Monday, 6 March 2017

Growing up in Eltham in the 1950s ......... stories by Eddy Newport no 15 ..... Pop music and bike rides.

Another in the series by Eddy Newport taken from his book, History of a War Baby.

More School Boy Escapades whilst at the Poly . Pop music and bike rides.

School pal Ted Bussy and I had a liking for pop music. Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly and Fats Domino were becoming the top sellers in record sales.

Ted and I went to a local department store Cuffs in Powis St. to hassle the sales girls to play the seventy-eight RPM disks to see if they were OK to buy. Of course, we had no intention of buying.

That way we got to hear them for free. The sales girl did not mind as she was enjoying the records too.

We were eventually caught out by the manager and barred from the store. Lucky he did not report us to Mousy (nickname for the headmaster) otherwise, we would have been in serious trouble.

Our trips to the local cafés also gave us a chance to hear pop music from the jukebox, while we ate our chips and beans; the one I went to was the Hill Top Café up Hill Road Woolwich.

Stephen Searl, Bob Taylor, Ron Devlin and I were good friends and would see each other after school and at weekends.

We all had bikes and would often go for rides out into the Kent countryside. These became races between us as to who could go the fastest. Bob had a lot of stamina and would go off a frantic pace. Steve and Ron would kill themselves to keep up whilst I lagged behind most of the time and always felt I was holding everybody up.

I hated this competition as all I wanted was to ride at my own pace and enjoy the trip. We, at one time decided to set up a time trial. This was not my idea but I went along with it.

We planned a route that started at the Duch House in Sidcup Road Eltham, and it took us along the A20 to Dartford Common then cycle across the common and joined the A2 back towards London and home.

We had a stopwatch and each of us would set off on our own and try and get back as soon as we could.  I took the longest to get round and Steve took the shortest. Although, as it was a lonely vigil for each of us, the opportunity for cheating could have been a factor in that Steve’s time was very fast.

The distance covered must have been about 30 miles in less than an hour. I eventually dropped out of these pointless cycle rides and would enjoy more leisurely rides with other friends.

© Eddy Newport 2017

Pictures; from the collection of Eddy Newport

No comments:

Post a Comment