Nottingham Then and Now – Part One: Sheep Lane – Market Street

NTNSheepLane

Market Street (Above colour photograph) started out as a narrow alley called Sheep Lane but due to its limited width quite a few accidents happened, pedestrians going up meeting carts coming down caused people to be squashed against the sides – usually resulting in blood stains on the floor and wall.

This led to the locals referring to it as Blood Lane.

When it was widened (civic improvements in 1866) the aim of the Gentry was to name it Theatre Street, because it led from the Market Square to the Theatre Royal.

The market people had other ideas and the night before the official unveiling some of them unscrewed the sign and replaced it with one stating Market Street.

The following day was market day and everyone, the Gentry and the market people, congregated at the bottom of the widened Sheep Lane for the opening ceremony.

The Mayor pulled on the cord to revel the new sign and proclaimed the new roadway to be “Market Street”, even though a portion of the assembled crowd – mostly Gentry – complained; but they were heavily outnumbered, and tried to point out the Mayor’s error when it was already too late.

There has been 128 murders recorded on Sheep Lane/Market Street.

Next in this series: The Elite Cinema – Upper Parliament Street.

Inchcock Views High-Rise Council Pensioners Flat on the 16th Floor

Woodthorpe

The other day I went to view an warden aided flat,

To get there I had to be strong and an acrobat,

Top of a hill, it was windy, glad I had me hat,

I found the City Councils Commissariat.

We went to look at the flat, on the 16th floor,

I noticed the kicked in panel on the front door,

The place was in a right state, very poor,

Electrics hanging off the wall down to the bare floor,

A smell lingered everywhere, a sweet sickly odour,

Noises from the Romanians living next door.

A distinct feeling of gloom lingered in the air,

I decided I didn’t want to live there,

Although the view from the window was fair,

I turned on a tap, the water was brown… I despair!

I caught the wall and the plaster shred,

A lick of paint will sort that, the Commissariat said,

That only made me cringe and exacerbate,

Then under the sink an insect zoo did await!

The light switch hung off the wall by its wire,

In the front room a non-working electric fire,

The ceiling peeling, electric needing a rewire,

For living here I could not aspire!

I told the Commissariat Thanks but I don’t think so,

She took it like a mortal lethal blow,

She scowled at me, and don’t you know…

She didn’t speak to me again and let me go.

Hey-ho!

Inchcock’s: It’s Been a Funny Old Life – Part 2

Inchcock’s: It’s Been a Funny Old Life – Part 2

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Each morning there was the fire grate to clean out and renew,

Get Dad’s breakfast, he’s eat owt, porridge eggs or stew,

Then get some cash from him for groceries, not easy to do,

Boil some water for Dad to wash and shave in too,

No internet, Google, Facebook, WordPress or Yahoo,

Had to do me morning paper round while Dad ate his stew,

Back an hour later Dads time for work was due,

Off he’d go, I’d clean his pots – getting to school the next issue,

Knowing I’d get bullied and learn nowt – it’s true,

Lunch with Echo margarine or lard sarnies, Eurgh!

Out of school and rush to the paper shop, more work to do,

Back to the house to lay the fire I flew,

Dad would arrive between six and ten demanding a brew,

Light the fire make his nosh, mine is overdue,

Entertainment from the light radio, no radio Two,

Raise a laugh, The Archers and The Navy Lark too,

His language was not usually bad or blue,

But he often said: ‘You useless article you!

Inchcock Remembers the Royal Visit to Nottingham… (Sneer adopted)

Inchcock’s Memories of the Royal Visit to Nottingham

Nottingham is preparing to give the Royal Family a warm welcome when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the city with the Queen.

Residents have spoken of their joy and surprise after Buckingham Palace announced Prince William and Princess Catherine will join the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on their trip to the city on June 13.

The Royals will greet crowds in the Old Market Square, before making an appearance on the balcony of the Council House.

They will then travel to Vernon Park, in Old Basford.

Iris Busley, 65, of Skylark Drive, Basford, was delighted at the news of the Royals’ trip to the area.

She said: “I’m really gobsmacked. We’ve never had anything like this in Basford before.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.”

Susan Davis, 59, of Corncrake Avenue, called for everyone in Basford to turn out for the occasion.

She said: “I just think it’s incredible. It’s just wonderful.”

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will arrive by train at Nottingham Station, where they will be met by the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge.

The royal party will then be taken by car to the Old Market Square to greet the public, before going into the Council House to meet the Lord Lieutenants of Notts and Derbyshire and invited guests. Huh!

They are one of 16 couples in Notts given the honour in recognition of celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year. Mr Starbuck, of Clarewood Grove, Clifton, said: “It’s all come as a bit of a shock. We’re thrilled they are all coming to Nottingham.

“We will be more than pleased to meet them and welcome them to the city.”

A spokeswoman for Sir Andrew Buchanan, Lord-Lieutenant for Notts, said: “We are thrilled with the visit. It’s unlikely a visit of this magnitude will happen again.

“It’s a one-off, and we are all very excited about it.”

The trip to Vernon Park will see the guests of honour treated to sporting and musical performances by children from schools and groups from Notts and Derbyshire.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will leave after this, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will remain at the park to watch more activities.

Nottingham City Council leader, Councillor Jon Collins, said: “As the capital of the East Midlands, it’s great Nottingham’s playing host to this royal visit.

My response was:

I’m so glad for them both. FibMode

It will be a reet-treat for them!

Being a long time resident of Nottingham, being made redundant three times, living for a month on a pension that’s less than they pay for a bottle of champagne, recovering from heart surgery, suffering with arthritis, impetigo, and angina, collapsed reflux valve, haemorrhoids, and knowing where to find the cheapest short date foods to buy, will no doubt fascinate them.

I offered to show then around the places they would not usually visit without their nine full time protection armed officers and an MI 5 helicopter hovering above.

Well, you’ve got to try and help the poor little Royal mites, bless them!

* I can show them the fourteen police station torched in the Summer riots – or rather the six that are still operating anyway.

* The burn marks on the Canning Circus station grab bars still visible as you climb the steps to go into it to report your being mugged again still brings back memories.

0402* I could take them home and show them my album of photographs of the local yobbery, with the one of the young gang who terrorise we old fold with mugging us, carry guns, breaking into our property, egging our windows, door knocking and general anti-social behaviour.

* I could show them the scenes where a party-goer was shot in the head with an air rifle, that’s only a few hundred yards to the south of my house.

* Then the pub where a youth was shot and killed, that’s just a few hundred yards north of my house.

* The spot where a man sat in a car was shot at by members of one of the  many drug gangs, that’s about half a mile from my abode, and on my weekly 90 minute walking route to the hospital for my INR Warfarin level blood tests.

0401* Take them on my 40 minute walk to town down Mansfield Road, and point out the variety of closed down retail businesses (46), where the 84 year old lady was mugged and hospitalised last June, while at the bus stop by two illegal immigrants one Sunday morning,  the now closed down shop where a lady of 67 years of age was gunned down in a raid and no one has ever been caught for it.

* Let them see the colourful Big Issue sellers as they sometimes get off their mobile phones to actually sell an issue.

* The newly opened outlets in the city centre – the Charity shops, the Bookmakers, the Coffee shops, Pawnbrokers and the ‘We buy your gold’ retailers.

* The constant traffic jams in the city, where they could increase their word knowledge I’m sure!

* Take them to the Arboretum, where sometimes you can find enough grass to sit on without having to move the used condoms, beer cans (Empty), pop and water bottles (Half-empty), half eaten take away foods, fag packets, phlegm, and sick, while they can listen to three or four other peoples music at the same time!

I haven’t had a reply to my offer yet!

I recall when I was in E19 Men’s surgical at the QMC a few years ago now, and Prince Charles was in a ward to himself above us, with two nurses and a sister in attendance full time – having his ‘tennis elbow fixed’!

I was having a hernia repair done, when they found I’d got cancer of the bladder, so attended to that for me at the same time… bless them.

0501* I might show them a photo of one of me nosh’s, to see how it matches with one of theirs? I bet they’d only be jealous though?

When Princess Diana arrived on a visit to Charles, with her armed protection officers, they were admitted through a fire door to avoid the awaiting press – someone shouted out in great admiration – “Oh… it’s Lady Di, and all the staff ran to the window to take look down at her… unfortunately for me, the auxiliary nurse was taking out my drainage tube from my penis at the time, and as she shot off to get a view of the royalty, she caught and dragged the tube with her foot, and I was covered in blood and in great pain!

I bet nothing like that happened to Charlie when he was having his tennis-elbow sorted?

Angry? Me?

Well….

Fri 5.6.15: Inchcock Today:

Friday 5th June 2015 

Woke determined to get a load more shredding done… again!

WC’d and while suffering on the porcelain I got this idea for a poem, ode, rhyme whatever for me Inchcok site of WordPress. ‘Me life in prose’I’ll probably call it, ‘It’s Been a Funny Old Life’ or something like that – ideas ran through me head and everything else seemed to fade into the background?

I’d had some dreams I think, because the ‘Little Inch’ had been active and he was bleeding, but can remember none of the dreams now, so annoying that innit?

IMG_0029Went down and started the laptop, made a cuppa, took the bags out to the bin for the visit of the ‘Refuse operators’, and fed the pigeons as I did.

I chatted with a bloke on Facebook last night and he is in the same situation as wot I am with his Windows Lumia mobile-phone – lost and confused!

Made another cuppa and took me morning medications.

Then I got the header done for this page and set about creating me ‘Funny Life’ ode – I had this urge to get it done while some ideas from earlier were still in me head.

So I did. Took me hours.

Then I tried to master the new mobile and learn how to store numbers – huh!

0501Had a wash and shave and readied missen for me walk to town to see the Age Concern people.

It was warm and bright when I set off down Mansfield Road.

A couple of pavement cyclist en route but they were too quick for me to get a photo of them.

0502Up and over the hill, and on me way down on the opposite pavement a poor chap lay prostrate face-down, his carrier bag at his side?

The police officer didn’t touch him while I was there watching.

Annoying not knowing what had occurred innit?

0503I poddled on about 600 yards and heard the ambulance approaching the poor devil.

It was here I spotted the Nottingham Street Art in the side of the road – it must have been a recently completed bit of art, cause the vehicles had not yet crushed it. I named it “Unloved Fodder and the broken fork” Hehe!

I pressed on and called in the Age UK offices and spoke with the receptionist asking if she could identify Steve’s number on my phone. She could not help. But she emailed Steve asking him to call me.

0504I had a walk through Trinity Square, and the food arena actually had people eating al-fresco in it!

Folk near naked taking advantage of the excellent weather. (Mind you, it didn’t half change a few hours later I can tell yers – blimey, not half did it change!).

0505I managed to get a shot of some ‘Bling’ for the TFZ gals.

Quality stuff this time – or quality prices anyway!

£6000 (USD $9156.83 – CAN $11432.56 – AUD $12016.66 for a ring? Pretty yes, but even so that’s a lot of dosh!

0506As I walked around the Slab Square in the City Centre I saw these kiddywinks being led across it. At the time I took the photo I had an excellently suitable and witty quote in mind to use on here when I posted it – what happened to that excellently suitable and witty quote I had in mind I don’t know. It seems to have faded into the ether… Huh & Tsk!

Probably something about trainee shoplifters or similar. Hehe!

0507I wandered into Clumber Street and called in the EE shop to beg for assistance on how to store numbers on me new mobile.

A patient lass showed me how and made sure I’d got it before letting me leave the shop – bless her. We’ll see later when I try it after Steve calls.

Out and up the street towards the bus stop.

0508Where I experienced a rare sight indeed!

Nottingham pedestrians crossing the road with the pedestrian lights on green!

Yes, it’s true, I took this here photo to prove it! Haha!

0509Caught the bus, dropped off in Carrington and walked passed the chemist, over the pelican lights and up the hill to the GP surgery to see if me extra prescriptions were ready.

They were.

But it had been sent to the chemists!

0510Back to the chemists and collected them.

On me way, a Nottingham Pedestrian Cyclist nearly had me as he sped by – I called out questioning his parentage but he either didn’t hear me or ignored me.

The Git!

0511Avoided the ganglets mingling around.

The wind suddenly got stronger and the trees bowed it it as I got towards the fleas-pit and made a cuppa.

0512The sky suddenly went awfully dark… I mean really dark.

And the clouds started moving very quickly across the sky.

Steve from Age UK called, he is going to speak with Nottingham City Homes on Tuesday for me.

I then proceeded to store his number with his name afterwards – in me Lumia phone, Yaheeee!!!

IMG_0042Nosh tonight, thick bacon in chopped tomatoes in tomato juice with herbs, with brad thins.

I really enjoyed this nosh.

Fell asleep early – in one of those awkward positions – you know – where you wake up twisted and in agony, aching all over! Hehe!

Then woke up every half hour in a ratty mood with yourself, because your tired and only want rest?

Inchcocks Memories Invoked by One old Photograph

Baroness-Ruth-Henig-CBE

Down the alleyway between the cafe and the Naval Club was where my doctors was situated: Dr Foley. An elderly woman with a no fuss attitude, I liked her – I can picture her now – with her fussing and stern assistant/pharmacist/nurse who would light the gas-fire in the waiting room with a loud bang and flash of flame. I was on her books from 1949 to 1969.

The cafe (Can’t remember the name, something Latin I think? No doubt someone will be able to inform me I hope) The owner hired young near-do-wells like myself to sell hot dogs at the weekends in the city centre. I think they sold for 9p beefburgers 1/-. They were stored in hot water in compartments in the heavy and hard to push trolley base. The onions were horrible. Keeping folk from nicking the watered down ketchup and Daddies sauce was a problem.

To the right was the Hong Kong Restaurant. On more than one occasion they were prosecuted for some hygiene irregularity but there were so many brothers and sisters in the family, that when they were barred from running food premises, they just sold it to another family member. Mother worked there for a while – and often she was given tins with no labels on them to open and mix ready for the cook to prepare in dishes. One day she told Dad that one of these tins had a bit of label left on it – it was Top Cat cat food! Later they were done yet again, but I never heard any of the locals complain and it was always busy?

The Italian restaurant I cannot remember ever seeing anyone ever eat there. We used to joke that it must be a cover-base for the Mafia.

In later year I’d frequent the Naval Club, where the beer was only so-so but the  company was great – I loved listening to the members stories of their war exploits.

In one of the  flats above the Hong Kong restaurant lived a lass by the name of Maureen Hutterswaithe – a bonny lass generous with her foibles as I remember… but that might not be a suitable story for  here. But it were grand!

Austin A40Arkwright Street, my stomping ground as an underfed impecunious little ragamuffin.

Not all good memories but much missed nowadays in this greedy uncaring atmosphere I laughingly call life.

Hey-ho – so now I’m feeling a bit low…

Some Fings wot Nottingham folk don’t say any more – not nowadays…

I’m sorry if some folk find these hard to understand – a little like me wiv women?

Lost words phrases and comments from Inchcock’s passed.

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Lamented saying: Yo cun cum to ma place, mam un dad r awt fort night!

Translation: You can come to me house, Mother and Father are out all night.

Comment: Never to be heard again methinks?

Lamented saying: Sorl yer gerrin!

Translation: That is as much as you are going to get.

Comment: School dinner lady talk?

Lamented saying: He onts sum hossmuck innis boots!

Translation: He is of rather small stature.

Comment: Short-arse is another option to use.

Lamented saying: Yowl cumoff wurst!

Translation: I fear you cannot win.

Comment: Cummin off  wurst… that I was very good at!

Lamented saying: Yer norrayin no tuffees!

Translation: You cannot have any sweets.

Comment: That was Dad all over… but I still loved him.

Lamented saying: Gizza croggie!

Translation: May I have a crossbar ride with you on your bicycle?

Comment: You just don’t seem to hear that phrase nowadays.

Lamented saying: This beer tastes like massi-watter!

Translation: This beer tastes like cat urine.

Comment: Unsure how Nottinghomians started using the word ‘Massi’ for a domesticated cat. Apparently nowadays it means someone who is ready for sexual intercourse? That leaves me out of the equation then .

Lamented saying: Aya masht midduck? 

Translation: Have you made the tea, dear?.

Comment: What my beloved Suzie would ask when she got home, nearly every time she got home.

Lamented saying: Phowr yo stink chronic yo do!

Translation: By golly your spoilt nappy does smell horrendous.

Comment: I’m informed this is what Dad used to say to me with great regularly.

Lamented saying: Arkattit! 

Translation: Listen to the rain.

Comment: All the Meadows folk used this terminology when it belted down.

Lamented saying: Wiggorn ev uz dinnuz! :

Translation: We are going to have our dinner.

Comment: Not that I got a cooked dinner very often…

Lamented saying: Gerrup yo, elsal bat yatabb!

Translation: Get up, or I may have to use violence to make you.

Comment: Dad’s encouragement for me to get out of bed.

Lamented saying: Fyo dont doasIsay al get yer Mam back!

Translation: If you do not do as I say, I’ll find your Mother and bring her back home.

Comment: An intimidatingly blood-curdling threat Dad used when I played him up or didn’t do as he asked – it worked too!

Lamented saying: I don’t wannit fro it int Trent!

Translation: I do not want that child, throw him in the river Trent!

Comment: Dear Mummys first words to the midwife when I was born.

Lamented saying: Arwee ayin chips else bunt tatuzz?

Translation: Will we be having chips or baked potatoes?

Comment: Well it wer chips when I had a choice.

Lamented saying: Wi or wi’yaut vingar?

Translation: Is that with or without vinegar?

Comment: Of course it wasn’t vinegar, it was brewed condiment.

Lamented saying: Yer greet wassock!

Translation: You great idiot!

Comment: Yes, been called this often enough as a youngster… and later.

Lamented saying: Keep tu coursey!

Translation: Stay on the pavement.

Comment: Now this is very rare nowadays.

Lamented saying: Downt piggle ut yer scab!

Translation: Stop picking at your scab.

Comment: I think piggling was also used for little and or unimportant as well?

Lamented saying: Yowl koppitt!

Translation: You will get into trouble.

Comment: Yes, I did too – far too often!

Lamented saying: Wottyowant? 

Translation: What would you like?

Comment: I know what I’d like… but the body wont let me…

Lamented saying: Eers yer pay packet yoof!

Translation: Here is you wages for the week Gerry.

Comment: Ah… those were the days…

Lamented saying: Dus yer fancy a lyrral romp?

Translation: Would you like to mutually couple with me?

Comment: Hmmm?

Inchcocks Security Career True Tales of Woe – Rapid Alarm Response – The Bank Manager’s Activation

Inchcock’s True Security Career Woes

Rapid Response Alarm Officer Inchcock & The night of the Bank Manager’s Home Alarm Activation

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I was on Alarm Response and Patrol checks this particular night. Anyone could usually tell when I was on these duties because the amount of alarm activations usually doubled when I was on this roster. Tsk!

About 2345hrs I was in Long Eaton near Derby carrying out one of the regular site checks when I got a call to inform me that an alarm had been activated at a house in North Nottingham. I knew the house as it is on our Patrol list for checks at the weekends, and owned by a bank manager.

I made my way towards Beeston then onto the ring road when I got another call from the controller to advise me that a second activation had been received making it a positive and the Police had been informed, but they told him that “We have no free units to respond, but will do when one is free.”

Nice… very encouraging that.

I arrived at the assignment address about 30 minutes after getting the call. A great big house with two gates and dozens of rooms.

I informed control of my arrival and that no outward signs of intrusion seen at the front and I was going to check the rear of the premises first.

I got the keys and codes from the van safe, locked the van, took a deep breath and walked to the back of the sprawling house.

1220hrs: I moved away from the window and informed control of the suspect on premises situation and he despatched the other patrol officer Darren as back-up support being as the Nottingham Police still had no one to send.

So I waited and observed monitoring for any activity.

I then saw the torchlight in a ground floor window and continued my observing.

Daz arrived asking where is the scum-bag, let’s gerrim…

After we gained entry through the front door and deactivated the alarm

Darren called out “Alright scum-bag, let be X#~♫ having yer… come on give up or my mate will come and get yer…”

I recall thinking ‘Oh no he wont!’

A bloke appeared though a door and came running at us calling out “I’ve called the police… he pulled up short and lowered his mashie niblick when he saw our uniform and the size of Darren… who did not take to be attacked and he belted the chap with left-hook of Henry Cooper quality.

As I was about to challenge Daz on why he clobbered him as it was obvious the chap was not an intruder but the bank manager when the door behind us burst open and the police officers entered, batons drawn and wrestled me an Darren onto the floor and we were hancuffed – I remember a canine officer being displeased with his animal when it licked me on the face when they were getting me up after being handcuffed.

Now we were in a pickle I thought.

Luckily my solver tongue explained what had happened in between my asking then telling Daz to keep quite.

The paramedics arrived and the bank manager was taken away for checks although he seemed alright, was very quiet and didn’t seem to hold any grudge against us?

When the officers and Darren had left, I did a check of the premises for any intruders, I could see the fuse box was open at the cellar head, so assumed that was the reason the torchlight was used? No signs of why the alarm activated were found and it reset without any bother later.

When I checked each room upstairs the third bedroom… well it opened my eyes I can tell yers… A four-poster bed with red and pink adornments, leather straps, handcuffs and a giant plastic prodding fork lay on the bed? Five TV or monitor screens were scattered around the room, and a gigantic mirror on the ceiling! No signs any bodies anywhere though.

Then I informed control all was clear and reset the alarm and secured the premises.

Sat in the van doing the incident report – one of the hardest I’ve ever had to do.

The Barclays bank manager didn’t complain at all – which was puzzling and unexpected, but comforting.

Wonder what he was up to on his own?

Some of Inchcock’s Cars wot he has owned… some most regrettably so!

Cars01Raleigh Safety Seven

I started as so many did on the motorbikes, eventually treating myself to a 3 wheeled Raleigh Safety Seven, cold, lethal and I loved her! I named her Suzie Safety Seven.

She passed away within three weeks, beyond saving she was. Sad!

Cars02Robin Reliant

I thought the idea of going out without having to put me  helmet, gloves, boots and goggles on was so novel.

I seemed to have so much fun with Wilhelmina over the years, and do miss the old gal to bits.

I loved my last one to bits. It was only due to the call of a certain young lady for more room to manoeuvre in, that I eventually got a (four door) Skoda Estelle.

Cars03Skoda Estelle

Getting a larger car without any spare cash left thanks to a certain young lady’s demands was not easy.

I had to ‘do a deal’ with an Arthur Daley type auto trader – a straight swap, so had to go for an Estelle that was considerably older than Safety Seven Suzie.

A multitude of failed parts, collapsed assembly’s, break-downs (I think the RAC were considering cancelling my membership), lousy brakes, lack of power and unreliability were rampant throughout the time I owned Wilhelmina as I christened her. (Sounds a bit like my body today…Hehehe!).

But, there were plenty of vehicle scrap yards to pick from to get cheap replacement parts that had deceased functioning or blew-up on me. Apart from the ‘usual’ Skoda parts that all seemed to suffer from – Starter/Alternator, Internal window wire assembly, heater/thermostat, Cooler pipe valve etc.

Still I was young, eager, had a life and foolishly thought my lime-green Skoda Estelle was the bees knees at the time! (I know…)

Cars04Standard Vanguard

An older car again, but she looked in good nick.

Bench seats, column gears, and terrible vision – I loved it.

Heavy on the juice, but the smell of those leather seats was wonderful.

Although slow to get going, she would cruise easily at 70 mph – but stopping such a heavy car like ‘Vanessa’ proved difficult when going at any speed – as I proved when I ran into the back of a stationary British Army Bedford lorry…

Vanessa had to be put down, I got in trouble, my insurance went up and I lost me job in Wales ‘cause I couldn’t get there. Hey-ho!

Cars05Austin Maxi.

This British Leyland made vehicle did not give me enough time to name her.

She had air conditioning in the boot. (A dirty great run of galloping rust had eaten away at the metal and I could just put my hand through the hole to get anything I needed from it.)

She was noisy, but a belter on the motorway, I had 100mph out of her with ease – mind you, she was too keen on stopping as I recall.

She had a personalised gear-change that often refused to respond to me needs to change into fourth gear.

Cars06Ford Consul Classic

Within a couple of weeks, the Austin Maxi was traded in part-exchange for a Ford Consul Classic.

4 door twin headlights, maroon and cream, leather bench front seats, boy did it get the birds going – it ran like a heap of junk, rusty, slow, bad column gear-change, leaking back window, but boy the dolly-birds always wanted a lift home in my American looking car – haha! (Oh dear I mustn’t get myself too excited)

I Christened her: Leaky Linda

Yet another car that didn’t last me for long.

Cars07Bedford CA van

A Bedford CA van, split windscreen.

Now as bad as it was to drive, it amazed me how good the fuel consumption was at first, until I realised the fuel gauge had been tampered with after I ran out of petrol between Matlock and Bakewell in the Derbyshire Dales.

The high mounted seats had no adjustments, making it work hard work with my little short legs.

But I did get some spare-time work in using it to deliver small bags of coal and firewood for the local ‘Aurthur Daley’ who worked from under the railway viaduct near to where I lived.

Cars08Renault Fuego

After buying this good looking car, my mate did a check on the engine, did something to the valves, bit of tuning, and returned the car to me, saying it was alright and safe!

I got in the car to go to the Cash and Carry and pulled away.

As I was passing a mates shop I decided to show off me new wheels like – as I pulled onto his forecourt, the engine dropped out to the floor amidst a cloud of mist, dust, rust, and sparks!

It cost me £35 (A lot of money in those days) to have it towed away and destroyed.

That has to be the shortest time I’ve ever owned a car.

Cars09Austin Allegro 1750 Equipe

I saw an advertisement for an Allegro 1750 Equipe that was going cheap, and I visited the owner.

Within two minutes of test driving her, I’d decided to buy her; she went like a bat out of hell!

She even had go faster stripes on her sides.

Unfortunately, the rust and fuel gauge went too fast for me too!

Cars10Austin Allegro Estate

I bought this Austin Allegro estate 1500 because I’d just started the shop up on Oakdale Road in Nottingham. I needed to transport stuff from the cash & carry etc daily.

And she did the job magnificently I can proudly say.

I moved a full size retail chest freezer on her once to Derby.

Admittedly I had to keep the tail gate door open, but she coped well with it.

A workhorse of the finest metal she was, never let me down at any time.

When I lost the shop I decided to downsize a bit and bought an:

Cars11Allegro mark3 HLS

Later I purchased a newer Allegro mark3, four door, twin headlights, new A-plus engine, and the usual rampant rust. She was faster than the Equipe! and was so good on fuel.

Of course, as you could and did in those days, I took her on the motorway to find out what her top speed was. I got 105mph out of her, and was well pleased.

When I took her to me local garage for her MOT – I called in later to see how things were looking and the mechanic said “It might look better, but someone has crammed paper into the wing rust holes and the sills have been cleverly painted to mast the rust there mate!”

Oh dear I thought and asked him how much to get it sorted…

£200 or thereabouts he smiled at me!

But being so pleased with how it drove and liking the looks of it, I had it done.

I was in a well paid job in Carter’s pop factory, started fishing again, and decided to buy a 4×4 to replace the mark 3.

Needing a deposit, I stuck to my guns in asking for £800 to sell my Allegro to my boss at the time, he said; “If it really can do 100 mph, pick me up in the morning, and if it does, I’ll pay the £800 for it!”

So I picked him up, got on the motorway, proved she could, and he agreed to pay the £800 – just before the police Ford Granada caught up with us, and indicated for me to pull in!

When I got my licence back, I did buy a Panda Sisley 4×4.

A Brand New Panda Sisley 4×4

CarsJPS

Cars12The sunroof leaked, the radio didn’t work, it was as slow as anything I’d driven before, the engine was noisy, the gears were crunchy, bits started to and kept on falling off of it, and the 4×4 engaging level stuck… but in 4 wheel drive, she was great off-road.

Back and forth to the garage JCP in Kegworth near where I was working several time, and got all the usual verbal garbage off of the desk man and the mechanic… you know, like:

Inchcock: “Are you going to replace the tail-gate badge, the Sisley motto and the inside door handle that have fell-off in the first three days?”

 Reception Man: “The badges that dropped off will be replaced’ (It took them five weeks)

Mechanic: “Wot yer on abaght with the speed thing you bothered the salesman wiv then?”

Inchcock: “Well the hand book says the top speed is 85mph, the most I’ve got out of her is 70mph!”

Mechanic: “Well that’s the legal limit innit?

Inchcock: “ Yer, but you sell Alpha Romero’s that do 140mph, so are you breaking the law?”

Mechanic: No no no, it’ll soon improve, you’ve got to let the engine settle cause it’s new!”

Like a twit I believed him. In the years I had the car it never got above 72mph.  

Inchcock: “Now the sunroof you fitted is leaking!”

Reception Man: “Bring it in week after next and we’ll ‘ave a look at it”

Inchcock: “I want it mending not being looked at!”

Meanwhile I got a puncture, and the wheel brace broke! So I took it in when he said and he told me they could not find the time to repair the leaking roof, but gave me a second had brace. They told me to come back in two days. So I did.

Mechanic: “We haven’t got a seal to fit, but we’ve got one on order mate. I’ll book you in for next Wednesday, would you like to bring it in am or pm?”

Inchcock: “AM… how long will it take?

Reception Man: “Two or three days”

Inchcock: “Will I get a courtesy car?”

Reception Man: “Of yes, no problem!”

So I took it in on theWednesday and…

Reception Man: “I’m afraid we do not have any cars available for you”

Inchcock: “What!”

Reception Man: “You can bring it in again later Sir!”

After much verbal exchanges that grew louder on my part, the manager came out to see what was going on. I explained my position and the manager said: If we do not have a car available Sir, there is nothing we can do!”

Inchcock: “We there is something I can do – you can take the ∑℅¤$£)>Ψ◊ car back and give me a refund now!”

After the manager consulted with various other people he came back and gave me the keys to a Fiat Croma to use!

Never went there again I can tell yer.

The only advantage of that car was with me mate and the back seat down, the rod holdalls between the seat and the boxes and other tackle in the back, we managed easily when we went fishing.

When we went to Attenborough gravels, we often encounted two chaps en route in a Landrover and we would race each other as both parties wanted the  same good fishing spot. And my little Panda was let behind on the road, but when we got into the muddy fields inside the complex I could usually catch him up and overtake them getting to the spot first. The driver got really mad about this, but his off road driving was pathetic. He just used to put his foot down without trying to stay in as high a gear as possible and slid all over as we passed him. A rare series of victory for Inchcock.

Cars12aSubaru Justy 4×4

I part-exchanged the Sisley for a Subaru Justy 4×4 saloon.

The 4×4 change was sleek, a button on top of the gear level. You only had to be driving straight and up to 40mph and one press put her in 4×4 mode in seconds.

She was nippy for a 1300 engine too.

Put the Sisley to shame in that department.

And it was much more of a comfortable ride too.

And had more space in the back.

What a car, only let me down once, when the fuel filter got clogged. I regretted getting rid of her.

Cars12bHillman Humber Super Snipe Estate

What a car.

I bought her as a sort of second car really, because she was so big long and wide, everyday use in the narrow streets where I frequented would have caused problems.

The ride was soft and luxurious.

The seats also.

And the column gear change was the best I’ve ever used.

A heavy car naturally it was heavy on fuel – but hey… I was young and flamboyant in those days.

The lights on her was not up to scratch though, and talking about scratches, she had more than her fair share on her bodywork when I bought her.

Still I enoyed taking mates and their lassies around showing off yer know!

When the engine packed up, it would have been too expensive even for me get mended, so she had to go, sadly.

Cars14Triumph Dolomite Sprint

A nice Triumph Dolomite Sprint next.

The air-conditioning through the holes in the floor-pan where unique.

The leaking roof, windows, sills and oil were original in their intensity.

The engine was dynamite though and not a lot of other traffic could beat it.

The rattles were ever changing, but ever present if you know what I mean.

Cars15Daihatsu Sportrak

I got another great performer here, and she was good on fuel.

So quiet on the road she was, nippy smooth and gave me a sense of confidence too, her brakes were first class.

The only thing that niggled me about her was when I wanted to put het into four wheel drive mode.

I had to get the tools out, get out of the jeep and adjust both front wheels manually – then of course do it again in reverse when I wanted to go back to two wheel drive.

What a headache that was.

She would drive on the motorway with the greatest of ease forever.

I’d have kept her longer but she got nicked and trashed by a gang of druggies.

Cars16Ford Escort van

I got a Ford Escort van, which fell to pieces literally.

When I was waiting to the insurance on the Daihatsu I got it as a stop- gap like – stop being the operative word… she liked to do that regularly as well as refusing to start.

One good thing though, if I was on me way to pick someone up they could hear me engine and wheel nuts half a mile away en route.

Eventually it was getting beyond trying to keep her going and I rang a scrap-yard or two to get the best price offered for her.

The place called the Ponderosa just outside Nottingham was prepared over the phone to offer me £25 if I could get her there on me own and not be collected.

Not bad I thought, I’ve got a week left on the MOT so I took off to deliver her there.

Going down Mapperley Hill en route, I think I said to myself ‘Flipping heck’ when the brakes failed.

Bob from the Ponderosa came and took away the crunched up Escort van for me after I phone him when the ambulance had gone deciding I  didn’t need any attention…

And he charged me £50 for taking it.

A vehicle I have never felt sorry about losing!

Cars16aFord Fiesta Diesel

Then a Ford Fiesta diesel, that was so very noisy but good and reliable, another one I should have hung onto maybe.

I was working in Security then, the only job I could get after being made redundant by Carters pop people.

She had bigger wheels and that helped in the bad weather as I was sent all over the place.

Local mind, the furthest places I had to go was Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Mansfield and Skegness.

But Bluebell as I named her got me there and back every time.

Quite a cheap car to run as well, great on fuel and as I said, nothing ever went wrong with her… apart from the odd puncture like.

Cars17BMC J4 van (well I part owned it really, we used it for going fishing).

We kept sharing it between me and Mad Ken, because Bill Bates and Jock Kirkpatrick could or should not drive.

I really miss those lads now they’ve gone.

Mad Ken who was paranoid but so likeable. No idea if he is still going.

Bill Bates the Co-op butcher, brought up in a rough area of Nottingham but tuned his accent so that anyone would think he was a Conservative MP rather than a rough Nottingham Radford lad. Passed away through drink related problems.

Jock Kirkpatrick, Bomber rear gunner during the war, my neighbour, a true character and the finest maker of potatoe scones I’ve ever known. I feel that if there is a heaven, I’m going to me Jock there.

Sorry I waffled off the subject a bit didn’t I?

Cars18Ford Fiesta Mark4

A silver-grey Ford Fiesta which was not very old when I bought it and was another gem of a car.

Never gave me any concerns, I didn’t even ever have a puncture with her.

She never failed an MOT.

She never failed to start any morning.

As I a gem of a smooth running nippy little car.

Until she burst into flames on the A453.

Cars19Vauxhall Royale

I bought this Vauxhall Royale because it was so cheap and I could carry more folk in it, and by now I had suffered my second occasion of being made redundant – and one of the only ways I could make a bit extra was by lifting lads and lasses from the agency to and from work.

This Royale was the perfect tool for doing that I thought.

It could take 5 folk with ease and occasionally six at bit of a pinch, and helped me to get through financially in very trying times.

 But the engine passed away rather quickly.

Cars20Ford Fiesta

Yet another nice little motor.

Quiet, smoothish, reliable… ish.

I liked it.

But things started worry me a bit, mostly the odd noises.

But I needn’t have worried about the odd noised really…

Because a nurse on her way to work at the Queens medical Centre drove across and into me as I was driving straight through the traffic lights in her boyfriends Volkswagen Golf.

Now, if your going to get hit by a car, I recommend you not to chose a Volkswagen Golf.

She took the blame there and then bless her.

But the Fiests needed anew door, sill and sidebar.

It would take several weeks to repair, so I bought a cheapo car from one of the lads at work.

Cars21Fiat Cinquecento

This car had its very own characteristics:

The petrol tank seeped.

The speedometer did its own thing.

The brakes were horrendously bad.

The driver’s door leaked in the rain.

The engine was very reluctant to start in a morning.

Sometimes the engine was even reluctant to stop, even with the ignition key taken out!

That thank heavens was stolen from the works car park, never to be seen again.

When I was made redundant for the fourth time, and failed to get an interview never mind job – then the ticker needed a replacement valve, the arthritis set in, the angina set in, the piles started, the prostate was investigated when they found the bowel cancer and lasered it, and quiet naturally they took away me driving licence.

The end of my driving – but they gave me a free pensioners bus-pass!

A Nottingham Lad’s True Tales of Woe: Part 33

Stanley Matthews, or Jonah?

NCS01

Where I was working at the time

It was on a very heavy muddy wet playing field come pitch, come quagmire on Melbourne Road Park in Nottingham that I made my first (and only) appearance in the Nottingham Thursday Football League, for the Nottingham Co-op Society Butchery Team.

It was not a planned appearance – although I had paid my 3/6d (17½p) annual subscriptions to the Nottingham Co-op Butchers Thursday League Team (in those days most food shops used to close half-day on a Thursday) I never really expected to get chosen for the team, and used to go around with my kit in a carrier bag, just in case of emergencies or injuries to any of the other lads. I used to come in handy for making the half time brew, bucket and sponge stand-in, first aider, and general toss-pot/spare prick.

That was until a Thursday, in 1961, after about two years of following them, in the hope of ever getting a game like a lamb. (By then I’d given up even taking my kit with me).

NCS03When to my astonishment, I was asked to play in a cup match against ‘Wigfall’s First Eleven’. (Wigfall’s Rentals was the forerunner to Curry’s for those who cannot remember) The reason for this request was partly that the horrible weather had deterred many of the regular lads from turning up, and my exceptional footballing skills coming to their attention. (Okay I lied about my exceptional footballing skills coming to their attention!)

I recall going around scrounging bits of tackle from all the lads – and what a sight I must have looked!

The shin pads must have been made for Godzilla, the black shorts dangled below my knees, it took me five minutes to roll up the sleeves of the black & white striped shirt to my fingertips, and the best they could do to get me a pair of size 8 boots, was a size 10 pair – and they were split down the side, the studs came through to the soles of my feet, they hadn’t been worn for so long, the leather didn’t bend anywhere! We found some old rope to use as boot laces.

And there I was, feeling proud and chuffed, but looking stupid, ready for my surprise début in Nottingham’s Thursday League!

Was the world ready for this I thought!

Into the fray!

NCS05

Obviously not the actual bucket. But it did look just like this one here

The bad luck started as I ran out of the locker-room (I say locker room! it was the groundsman’s old tool shed really) I tripped over the step, causing the nails in the studs to dig into me foot – but that pain soon disappeared when I landed face down (I still had to carry the bucket of water and sponge to the touch line you see, they insisted) banging me head on the rusty bucket, then as I was just getting over the embarrassment of my and the opposition’s team’s inane laughter at me, I became aware through the onset of pain in me left leg, that a mongrel dog was chewing on it!

NCS04

Apart from the fact that these boots are softer, cleaner, have laces in and are a different colour, they are like the ones wot I wore!

Back to the changing room (tool shed) to clean myself up a bit, stop the bleeding, and put some cardboard between my feet and the rigid leather stud-nails intruding crippling oversized boots!

Being the little warrior that I was, I soon returned to commence my chance to impress on the field!

This plan somewhat fell down a few minutes after the referee allowed me onto the quagmire of a field – I was to play at left back, and seconds after taking to the field, trudging through the mud, I managed to lose a boot!

NCS02

This picture reminds me of the day.

This did not stop my tackling this 16 stone, shire horse-like hurricane of a Wigfall’s forward who was belting towards goal, with the football looking like a marble at his feet, (God knows how he actually managed to run in that quagmire) from facing one of my best ever crunching tackles.

Not that I remember much about it, until the St Johns ambulance man bought me back to consciousness, and bandaged me broken ankle, and stopped me split eye from bleeding, in readiness to take me the hospital.

Apparently, they tell me, the wondrous Wigfall’s giant centre-forward had just put out his hands out knocking me over into the mud, trampled over me and scored a goal!

The ref didn’t even acknowledge any foul, blew and pointed to the centre circle to restart the match. (He probably thought better of upsetting the man-mountain forward… wise ref that!)

I was never asked to play for them again – the team lost four – nil.

But I was allowed back to carry on (When I got out of hospital) as bucket and sponge man.

I think their writing Jonah on the petrol tank of me motorbike was naughty.