Just 17

So the story goes there was a lad of 17 who had been kicked out of his house at 15, he was a good lad who just wanted attention and love. He had a very troubled childhood and moved house from the mates and people he new as a boy. So he started again and made some good mates. He left school on the Friday in March 1972 and started work on the monday 6 days a week 6am till 4. He earned £4.75 which his step mom took half for keep.

Anyway at 17 and still looking for the rainbow he ended up having to rent a place to stay. With his wage so low he was forced to move to a rough area of manchester 7 miles from where he worked in Stockport. He could not afford bus fare so he ran to work and back. The room he got was in a dominant african area.

The room he found was about 10 feet by 5 with a bed and a small wardrobe and a small cast iron fire place. no window just a room where he could sleep at night after his hard labour work day. As he was a baker confectioner he wore whites that had to be cleaned daily. He stayed late after work and boiled his whites in a big pan on the stoves, then dried them in front of the ovens that stayed o all night.

He had his breakfast at work then lunch and a quick pie for his tea all from work. After running home in the evening he would be met at the door to the building by a big black coloured man who wanted money to enter his room, he could only give him change what he had if that.

He went straight to bed and once a week he would save for a bottle of Cider and a Pot Knoodle as a treat. This was by far the worst time living away from home at such a young age. His bed was old bed sheets that he could not wash so i cant remember if i even cleaned them or not.  Its the best i could do i showered at work and kept myself clean as i could.

The nights were terrible people always trying my door handle to see if i was in or to pinch whatever i had that belong to me. One theft happened when my Dad got me birthday watch but sadly i left it behind in my room and when i come home from work my room door had been kicked in. I didnt dare tell him.

I had visited my house one time and managed to pinch my Dads BSA .177 Air Rifle and used it at night to protect myself, i know it sounds daft but i thought it would deter people if they saw me walking in with it. The only thing i used to fire it at was the rodent that used to come in throught the fireplace. I would fire in the pitch black never hitting what ever was messing about in the rubbish bin.

How i lived from day to day with no money, week to week and month to month i will never know. but i made it and came through it. Its strange what you remember when speaking to people it just triggers something in my brain.



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