Old Georges Bit
Billy's Tram Ride
Bits from times gone by
When I was 11 years old. I used to go with my pals to Scotswood Road Swimming Baths each Saturday morning.
We walked the six miles each way from our homes in the Village of Winlaton just above the town of Blaydon on Tyne famous for the Blaydon Races in Victorian times,
On one particular Saturday morning I couldn't find my swimming trunks or cozzy as we called them.
My mother told me they had seen better days and that she had made me a new pair from an old woollen Jumper.
As usual I put them on under my outer trousers and met up with my friends for the walk
All the cash we had was the usual 6 pence worked for by having a paper round or taking empty bottles back for the 2 penny deposit on them.
We got the bottles in various ways, sometimes by scrounging them from neighbours or maybe climbing over the wall of the Commercial Pub in Winlaton and nicking some empties then taking them to the front door and passing them back in a second time.
The bus fare to Scotswood was 1 penny each way leaving 4 pence for the Baths
The entry was 3 pence and 1 pence for a cup of hot OXO from a vending machine after the swim.
The other 2 pence saved by walking there and back was spent at the local cake shop.
At the Baths I rushed through the foot bath and dived straight into the water.
As I surfaced I realised why mum was so carefull when washing woolens, the trunks had swollen beyond belief, the crotch was at my ankles and I would have lost them if it had not been for my elastic snake fastening belt holding them up
Worst of all the bright red dye has leached from them making the pool looking like a scene from jaws
It was inevitable that I was told to leave at once
My pals were no cumfort as they just rolled around laughing.
Worst of all was the fact that like all 11 year old boys at that time I was wearing short trousers and had to walk home with scarlet legs.
They say time passes and you laugh at things like that but I still cringe at the thought
Bye for now from Old George
Caravaning at Sandy Bay
It will be almost 35 years ago now but the memory is fresh on my mind
My wife Judith and I had been married 5 years an had 3 young Children
It was the first holiday we had ever had together and decided that a caravan at Sandy Bay near Blyth Northumberland was just the thing for us all.
The Sandy Bay site was just a grass field in those days and our caravan was the only one there
We spent a great 5 days there just relaxing and playing with the children.
On the last night there, our best friends John and Christine came to stay as arranged.
It was late in the year and the nights were coming in fast
Judith and I had been sleeping in the bedroom at the back of the caravan.
It was decided that the bedroom was given over to John and Christine and we would sleep with the kids.
As bedtime came around we put the children to bed and made up our matress, john and Christine decided to go for a last walk before retiring for the night.
Judith and I got into bed and settled down ,
after a couple of minutes I asked where my clean shirt was and Judith said in the bedroom
I got up and ran to the bedroom before our friends came back
Unfortunately, it was too cold for them and as I passed the caravan door I saw it opening so I grabbed at it to stop them coming in
I always slept nude and this night was no different
At first I was successful in holding the door shut but John thought it was just stuck and yanked it open
I still had a grip on the door and ip pulled me half out into the night
I was hanging one arm on the wide open door and my left leg hanging in mid air with my right arm holding the door post trying not to fall out.
I lookedlike a man on a cross
I managed to pull the door shut then dive under the bed covers
When John and Christine eventually got inside and went to bed Christine shouted what she had not seen a thing but John said he had
we spent the night trying to get to sleep but failed as one after another we could hear each other giggling
Bye from Old George
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