear....?"....."Aye Mother...we'll not dae owt rang..promise."

"Gaan on then,get yasel away doon the river,and divvent cum back droonded,or else aal morda ye's...."

With that terrifying statement,she would give us a kiss and a big cuddle,telling us she really loved us and would kill anybody who harmed us....and away we wud gaan..oot ti play!!

She aalway's said these things,it was almost like saying prayers!...but we took notice of her and never got into trouble.

We had the best Mother in the world in those hard post-war rationed times.

Aye,me story seems a bit funny noo,but believe me,it certainly wasn't funny then...it was so traumatic,that's how i remember every single word spoken,and by whom!!

Thanks for letting me relate this story about Good old Bedlington in the old days!!

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Eeee,a cud tell yi an aaful story [aaful for me...that is!]aboot P.C.Mann.......!!

Noo let's think...hoo can a put it nicely...!

The year?-1954-ish...[i was ten years old]

The place?-Whitley Memorial School

The story starts...

I asks teacher if i could go to the toilet,and gets permission to leave the class.

In the cloakroom area i see a letter and envelope lying on the floor..important-looking.

I pick it up,intending to give it to my teacher,but forget all about it and take it home..my Mother puts it on the sideboard under the old huge pre-war radio cabinet,which has never worked ever..that i knew of...just a bit of furniture.

Next Morning,Mr Nicholson,Headmaster,announces a theft from the cloakroom,[during his morning assembly speeches],that had taken place the day before.

Being a well-brought -up laddie,i told my Mother about it and she freaked out with me,for not handing the letter in straight away.

So i took the letter after dinner-break to Mr Nicholson's office personally,and got a pat[!!!] on the head from the one who usually terrorised us with his caning behavior.

Later that afternoon,Mr Nicholson sought me from my class and took me to his office,where two men were sitting smoking.

They were dressed in detectives typical caped-back macs,and their trilby hats were on the table by their side.

They said who they were,C.I.D.officers,and they informed me that i was under suspicion of stealing a pound note from the envelope,before handing it in...[ 10-years-old...nobody with me like my parents to be with me...][and a pound was a hell of a lot of money in 1954.]

The letter was an invoice for Orange's Garage's,for payment for car repairs to a lad called Morgan Dawson's Dad.[any relation John?]

Well,i was cross-examined for the rest of that afternoon,accused of lying,told by these two men to admit i stole the money,and spent it on sweets...i was literally shaking all over,in tears at the finish,I had to stand outside the office in the cold corridor,in winter,freezing,shaking,to"think it all over very carefully,then come back and tell us the strory again"

I did this about a dozen times,then was sent home..no letter,no escort home cos everyone had already gone home and i was late.

I told my Mother about it and she went beserk with me,threw my jacket and shoes back on,and physically dragged me off my feet to the police station,all the way to the top-end from Hollymount Square...a canny hike for little legs.

She barged into the police station like the proverbial bull..demanding to know what was going on,and what proof,or rights,did they have to accuse her Son of this crime.

The C.I.D. men were there,and they did a repeat of the performance earlier,in the Headmaster's office.

At last,to my relief,one said,[and i rember this event traumatically],"i think the boy's telling the truth,he's certainly sticking to his story.."

To which the other one stood up,ten feet tall to me..it seemed...and said.."Well it's obvious that the Boy is telling lies,...."to which he got no further...!!!!

My Mother,and i can picture this clearly,flipped her lid,and clasped her hands around the detectives throat screaming.."Aal bliddy kill ye,if ye caal my son a liar,....the bairn's terrified,he's telling ye the truth........"

The C.I.D.man was totally unprepared for the attack,and went back off his feet.......

P.C.Jimmy Mann,and Sargent Lucas knew my Mother to be a good God-fearing Mother with four kids to bring up,all with good characters,never in any trouble,till now.

Jimmy Mann grabbed my Mother,and did his best to pacify her,saying.."Jean,come on now,we don't want you to get into trouble do we.."

The rest went back inside and Jimmy stayed with my Mother,cos she was in a state of shock,and crying,and so was i,with all this commotion going on,and i thought they would take my Mother away.

After a while we went home.

Next night she howked me back up to the police station again,screaming,"aam bliddy sick of aal this carry on..next time yi see owt lying..leave the bugga where it is for sumbody else ti get wrang for"

Apparently,the C.I.D. men had been to see my Mother at home,and wanted to see me again.

By now,i was just a jellified wreck,terrified at the mention of the police.

I have always been very strong-willed,and an individual,who wouldn't copy others to keep in with them...

I had it in my mind that these two big terrifying men in trilby hats like i saw in gangster movies at the Saturday Matinees at the top-end picture hall,weren't going to make me say i had done something i hadn't done.

So we went through another two hours of questioning,i think this time it was a bit more gentle after my Mother's outrage the day before!

No derogatory comments today!!...."Well, Mrs Allison,we will keep in touch with you......that's all"

We went home,me shaking like jelly,and Mother giving me an earful all the way home.

A few days later my Mother heard from Matty Hall,my Teacher,that the real culprit had owned up to the crime.

Mother got no official apology from the school,from AAD NICKY the headmaster,from the Police,C.I.D....NOBODY!!!

I think P.C. Jimmy Mann quietly smoothed out the attack on the Detective,nothing said about it..case closed..

Except for one little matter..........

For years after if i walked up Bedlington main street,and saw a Policeman coming,i would start to shake like jelly all over,and i mean a physical wreck!

I finally got to realise my rights as a citizen by the time i was eighteen,and shed my fears.

I related this story word for word,to a new marra at Bates pit,when i went there ,in 1971,as a new Deputy,and after listening to me,he got up from his Bait seat,and arrogantly declared that he didn't believe one word of it,who did i think i was trying to kid........the C.I.D. wouldn't have sent two men,for two days,to investigate one-pound theft............

THIS MAN ...was a "Special Constable",which i hadn't known,and he was as hard as hell,he used to talk about shopping his own Mother for motoring offences!!

Anyway,little Bedlington created some terror in my little brain for years to come!

Before i went out to play,my Mother used to wave the big bread "gully" [like a sword!!]in front of my face,and say.."if aa hear yi swearing,or hear aboot ye being impitent ti anybody ootside,or daeing owt yi shudn't be daeing.......aal cut the skin off yi strip by strip mind ye little bugga's...[ti me older Brother also..],and aal cut ya bliddy tongue oot dae yi hear....?"....."Aye Mother...we'll not dae owt rang..promise."

"Gaan on then,get yasel away doon the river,and divvent cum back droonded,or else aal morda ye's...."

With that terrifying statement,she would give us a kiss and a big cuddle,telling us she really loved us and would kill anybody who harmed us....and away we wud gaan..oot ti play!!

She aalway's said these things,it was almost like saying prayers!...but we took notice of her and never got into trouble.

We had the best Mother in the world in those hard post-war rationed times.

Aye,me story seems a bit funny noo,but believe me,it certainly wasn't funny then...it was so traumatic,that's how i remember every single word spoken,and by whom!!

Thanks for letting me relate this story about Good old Bedlington in the old days!!

"Like" :thumbsup:

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Tales of the Bog Blaster

I can't remember ever coming across a locked store cupboard or stockroom at Westridge; needless to say these were rigorously examined by Sym.

I loved Science with Mr Hogg – now, this was in the days before the dreadful 'elf & safety Taliban spoilt all our fun with their rules about safety specs, safety screens, gelded chemistry sets, teacher only practical experiments, high viz jackets, no naked flames, and ..... this list is endless. Hoggsie used to show us how to make explosives by mixing various stuff then setting it off in the lab ... brilliant stuff. Anyway, he once showed us how volatile sodium could be when a drop of water landed on a piece, bursting into flames and giving off a cloud of gas. This intelligence was just too valuable to go unused. I snuck into his stockroom one lunchtime (the classrooms were never locked either!!) and nicked a pair of tweezers and an oil-filled jar containing some sodium blocks. These blocks were about the size of a ¼â€ cube.

The plan was to booby-trap the bogs just before breaktime the following day. Easy with the boys toilets ... using the tweezers I placed a sodium block above and balanced on each of the chrome dome urinal grids. This position kept the sodium clear of the piss puddles lying in the bottom of the urinal channel. However, and all the blokes reading this will know, the irresistable temptation is to aim the stream of pee at the hole in the top of the chrome grid – this is what I was counting on. Imagine the scene at breaktime, dozens of lads barging into the bogs, getting their todgers out and letting forth into the channel and wetting the sodium. Flames, clouds of white gas ... what a hoot.

The plan for the girls bogs OBVIOUSLY was different. Sodium blocks were very carefully positioned inside the bogs pans near the front on that gently sloping bit. The action happened when the girls dropped their drawers, squatted down and did the biz splashing the sodium. Yep, flames, clouds of white gas ... what a hoot.

No pink wobbly bits were harmed during the action but the screams from the girls' bogs was unforgettable. I was never caught.

Edited by Symptoms

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NOTE TO THE MODS:

Why not consider putting all the Westridge stuff together in one thread?

NOTE TO SYMPTOMS:

That requires (re)reading and studying all the posts then working out the best way to knit them. It's time consuming enough just to make sure all the posts are scanned by someone. If the search isn't producing the required results (though it has been improved recently) then we'd certainly have to re-visit that. Why not consider taking on a forum yourself?

The principal is to mess with stuff as little as possible, whilst maintain some sort of coherence. It's always puzzling when someone says where has this or that gone. Fact is that virtually nothing is removed from this board, except the odd bit of pure spam. At times moved, but seldom if ever removed, and it's often a joint decision.

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Saw this quote and thought certain people might appreciate what happened:-

"On the final day of school some students released three sheep into the hall on which they had painted 'one' 'two' and 'four..

The teachers spent the entire day looking for an imaginary third sheep"

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Saw this quote and thought certain people might appreciate what happened:-

"On the final day of school some students released three sheep into the hall on which they had painted 'one' 'two' and 'four..

The teachers spent the entire day looking for an imaginary third sheep"

Brilliant.

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Saw this quote and thought certain people might appreciate what happened:-

"On the final day of school some students released three sheep into the hall on which they had painted 'one' 'two' and 'four..

The teachers spent the entire day looking for an imaginary third sheep"

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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We let loose two 'coupling' dogs in the long corridor at Westridge ... what a hoot it was (then). I'm ashamed of myself now for doing it as I'm a dog lover.

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School Camp Tales

Every year during the last week of the Summer Term the entire Third & Fourth Year (before they left school for good) went on the School Camp to a farm near Hawkshead in the Lake District.

A select group of 'big lads' had to report to the School on the Sunday to load a furniture removal lorry with all the tackle for the week: ex-army tents of various sizes and shapes (including marquees), a field kitchen, camp beds, camp furniture, gym equipment (including the trampoline, vaulting horse, ropes), tea-chests full of rations (including giant tins of baked beans I remember). The camping tackle was stored under the school hall stage and had to be humped to the lorry. When all was stowed the 'big lads' got in the back of the lorry for the journey to the Lakes ... 1960s furniture lorries had a half-height rear gate, which doubled as a loading ramp, the open space above this gate had a loose canvas flap hanging down. Obviously, there was no 'elf & safety back then. Us 'big lads' made ourselves comfy in the back of the lorry by sprawling on the tent kit bags ... oh, and making faces out the back of the lorry at cars behind.

Our job once we arrived at the farm was to erect the camp for the rest of the school party arriving the following day in coaches. Marquees up to act as kitchen and dining rooms, ex-army ridge tents put up – the girls' and boys' tents were sited well apart (these were big white tents which could sleep about 8 to 10), laterines dug next to the woods and screens (like beach wind-breaks) fixed in place. The staff tents were nice frame jobbies and were pitched in 'no-man's land' between the boys' and girls' sites ... obviously for chaperoning purposes.

When the coaches arrived the boss teacher (he was the Head of PE but I'm not sure of his name ... it might have been a Mr Cheeseman) would assign billets and jobs. The boss woman teacher was the cookery teacher (she might have been Mrs Cheeseman) and she assigned the domestic jobs to the girls ... yes, the girls were directed to the cooking and washing-up jobs in the kitchen!!! The lads got the heavy stuff like wood collection for the evening camp fires and latrine maintenance. The latrine maintenance constisted of chucking lime powder into the trenches then shovelling in a bit of earth to cover the sh*t. New latrines had to be dug regularly.

The best job was going to fetch the fresh milk from the farm house each morning – big white enamel jugs (maybe 2 gallons) were taken to the farmers wife by a gang of lads. She would lead us into the farm's creamery and begin to ladle them full of fresh milk straight from the moos ... the best milk I've ever tasted. Full 'English' breakfast, cooked by hordes of girls, were served in the marquee, lunch was always a 'packed' jobbie as we'd all be away from the site doing activities. The only thing I remember about the evening meal was baked beans with everything

The gym equipment was setup on a flat bit of the field and ropes tied to high tree branches. Organised tag-team drop-kick competitions on the trampoline were always great fun ... the aim being to knock your opponent off the trampoline, one after another. Again, no 'elf & safety back then. Tree swinging on the ropes and vaulting ... all good fun. Split-the-kipper competitions were always going on ... we all have knives back then. usually a cheap 3 or 4 inch folding pocket knife; I do remember one lad turning up with a 12†Bowie knife ... the teachers let him keep it!!! The highlight for the boys was to watch the girls on the trampoline – skirts bellowing up to show their nicks. There was a nearby Tarn (small lake) where we used to swim ... again, unsupervised – this was always a favourite activity as we were all in swimming cozzers, including the girls. Each day we'd be taken off on walking expeditions up the hills and through the woods and taught about the natural history of the place.

Naughtiness and mischief after lights out. Bugs and other creepy crawlies were collected by us lads to be thrown into the girls' tents ... screams and squeals. Loosening the guy ropes to collapse the tents onto the sleeping residents was also a laugh. One year a bunch of lads were caught sitting high up in a tree spying on the girls who were squatting in the latrines ... they got beaten with the cane by the boss teacher.

In the evenings we'd all sit around the blazing campfire singing songs. Happy days.

Edited by Symptoms

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Our trip to the Lake District involved a stay in an old house near Coniston.

Two days walking, two sailing and two rock climbing. Happy memories!

Red Cross trips to Glanton with Miss Wilkinson involved staying in an old Nissan Hut and/or a caravan. Amazingly we were allowed to cook for the kids they entertained there!

Sadly no tall tales.

As I left in 63, all your memories are from a more youthful intake.

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we only got the odd day trip.

parents couldnt afford us to go on the longer trips :blush:

not to worry, trips to blyth and on the submarine, alnwick, warkworth, bambra castle, seahouses.

yes enjoyed them.

i loved seeing the submarines at blyth in 1968 i think it was.

happy days Maggie :thumbsup:

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we only got the odd day trip.

parents couldnt afford us to go on the longer trips :blush:

not to worry, trips to blyth and on the submarine, alnwick, warkworth, bambra castle, seahouses.

yes enjoyed them.

i loved seeing the submarines at blyth in 1968 i think it was.

happy days Maggie :thumbsup:

John, was the submarine HMS Onyx? because we went to see one at Blyth about the same time.

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School Visit to Consett Steel Works

Taffy Williams, the metalwork teacher, arranged a coach visit to Consett to look around the steel works, it must have been in 1965. I have a vivid memory of approaching the town and site at the top of some hills and being shocked at the colour of the place ... everything was stained red, including the washing hanging from lines, from the air pollution being emitted from the plant.

The site was huge. We saw the iron ore being conveyer belted into the blast furnaces non-stop, dust everywhere. The steel making section was alight with showering sparks, again non-stop. We had to walk over a high-level gantry and could look down into huge crucibles, maybe 10 feet in dia, of molten steel being moved via rail through the plant; we had a hockling competition at this point - dozens of gobs of phlegm being spat towards the open tops of these crucibles and being vapourised by the amazing heat. The rolling mill was a demonic place where blokes would catch wild, snaking, white-hot lengths of steel in giant tongs to redirect the steel into the rolling machines ... unbelievable stuff. We had lunch in the staff canteen and were teased by the blokes. Oh, and no elf & safety, no high viz or hard hats. Happy days.

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Magna museum near Rotherham and you can relive these memories.

Huge huge steel works and interactive.

Sadly no longer anywhere you can hockle.

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The Boss teachers in the lake district trips were Mr Cook the gym teacher and Mrs. Cook the cooking teacher, one year Mr. Cook got caught by the wife with Ms. Ramsey the Asst. gym teacher and a cold cold wind set in real quick like!!

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Anyone remember the trip to Bamburgh to watch the filming of " The Vikings " with Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas ??

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During inclement weather the girls always had first access to the school gym for their lessons and the boys had to make do with the changing-room. What physical activity could we do in there I hear you all ask? Wrestling! Best of all it was wrestling against the teacher. Gym mats would be placed on the floor and the class would form a big circle around this ring ... lads would be sitting on the floor,standing on the changing benches, lying across the coat rack shelves to form a sort of amphitheatre. Mr Cook would call each lad out in turn for a round of grappling - he would fight the whole class and always win. I remember one lad (I know his name but will not mention it) who got pinned-down in a hold by Mr Cook, the lad's arse was next to the teacher's face so he let off an enormous fart 'right between his eyes' ... what a hoot, and it entered the school's folklore. The lad got whacked with the teacher's sandshoe.

Just imagine this happening today ... the beak would get lifted by the Peelers and be done for kiddy-fiddling.

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John, was the submarine HMS Onyx? because we went to see one at Blyth about the same time.

I believe so.

Really enjoyed it Keith.

Other days out were to the Roman remains etc.

Got more interest in that these days, but at that time just starting out on my venture into history.

Its great to be on the forum to share our memories Keith.

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There she is Keith. She was first launched in 1966 i believe.

Brilliant, John, I remember her well. Going down those ladders was difficult and when I saw the bunks under the torpedos I freaked out. Did you get a look through the periscope? We did, it was awesome. But it was very cramped. If you suffered from claustraphobia you were in trouble. PS. I watched a programme on the Falklands War years ago and it said the Onyx landed Special Service troops on the islands in one clandestine battle.

PPS. Blyth Harbour was a degauzing!!! base for submarines during the war.

Edited by keith lockey

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I met up with Miss Wilkinson later in life.

Amazing how the passage of time makes us all equal.

Retirement is another great leveller.

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Brilliant, John, I remember her well. Going down those ladders was difficult and when I saw the bunks under the torpedos I freaked out. Did you get a look through the periscope? We did, it was awesome. But it was very cramped. If you suffered from claustraphobia you were in trouble. PS. I watched a programme on the Falklands War years ago and it said the Onyx landed Special Service troops on the islands in one clandestine battle.

PPS. Blyth Harbour was a degauzing!!! base for submarines during the war.

Ye i remember it well Keith. You are right it was so cramped inside. I was unfortunate not to get a look through the periscope tho. Many of our class did, but sadly i was too far back. Those bunks too, bloody hell, not for me tho. But what an amazing visit it was Keith.

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      When I used to knock around Bedlington with a few mates from Westridge we knew how to amuse ourselves. Knowing how to hockle well was a talent worth cultivating. Harry Wilson was the undisputed master. He knew how to howk up a pellet of phlegm, shape it to give it just the right heft and aerodynamics and propel it over an amazingly long distance with impressive accuracy. Once lying around on the grass at the tennis courts behind Holymount Square I saw him, from a sitting position, his back against the high chain link fence around the tennis courts, unleash a spectacular hockle straight up into the air and backwards over the fence onto the tennis court. We knew how to have a good time.
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