Tuesday, 11 April 2017

War Baby ......... stories by Eddy Newport no 38

Another in the series from Eddy

My friend Steve Searl had met his future wife Hilary and was interested in getting some money saved up.

Embassy Ballroom, Welling
He had taken a job on a Sunday in London checking football pools coupons for Zetters. I said I would like to get involved and he told me what to do to get an interview.

It involved taking a test I went to Farringdon Street in London and took the test and passed. Steve and I would meet up and go on the train for the day's work. We worked from 9:30 to 4:30 and were paid £3 for the work. Home and out again to the Royal Mortar for the evening's gig.

I was doing three jobs all at the same time, OPC, Royal Mortar pub and Zetters. With nothing to actually spend money on I just put in into my Post Office savings bank. I was saving £10 to £15 per week. Very soon I would be able to afford a small van. I had accumulated about £500 enough to buy one brand new.

The only night I got off was a Tuesday my night of rest, I was so knackered I just went to bed.
One night I decided to go out with a group of lads who were going to the Embassy Ballroom in Welling to see a dance band and a rock group.

This was about six months after Janet and I had split up. I enjoyed the band and on the way home one of the lads said to me “Were you engaged to Janet Paice?” I asked why. Then he said, “I took her out a few weeks ago and we had a drink together”. 

For some reason, I was furious that this guy actually went out with my ex-girlfriend. Inside I was angry. I felt I wanted to hit this guy. It bothered me a lot and I started to wonder just what Janet was doing now. I could not get her out of my mind and I realised I cared more about her than I realised. I had sleepless nights worrying about what to do about getting back together again.

I devised a plan and it involved going to see her aunt Jean and uncle Eric in Eltham. I just happened to pop in on the off chance to see if they were OK. They made me very welcome and I found out that Janet visited them every week on a certain day. I said I would see them in a fortnight, thinking if Jan was to see them next week they would tell her I would be there the following week. This would be a sign that she was interested in me.

I decided to ask Sean (manager of the Mortar pub) if I could cut down on the number of nights I did and he got a guy in who would use my drum kit and I worked four nights with Saturday night off. No Zetters pools checking during the summer months, my Sundays were free again.

My cunning plan worked. I went to Jean and Eric's at the appointed time and low and behold Janet was there. We talked to each other via J and E, both telling of what we have been up to. Janet had changed her job and now worked in Tooley Street London wine importers. The evening went off with a little apprehension and finally, Janet said she wanted to go home.

With as much as a casual air, I could muster I ask if she would like me to take her home. Her answer was just as casual “If you like” she said. Saying our goodbyes to J and E we went and when we got to her home. I was invited in..

When I left and as Jan said good night at the door we fell into each others arms and declared our love for each other and agreed to try again to carry on with our relationship. Only, this time, we were going to have much more of a social life together. We both had missed each other and were glad to be back again.  The wedding was on again.I never did get my van.

© Eddy Newport 2017

Pictures; courtesy of Eddy Newport

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