All good friends and jolly good company as we get set to tour

The fortnight at Harry’s home in Child Okeford was not only for preparing for the tour, making sure everything was in perfect condition and packed properly in the Sooty van (some fragile items were to travel in the back of Harry’s Range Rover), it was also to give us time to get to know oneContinue reading “All good friends and jolly good company as we get set to tour”

Fun and frolics at the theatre when uppity stars get their comeuppance

Meanwhile back in Basildon . . . After the few days of excitement at the National Union of Journalists’ ADM in Wexford things seemed very quiet back at work. My personal life was still going well at this stage. Quite a lot of it centred on the Basildon Arts Centre, some of it as anContinue reading “Fun and frolics at the theatre when uppity stars get their comeuppance”

Seaside resort – not the best place when you seek political answers

Growing up in a middle class household during the 1950s and 60s in a seaside resort in NE Wales is not totally conducive to getting an insight into national politics in general and local politics in particular. For a start nobody really talked about politics to children and when I first started to take aContinue reading “Seaside resort – not the best place when you seek political answers”

North South East West – which direction will be the best?

When you reach a point on your travels through life where the track diverges and none of the paths is a direct route to your objective you have to decide which way to go. The moment I discovered my Muse was mother to a six-month-old baby, with the strong possibility that Daddy was still around,Continue reading “North South East West – which direction will be the best?”

A momentary muse upon a Muse meant soon I would meet my Muse

Once ensconced in my new abode high above Basildon town centre (was this a metaphor for the way I viewed the town, looking down on it and its inhabitants?) my next move was to make friends. In my past where had I found friends? At school – but those days were long gone. At theContinue reading “A momentary muse upon a Muse meant soon I would meet my Muse”

New home in a New Town – and it really is Brutal

I had been working on the Basildon newspaper for six months before I was actually offered a flat by the development corporation. Travelling to and from Burnham-on-Crouch every day did not make it easy to form new friendships outside work. The keys to the flat, on the fifth floor of Brooke House in the middleContinue reading “New home in a New Town – and it really is Brutal”

Hello, fancy meeting you here after all this time!

On my path through life I have met many people – at school, at work and in my leisure time. Some have entered my life and after a few years exited it again. Some school friendships ended when I left school (although there were a few which lasted longer – my dear departed friend RogerContinue reading “Hello, fancy meeting you here after all this time!”

You can take the boy out of Wales but you can’t take Wales out of the boy

When I joined the team at the Basildon Standard Recorder I believe my editor, Tony Blandford, saw a chance to inject some fresh blood into features about the new town. What was even better, as far as he was concerned, was that I was not just not from Basildon but I was not even fromContinue reading “You can take the boy out of Wales but you can’t take Wales out of the boy”

New town residents were servants of two masters

In the early 1970s Basildon New Town (officially Basildon but as it was just over 20 years old people still added the New Town tag) control was in the hands of two organisations – Basildon Development Corporation and Basildon Urban District Council. By the time I arrived in 1972 the council was the civil administratorContinue reading “New town residents were servants of two masters”

The good, the bad and the downright boring

Living in Burnham-on-Crouch (until my boss could arrange a Corporation flat for me) could be a bit wearisome – it meant early rises and late nights if I had an evening job, council or arts review and a long drive to work to wake me up. The return journey was always in the dark. DuringContinue reading “The good, the bad and the downright boring”