old Fords and Morris Minors "any colour so long as it's black" new car shapes emerging and new brave colours, Rovers, Rileys Jags and Daimlers, Humber Hillman, Sunbeam, Singer - car city booming production lines, asway with buses, cloth-capped, fag in mouth city sidewalks, the Coventry Evening Telegraph sellers standing like Socrates outside the Acropolis of the National Bank, one of the biggest city centre buildings that the bombs were too scared to hit, their megaphone voices defining our world for history in half-audiable headlines. New brave city, a sense of space, a sense of modernism, a sense of regeneration, triumph in austerity, a symbol of world peace where the Lennon's would soon choose to plant their acorns, centre stage in times to come for little Broadgate Gnomes planting creative seeds in bomb holes and wandering musical hobos, the arena of the forthcoming Coventry music scene but meanwhile back in the 50's -
Being 3 or 4, moving from a flat in Allesley village to a council house in Meadfoot Rd. Willenhall where the Coventry to Euston line ran aback of the houses, waving - flag in hand to the Queen as she passed on the Royal Train, from the sandy embankment, while some boys threw stones and were caught by the coppers, the age of steam was giving way to the age of diesel as the 50's shunted on, you could witness technology fast-track from the back of your house, speeding down the lines to the innovative 60's while out the front it was the 10.am break from hoovering the hall and dusting the sideboards, sitting on the red polished doorstep, my mum and Pat next door, the morning gossip, Players and Woodbines, jiving in the street to Rock Around the Clock on the radio, chugging down the line to full blown youth
Sitting on my fathers lap, watching the Six-Five Special,(Hear it on this site), trains and rock music were
Juke Box Jury ("I'll give it 9"), Oh Boy, I was a TV addict in the fifties, never wanting to miss anything by going on holiday, but when I got there, I didn't miss it, strange because after the fifties I was never again that interested in TV, remembering the Radio Times and at one stage, mid fifties it went on strike and it was replaced by an economical news paper form for a little while, seeing an entry
My dad learning to drive on Coventry buses, we'd walk each morning to the
forms. NOTE on Photo - (My dad as a bus driver in the 50's with me on the GEC Stoke works housing estate - behind is the back of Bourne Rd and the childhood home of Billie Whitelaw (the estate was demolished in the 90's I believe - Billie's dad was I think Entertainments officer and involved with the GEC Pantomime)
Going around to see John Alderson, later guitarist with Wandering John
Writing a novel at 6 / 7, my dad getting me to read Treasure Island, which I enjoyed, and then Kidnapped. Kidnapped just didn't get my attention and so I decided I could probably do better, my first attempt at creative writing, I gathered sheets of paper and each night before going to sleep worked on the first chapter which I was quite pleased with but I just didn't have the experience to follow through with it at that age and eventually admitted defeat but something hung back although I didn't remember this early writing experience until something triggered in recent years, but writing became my thing. I mostly think of it as having started at 15 writing my first songs but obviously it began much earlier! but that was the key point in my life - i knew that if things weren't there that you liked you could create them your self - or at least try, it was the same with songs, I wanted to hear songs that said what I wanted them to say, on the music scene people used to moan that "they" weren't providing facilities for musicians - my perspective was always, 'then we'll create them', albeit with a lack of resources, our creativity is the resource and hopefully if successful, 'they' might see the need and help us out - maybe!!
On Sunday afternoons we'd go for a Sunday afternoon drive to places like Drayton Manor Park, Alton Towers, Banbury
We were post war kids, with no direct experience of the war but picking up on the vibes, the sadness of the airaid shelters and the new emergent optimism, wondering what kind of world we had entered, tripping over the double values and wondering if we could change things for the better, if we could dare to dream of a better society with out war and and starvation, exploitation, and seeing a window of opportunity through the sixties began painting rainbows on the sky towards the summer of love - could we change things, we had to try, with no maps or certainty, things could be better but for now it was the end of the fifties and I personally was still only 9 in 1960.