Or at least not so old!
Some memorabilia from my youth.
Cowboy Bob (Date uncertain)Cowboy
I always wanted to be a cowboy
As a kid we didn't have the range of toys and gadgets that are now available, and we couldn't have afforded them in any case.
So it was toy soldiers, and playing cowboys and injuns!
And cowboy comics. Super heroes in those days were largely the preserve of the American comics.
I have a jigsaw made from this photograph that, unknown to me, my mum had kept.
Isle of Wight School School Trip circa 1958 - Me aged 10Isle of Wight school trip
I attended St John’s Junior School in Kilburn, London, and our brave teachers took us to the Isle of Wight.
Memories include collecting coloured sand at Alum Bay. You could climb up the cliffs then, but unfortunately because the sand wasn’t packed into the glass tubes firmly enough it ended up a nondescript colour when I got home.
I also got drenched by a large wave, much to the annoyance of the teachers.
Stamford - circa 1958Stamford
When I was about 10, I stayed with my aunt in Stamford during the summer holidays.
Here I am with my cousin, at the weir on the River Welland that has since been rebuilt.
I now fish the same river.
London Marathon 1983
London Marathon - 1983
In 1981 I watched the first London Marathon on TV and, aware that I was less fit than I should have been, decided to take up jogging. This was the time of the running revolution and Jim Fixx’s ‘The Complete Book of Running’ was my bible.
I gradually pushed out the distance and in 1983, after a couple of half marathons, I entered the ‘London’. By 1983 places were greatly contested and on 5th November 1982 I sat outside Harrow Post Office all night to make sure that my application had an early posting time, as this was the criterion for selecting the lucky applicants. They only tried this approach once!
My target time was 3½ hours based on a half-marathon time of 1 hour 45 minutes. Wishful thinking I’m afraid as I picked up an injury at about 18 miles (bursitis of the knee) and struggled to finish, coming in ultimately at 4 hours 20 minutes. Still, it was an achievement none the less.
London Marathon 1986London Marathon - Second attempt - 1986
In 1986 I tried again. However, much had happened between times. In July of 1983 I had a slipped disc and at the time I wondered if I would ever run again.
Recovery took months and I never really regained the form I had before the injury. My company were given some complimentary marathon places for the 1985 event and offered me one. Illness interrupted my training so I actually carried the place forward and ran in 1986.
I wasn’t as fit as in 1983 and struggled with cramp after about midway. Interestingly I recorded almost the same time as 1983 but I was never going to achieve 3½ hours on this occasion.
Hero? - Dog RescueHero !
In 1985, while working at City Road in Islington, I used to run along the canal at lunchtimes.
During a particularly cold spell I went in the canal to rescue a Doberman that had gone through the ice. Some other runners were on hand to help, but it was probably a foolish thing to do.
This culminated in a reporter from my works’ newspaper coming to photograph me with my dog, Meg, in our local park. Meg was supposed to run along with me, but she kept jumping up, so this shot is posed with her sitting and me running on the spot.
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