How time flies

Time can play funny tricks with your memory.

For instance I know I started at Kelsterton College in September 1966.

I thought that I completed the college year the following June or possibly early July.

That would mean I started work (yes I actually got a job very quickly) some time in July or August 1967.

Yet I have documentary proof that I was working by the end of May 1967. How do I know? The answer lies with the Beatles and Sergeant Pepper.

Let’s backtrack to late 1966.

Things were going well at college. My typing was going great guns, as were the mathematics, English and office skills – apart from that terrible Pitman’s which was harder to grasp, as far as I was concerned, than quantum physics.

My only real problem was following information on the chalk board at the front of the class. Gradually I was moving closer and closer to the front, sitting next to a different girl almost every other day.

I don’t know if any of them thought I was sharing my favours (young boys can be very vain) but I was just trying to concentrate on the chalk board.

I didn’t cotton on to the actual problem until one day at Flint station, a simple two-track line, I realised the station name sign on the other platform was a fuzzy white on purple blur.

Now these signs were big with bold white lettering on a purple background. The lettering had to be over a foot high and just five letters.

I only knew I was at Flint station because I had stood there every college day for weeks.

By the time Christmas came I was the proud owner of a pair of black-framed spectacles in the style of Harry Palmer (Michael Caine).

The glasses did make a lot of difference, even if my vanity was pricked a little.

I had always had keen eyesight and when at sea whether sailing or manning the rescue boat I was always first to spot any marker whether it was a navigation buoy or a marker buoy we had dropped to establish a course.

The glasses didn’t help with the Pitman’s, however, and if I did make it as a journalist I would need to perfect my own form of speed writing.

Now we come to the anomaly.

I know I finished my course because I have all my certificates including one from the strangely-titled English Speaking Board. This had involved public speaking amongst other aspects of the English language. That certainly proved useful in later years with regards to political ambitions.

College terms usually ended in mid-to-late June.

I know that I managed to get a position as a trainee reporter with the Chester Chronicle group at the Holywell office of their Flintshire County Herald newspaper.

My fellow trainee was a lad called Delwyn Edwards and we spent more than six months in a large dusty office on the second floor of a building at one end of the High Street. The ground floor was a general hardware shop.

More about that in the future but one thing Delwyn and I did was to launch a new record release column.

There it is. My review of the Beatles’ new album, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released in May 1967.

Funny how you can remember certain things with clarity yet other memories are out of time.

Next time: Learning the ropes?

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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