Tag Archives: bike

December 10th/14th/15th 1973

• “Day Off – Went to Southampton – bort Xmas pressis”
• “Work”
• “Out on Bike – No Tips!”

Can you see just how far I fell off my own diary’s radar towards the end of 1973?

3 entries, 6 days, load of rubbish written.

About the only thing worth noting is that the people I delivered to on THAT BLOODY BIKE were a bunch of mean gits.

Time for me to go off on a few more 1973 tangents I reckon?…..



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December 1st 1973

“Work – quite a cushy day xcept for bike”


I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating…

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November 2nd 1973

“Bort 2 cassettes from Comet – Recorded 2Man – Work, out on bike in pitch black darkness (figures!)”

The music piracy and piss-poor grocery delivering continue unabated!

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July 27th/28th 1973

•27• “Nothing all day except work from 5-8. Out on Bike”
•28• “Work. Out on Bike again”

A quick flick ahead in the diary suggests there are several entries like these throughout the summer, so I’ve made the decision to lump them together on occasion so as not to incite complete boredom amongst my faithful band of Teenage Rock Opera followers.

Posts like these kind of speak for themselves don’t they?

 Regular readers will know how much I loved riding that bloody bike.

They made these grocery delivery bikes look SO very cool to zip around on in the 1967 film “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush“, with Barry Evans’ character using it to pick up attractive women like Judy Geeson, Diane Keen or Angela Scoular.

I was in Fair Oak though. Not exactly ‘beauty central’, let’s be honest.


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February 23rd 1973

“H-Term” / ” Went into Eastleigh and got new glasses frame – will cost £10.80 (Phew!)” / “Bort new record cloth in Rumbelows” / “had to go out on bike at work – Roger’s got flu”

Wow, specs were expensive even then! £10.80 is the cost of 4 or 5 albums in 1973. I secretly suspect, however, that my Dad forked out his own hard-earned money on my behalf.

I had totally forgotten about retail chain Rumbelows (from where I ‘bort’ a new record cleaning cloth). The chain was as utterly ubiquitous as Dixons or Comet ‘back in the day’ with branches on almost every high street.

The one in Eastleigh (now, I believe, home to a Carphone Warehouse?) was a weird mixture of mainstream record store and cheap electrical white goods.

It seems strange that, for something that was ‘everwhere’, there is scant mention of the chain online these days, although one research page reminded me that the chain was once owned by (Thorn) EMI, sponsored the Football League Cup from 1990-1992 and gave up the ghost as (shockingly, to me) recently as just 1995.

In other news…. damn that bloody Roger!

Of all the jobs at Lancaster & Crook, having to make deliveries around the neighbourhood – using the ‘bloody’ bike – was by FAR my most hated.

I was used to riding a bike with sit-up-and-beg handlebars and with an element – only an element mind you – of cool. The shop bike was the exact opposite. The frame size was completely inappropriate for me, the seat height (set for the 6ft+ Roger dude) too high for my teenage testicular area and the look as ugly as hell. Get a few households grocery deliveries in the rack on the front and the bike became as unstable as you could ever imagine.

I also became a figure of fun for the local gangs of ‘thugs’ with catcalls heading my way on a regular basis, only adding to my lack of confidence when riding it.

Indeed, I’ll go so far as to say the bike ID’d me as a “bit of a twat” in the eyes of the ‘hard kids’ in the neighbourhood, a stigma which I never lost until… well, really until I left. (35 years later, when I return to England and stay with my Dad, I sometimes recognise a few of those wankers – now balding and as fat as hell – grimly walking the same streets with their fugly wives and even fuglier children and consider karma to have worked)

Crap I HATED that bike. The comedy at the end of this “Open All Hours” clip (followed by this one and then of this one) pretty much sums up my feelings.

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January 29th 1973 (II)

Got job (hooray) over Lancaster & Crooks. Start friday week – about £1.70 friday night and all day saturday”

Washing cars aside this was my very first ‘proper’ job.

Lancaster and Crook was the local supermarket, one in an independent chain of maybe 4 or 5 locations. (Research online showed the sum total of zero entries for the company)

I applied for, and got a job at the same time as my friend Nigel did. As memory serves we were both due to start on the same date.

The job entailed – as I am sure I will expand on in future diary entries – helping to keep the shop shelves stocked with goods, general tidying and…. delivering grocery orders to customers on “the bike”.

Yes, like that one in the photograph.

Stop laughing now.

More on the start of my working career later I’m sure.

For now though let me ponder on the realization that I was all excited to be earning £1.70 for what appears to be approximately 12 hours hard graft. That’s approximately 15p (22¢) an hour.

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May 14th 1972

“went to church (wattahero)” / “fell off bike” / “TIB at centre 66” / “played football, good fun”

A comparatively busy diary entry for a change.

Quite the mix of things in there too.

Obviously, going to church was treated (*cough*) with dubious respect, going so far as ridiculing myself, maybe as something of a sarcastic riposte against my parents who may have persuaded me to do so? Or may not.

fell off bike” conjures up all sorts of nasty 50-year-old images, none of which are probably as innocuous as the accident was when I was 14.

played football, good fun” is far more intriguing, thanks to my total lack of recall as to where and who with. I’ll guess it was with the people from my TIBS group, although since this consisted of just 4 guys and more than 6 girls, I have my doubts.

I can remember playing football –  more realistically described as “kickabout” – when I was much younger than 14.  Night after night I would go out into the back alley of our first house and, by myself, play a brick wall at football for hours on end. I think the wall won every time?

Ah, such youthful simplicity. Ah, such youthful energy and exercise.

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