Friday, 8 June 2012

Street Party

Norman was the Football Pools collector. The night before the Jubilee, his mum locked him out in the patio and wouldn't let him in until everything was painted red, white and blue!

as one of the original residents of the block, would probably have had a lot to do with the instigating of our street party, although it was taken for granted that there would be one.

Clive's family was one of the first to move in; he had worked on building the maisonette block. If you locked yourself out, Clive knew how to get you in, with a length of curtain wire!

It was 1968 when we moved in and he gave me a pair of chest expanders, (which I've still got!). His dad taught him how to swim by throwing him off the end of South Parade Pier!

Then there was the lady who gave my mum the "Fred the Flour Grader", the Homepride flour holder that always used to stand looking out of the kitchen window. Her son had a mobile disco.

June was from Birmingham. Her eldest daughter went to work in Hong Kong and the younger to Marks & Spencer.

I remember Lisa, John and I sitting out the back, telling each other ghost stories. One summer I borrowed a sack truck from Frederick Wayne's wholesale warehouse. Lisa and I carried cases from the coach drop-off point to the ferry for holiday-makers going to the Isle of Wight.
There was a story that Lisa's mum had got drunk at Roses' party and had done a striptease to 'Hey, Big Spender'!

I sat out the front with Malcy one evening, while my mum had the neighbourhood women in for a lingerie party. Like Tupperware, but with bras!

Catalogue Shopping, along with Spot the Ball, the Avon Lady and Green Shield Stamps were very much part of growing up.
Johns' younger brother, Derek, used to always be sitting on the walkway outside their door; a mat with a winding road on it, laid out with all of his toy cars. Derek grew up to be a bus driver. One Goodwood Season evening, Derek drove the doubledecker bus that Mrs Band I took to the races.

There was John, one of the fishermen of England. An older John, who worked on the railway. Ron, who was always working on old cars. Dave, the gas man, whose son I worked with, another summer, at the Kiddies Corner cafe.
There is a photograph of Dean and I sitting on the wall of the red, white and blue garden. We didn't go to the party but I'm sure my sister and her friends enjoyed it.

Fast forward to Tuesday...

As Mrs B and I watched the live video coverage of the pageantry in London, our neighbours celebrated by cutting up metal with a grinder!
By the time The Queen was heading back to the Palace in the State Landau, I had already had to shut all the windows, as a heady smell of burning metal was beginning to fill the flat. Had they been sanding their floors, like Aidan in that episode of 'Sex and the City', I would have applauded their domesticity. But heavy industry in a residential area I feel is a little excessive!
As the flags waved, our walls shook with the vibration.It was not the noise I objected to, it was the toxic cloud that was building up outside!

As you pass through Horse Guards Parade and come out onto The Mall, on the right there is the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). I went there in about 1986 to see three films. One was titled 'The Decline of the Western Civilisation'. Another was a documentary on a German band called Einsturzende Neubauten (Collapsing Buildings). They played industrial music using power tools and hammers. I recently read in 'Shortlist' that they had played at The Hacienda and had to be stopped from drilling into the concrete pillars as, unbeknown to the band, there were electrical cables inside!

Harking back to 1952, there were fashions and dancing from the period among the festivities. Back then, if you were causing a disturbance, a Bobby would knock on your door quicker than you could say 'Heartbeat'. These days, with an overstretched Police Force, it's an 'environmental issue'.

Growing up through 1977, the decline of the western civilisation has not come the Sex Pistols performing God Save The Queen on a riverboat as it passed by The Houses of Parliament, but it might move into that property next door while you are watching Gardeners World.

Guest Post from Mr B.

1 comment:

  1. Warm Greetings!

    Today, I visit your website and after reading your blog i realize that it is very informative. I'm highly impressed to see the comprehensive resources being offered by your site.

    Thanks and Regards

    Electrical cables