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London Calling by Rick Haynes

A walk back in time this week.

Enjoy my memories.


London was my home for nearly 23 years and during that time, boy oh boy, did I have fun.

But, I digress.

Growing up was optional, playing in the street mandatory.

We’d play – Knock Down Ginger. By tying a piece of string to one door knocker, and the other end to next door’s knocker, all we had to do was –

1 Pull the string.

2. Hide and wait.

3. Laugh out loud when the two ladies looked at each other, scowled and shouted loudly, before seeking us.

Girls? No way. They were alien beings wearing make up and smelling nice. No, we played cricket, football, rounders and run-outs. All without a care in the world.

Even my grammar school was devoid of young ladies. Which didn’t help me when I did meet them at one of the many places where they flourished.

Nevertheless, other factors in my life were more important. Like playing rugby – which I hated – and cricket which I loved. Alas, my favourite sport, football, was deemed unacceptable for a grammar school. It was years later before that was rectified.

But I digress for my world was so much different than the one today.

Playing in the local park? You bet.

Staying out late in the street? Absolutely.

Talking to girls? Not unless we had to.

Running errands for old ladies? We always received some chocolate or fresh fruit.

But the most important memory was our dog, Peter. No matter where I went, he followed, especially when we visited Mitchem Common. Labradors are known for being gentle and he was, but not if someone was too near me. He’d growl loudly, and whosoever it was, soon backed off.

What a shame it was when my dad had to walk him home from the common.


Our pooch had rolled himself in another dog’s poo, and they wouldn’t let Peter and dad on the bus.

Happy days.


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