Archive for the ‘Teenage Years 1959 – 1966’ Category

There follows a transcript of a letter I wrote to my parents in June of 1970.  This was near the end of  my final year at Winchester Art College where I was studying Fine Art, Painting.

I had had a patellectomy the previous year at the hospital in Winchester, quite a major operation which although quite successful took a lot of getting over.


I had also been diagnosed with a serious eye condition related to my Stills Disease for which I was receiving ongoing treatment and observation.

I share this letter as a memory for myself and in the hope that it may be of some interest to others.


Winchester 9 : 6 : 70


Dear Mum & Dad,

There’s so much to tell.  I tried to phone but there was no one in. So I’ll try and write it all down in some sort of order.

Good news first:

Moynihan has discharged me. If (or when ! ) I have any trouble I can write to him for advice and/or an appointment.

Bad news:

The side effects of the cortisone got worse over the weekend….indigestion and a horribly uncomfortable stomach – that I can put up with. But increasingly I’ve been feeling very edgy and neurotic. I keep flying off in a temper at people over little things. My hands keep shaking and I feel really screwed up. I can’t bear anyone to touch me and I’m really hot. The weather has been really oppressive but even so the heat has never upset me like this before. I haven’t been able to do any real hard painting for a week. I can’t put my mind to anything. Normally I find it very easy to do all my organizing work but this week I just can’t cope at all, and that frightens me. Anyway – I thought it was just me giving in to the pressures until it suddenly dawned on me on Sunday night that it was the Cortisone. I looked up the side effects in Mary’s arthritis book and there it all was – peptic ulceration, hypertension, deterioration of nerves and psychoses!!

Anyway I told Moynihan and he said to see Jenkins – so I made an emergency appointment and saw him this morning. I told him I thought it was criminal doctors putting you on dangerous drugs without asking your permission or even warning you of side effects. So he said well, before Cortisone was invented people used to go blind with irido-cyclitis – so what could I say. He said I’ll have to come off it gradually otherwise my eye will flare up again. He gave me some endocrine-coated versions of the tablets to take instead so that I wouldn’t get the indigestion. So I said what about all the other troubles and shouldn’t I have a blood test ‘cos I can feel my blood pounding about, even in my toes and fingers. But he said it wasn’t necessary since I had one five weeks ago – (but that was before the treatment was started!) Anyway if things don’t improve I’ll demand a blood test in two weeks at the eye clinic.

Anyway Jenkins said I had to be sensible about it and to make sure I took exactly the right dosage and to make sure that they remember to reduce it. And he reckons that I’ll feel better without the indigestion.

I flared up at college and screamed at everybody for not helping me organise the Dip. Party when I’m ill and I’ve got such a lot of work on my plate what with *Lindsay Kemp coming on Monday and *Andy Newman on Friday, not to mention my painting. I mean I’ve lost two days this last week going to see all these different doctors. Anyway it had its effects – I really scare people when I lose my temper. Tom shot off downstairs and printed the party invitations. I told Crozier that I couldn’t run everything on my own ‘cos I’m ill and he announced it at a meeting and Jane said she’d take over and everybody’s terribly worried about me – not before time. Now I feel guilty for shouting at everybody – but it has had the desired effect. You really find out who your friends are – the ones who allow themselves to be screamed at and still speak to you afterwards. Anyway, don’t you two start worrying about all this – it’s all under control and I’m not so hung up about it now I’ve clarified the situation.



*  The references to Lindsay Kemp and Andy Newman need further explanation.

I had booked both ‘artists’ (separately) to  ‘perform’ at events for the Student Union Extra Curricular Society which I started at the Art College.  I don’t recall just now what the exact purpose of this visit by Lindsay  was, probably a lecture or talk, but Andy Newman was performing for us with his band, Thunderclap Newman, and promoting his hit single “Something in the Air”.  So there was quite a lot to organise!






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Having missed the first year of High School entirely, due to being in the orthopaedic hospital, I had to work hard to try and catch up with my peers at Roundhay High School for girls.  French lessons were the worst and most difficult for me.  I was ok at the written work but speaking, listening and trying to master the accent was a bit of a nightmare. Latin was far easier to pronounce and everyone began that in the second year so I didn’t have to struggle to catch up.  Fortunately it wasn’t too difficult to make friends and I soon settled in.

My best friend from home also attended the same school, but she is younger than me so was in a different year group.

When it came to making choices in the third year I was deemed too clever to do art, not sufficiently homely to opt for Domestic Science ( I did burn my Rock Buns!) and therefore ended up taking Latin, not something that I was exactly enamoured with at the time, but in retrospect has been a godsend as I have no fear of Latin plant names and find them easy to remember, pronounce and understand.

Having to drop Art however was a big deal.  Fortunately the Art mistress encouraged pupils such as myself (who were interested but  not in the exam classes) to spend time in the Art Room during lunchtimes and after school.  On those occasions I was able to spend time with other like minded individuals as well as join my friends who were actively being taught the subject.

I managed to pass seven O levels and was expected to stay on into the sixth form with a view to going on to university.  I had vague notions about wanting to work as a Hospital Almoner but no real career in mind.  I didn’t enjoy the strictures of school and once I realised that it was possible to apply for a place at Art College without having A levels I persuaded my parents to let me leave after completing just one year and managing to secure a place at Bradford Art College.  Between leaving school and starting at Bradford I worked a few months at the Gas Board, on New York Street, in their accounts arrears department.

So very much happened in these few short years.  Musically it was an amazing time to be young and able to participate.  I have multiple memories but right now I am having difficulty putting them into meaningful order.  I can remember all the different places I went and what I did (to some extent!) but I can’t always remember who else was with me at the time or the chronological order of events.  I guess it doesn’t really matter so I will just record them in separate posts as and when I am able.  I shall only refer to famous people by name so as to protect the privacy of the others as much as possible.  Maybe some people will recognise themselves and if they come across this blog might wish to ‘out themselves’ .

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envelope-2 Whilst away on holiday in Germany during the summer of ’64 I received a very long letter (18 pages) from one of my best friends at that time.  The following transcript brings back so many memories of what it was like to be sixteen years old in the 1960s!  We were so lucky to be able to experience the growth of the music scene at such a moment in time.  I share this and the various links to try and recreate some of the magic!

Dear Pat (I mean Tricia, sorry)

Hi! Ta for your letter. That accident sounds fantastic and I couldn’t stop laughing when I read about it. Well I’ll begin on Friday and tell you everything that’s going on over here.

I wasn’t going to go and see The Pretty Things but Pat rang while I was out and told me where to meet her and I couldn’t get get in touch with her so I just HAD to go. Anyway we were sat on the stage right at the front and there were thousands of people literally laying on us. It was great! The place is fantastic. The stage is like that one in the cavern and it’s massive. No decorations really just stone walls – great. Georgie Fame is coming in about 3 weeks so we will have to go. (I wore my earrings) When we were queuing outside we were with Elaine and Diane from Leeds (don’t know if you know them). Anyway

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this boy I went with once from Bradford called Mick and who looks like Rex a bit was there. He’s been in L’pool and has just come back & I didn’t think he would talk to me but he smiled and said ‘hello’ and was right nice. – but he had a girl with him. Shame. Pretty Things were quite good but couldn’t hear the singer Phil one bit. Alexis Korner is on at the Dungeon on Friday and I was going to go but it’s 5/6d in 1/8d train fare and 1/- bus fare so I can’t possibly afford it. Shame again. (everything is shameful) Memphis Slim is coming to Dungeon as well.

SATURDAY Went to town and went round town with some of the boys. I’ve got another crush at the moment – Colin and he has a beard. Think you have seen him. he has been going out with Jane Winston’s friend. Anyway I was talking to him and he was nice. Lesley next door was having a party and I asked everyone if they wanted to go. They said yes and Colin was especially nice and said he would come. Then in the evening I was

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sat in the Conc just before 8. There weren’t many people there as everyone was still camping and those who were there were downstairs so I was sat by myself. Then MONK! walked in and I (at least my heart) jumped about 50 thousand feet and I got butterflies and everything. And then he came and sat with me. I told him about the party and he said he would come. JB came in and Jackie and everyone. We sat for a bit and Monk is just FANTASTIC. I went down in their van with ???? and when we all got there we couldn’t get in so I got my guitar and we all (about 20 of us) went down to Jackie’s round the corner. It was fantastic. We ended up by all singing folk songs with Monk the central person cos he was playing the guitar and singing. He’s got a lovely voice. Then we got on to the pornographic stuff. Fantastic. Oh and Jackie says Colin was staring at me all evening and every time I looked at him (which I did quite often) he looked at me and I gave him a big cheesy grin. So I sat grinning all night. Monk gets right lost when he is singing. Anyway I slept at Jackie’s.

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and they didn’t leave till about 2. Monk asked if jackie and I were going camping in 2 weeks time and if we do we will go in their van ( & their tent !!!!! hopefully) It’s Monk’s 21st so they’re all going camping for a change. Then Monk said that his parents were on holiday last week and we could have gone round if he’d have known (don’t ask me known what). I’m crazy about Monk and Jackie likes JB and we were ( 4 of us) in the kitchen talking and they (Monk & JB) are great – take it from me.

On Sunday we just went to the Conc but we came home early ‘cos Monk & JB went drinking.

On Monday I went to the dentists and I saw Paul Woodrow in town and he dais ‘Hello’ and I was surprised ‘cos that is the first time he has done that. I got some lace for the cuffs of my blouse.

On Tuesday Jackie rang up from work to ask me if I could guess who she saw in the morning and spent all dinner hour talking to and who is working at the Merrion Centre (where she works). Anyway it was (still is) MONK and he asked where I was and he said that him and JB went to Blackpool a bit ago and if he’d known (he doesn’t know much does he) we could have come with them !!! Wouldn’t have minded that. He said that he hoped everyone (JC etc) wouldn’t come to the ?????? (Memphis? cant read this word) and Jackie said we wouldn’t come then and he said that he didn’t mean us ‘cos we are quiet (huh?) and listen to the music and they make a terrible noise.  Anyway he said see us on Thursday – so I’m not looking forward to Thursday a bit !!!!!

Bluesounds were on at the Coins. Pat and I arranged to meet 3 boys from Bradford on Friday to go to the Coins

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but we didn’t go ‘cos we were late. Bluesounds were in the Conc and Paul said Hello again! Saw Jean inside and she says that they are backing Mose Allison again at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Anyway I want to go and she is ringing me on Friday to tell me about when it is and everything. She is going to see them at York on Thursday. They were absolutely FANTASTIC. Their ‘Come back baby’ is the best version I have ever heard. (You know, I wish you would?). They have all (except the other guitarist, forgotten his name, had their hair cut. Douggie is still fantastic though. Peter Oddy was there and looked great. So did that other boy who you were chasing. What’s his name?

Went to the dentist today and had a brace put in so I am going to smile with my mouth closed in future. Got a letter from

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Annabelle and it is very short and just says that she doesn’t need area secs yet but she has the address to one side. Then she says that if we write to the fan club she will give our letters to Micky and Keith. She didn’t say anything else. Evelyn wrote and she is going out with one of David John & the Mood. She sent me a picture of them and they look nice. She is running Julie Grants fan club and Julie Grant doesn’t like the Stones. – let’s start a hate Julie club.

There is a great exhibition on at the Art Gallery of the Leeds Arts Club or something but you will miss it.

I haven’t seen Bunny but I think I will write to her.

Pat is going to London (just outside) this weekend. She knows Jimmy Powell and 5 Dimensions, Fairys, Mighty Avengers and another group but I can’t remember their names and she is going to see them in London. Anyway she has given me her address where she is staying and she is going to write to see if we are coming and her friends

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parents are going away the second week she is there. (That’s when we want to go)So we may be able to stay there. It’s about 1 hr outside London but it’s something. Anyway she says even if we don’t stay (not even sure if we can) she will take us to see the groups.

Oh, and David John and the Mood are managed by Eric Easton so we have his office address and phone number on the back of the picture which Evelyn sent. So we could write there for the Stones. They haven’t been on any TV but they may be on Top of the Pops tonight. I am not going to see Wayne Fontana ‘cos I want to watch the Blues Train and try and tape it. Have you heard ‘Soulful Dress’ Sugar Pie Disanto ? – great.

Ron was in London last week and he is back now but I haven’t seen him.

Judy was talking to Killer and he says that Alan and that other boy were seen in the early morning with bunches of keys and files and things and this policeman asked Alan what he was

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doing and Alan said ‘I’m breaking in a shop’ and then ran and they caught him. Anyway he isn’t an addict (so Julien says) but he’s just pretending to be (heaven knows why).

Wish I was sunbathing. You’re brown now so you’ll come back Black (my friend from the Punjab!) I’m only jealous. I’ve got some ideas but they are all very muddled. I know vaguely the kind of thing I want, but the details haven’t come yet. I’ve thought of a couple of ideas for grey flannel or maroon pinafore dresses. By the way, there are some maroon shoes in Saxone. They haven’t got thick heels but they are very nice – maroon and black I think. I think I would want this (two sketches of #1 pinafore dress) in grey flannel ‘cos then you can wear a darker blouse underneath (Maroon!) Do you like it?


#2 Pinafore Dress – won’t draw anything yet ‘cos I have decided I am not sure about this one! Sorry!

I may write to Keith & Micky c/o Annabelle but I don’t know yet. Or I may write c/o Eric Easton or I may wait until you get back. I haven’t heard the E.P. properly yet. I like ‘2101 South Michigan Avenue@ or something (not sure of that title) I think ‘Around & Around is just like ‘Reelin’ & Rockin’. I think the Bluesounds are fantastic and if they make a record like their stage sound and if they chose the right song they could easily go somewhere. Shall we ask them if we can start a fan club for them? (When you get back we must go and see them and will you introduce me to them?) I think I like them 2nd best to the Stones. I think John Mayall’s  Bluesbreakers are fantastic also ( seems I think everyone is fantastic)

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I don’t think Annabelle’s letter is very nice. She hasn’t said much and she just ends with ‘Yours faithfully’? I hope she doesn’t think we are big headed ‘cos we don’t want to write to Micky & Keith via her. What do you think? can I borrow the E.P. when you get back. (Oh by the way, Bunny asked if we wanted to come to Bradford for a bit – forgot about telling you that!) Don’t forget to ask if you can go!

The road manager is great of the Pretty Things. A bloke was taking some photos and I think he took some of us at the front of the stage. All the men in ‘The Little Fat Black Pussy cat’ are very nice. They were very worried about us getting crushed (I should think so)

When you come back we can go to York because I want to go to that coffee bar?

Judy is getting on everybody’s nerves. Everyone who I have spoken to is going off her and they all say how she has changed. In the Conc last night she gave me a cig (rather I asked for one) and then she said ‘Your nails are a bit long aren’t they?’ Don’t you think she has a cheek? I didn’t answer. And today she has gone to town with mummy.

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Honestly I can’t get anything without her copying. I wouldn’t mind if anyone else got a suede coat but she always copies and I am right mad. As soon as I got my leather coat she got one. She has had one coat (suede) already but mummy has that now but as soon as I get one years later she must get another one. She makes me sick1 Sick! Sick! etc and more sick! Big headed nothing! (Guess I’ve gone off Judy). Shame again because we used to be very very good friends. I don’t think we will make Manchester now ‘cos there isn’t much time and Judy hasn’t said anything to me about it.. Still I would like to go to an all nighter at the Wheel if the Bluesounds are playing. If Jean is going I may be able to go with her.

Sandra and I are trying to clear out some of the stuff from the attic then I want to start decorating it. I haven’t thought about how I want it but I know I want to draw things on the walls and JC is giving me a fish net to put on the ceiling. Have you any ideas? I should think that I will have maroon in it somewhere so have you any of your maroon or purple paint left? Also I want to do some paintings to put on the walls. I haven’t got any which are suitable yet. Try and

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think of some things which I could paint on the walls. Cave animals are an idea but Derek has those on his walls and they aren’t very original. Maybe I could paint a great big abstract masterpiece on one wall !!

Do you know I have used nearly half a new pad on this letter and I haven’t finished yet ‘cos I am going to tell you about the ‘Blues and Gospel Train’ when I have seen it. Just going to watch Top of the Pops now. The Kinks are on now. I think their record is great. I think Dave Davison is quite nice (the one Eileen is meant to be engaged to). Don’t like the one who sings much. They are No. 13. Dione Warwick is on now. Now the Batchelors – uggh! though Johnny is quite nice. Now Brenda Lee. She looks horrible in a dress with sequins on the top and a great flared skirt – cronic. Don’t like her record either. Dave Berry now and he looks nice but I can’t stand ‘The Crying Game’. I am sure his hair is set backcombed and lacquered. ‘Try it Baby’ by Marvin Gaye is going to be a hit says Alan Freeman & Helen Shapeiro will have a hit with ‘Shop Around’ which is fantastic by the Miracles (I think it’s them who recorded it) but is sure to be cronic by her. Ugg!! The Honeycombes Beatles song now. Stones E.P. is in at no. 18 but they haven’t played any of it! ‘Do Wa Diddy Diddy’ now. Paul Jones’ hair is getting shorter and shorter. he has changed but he still looks nice. Manfred has got a girl’s shoe on his piano and is fooling around. Boo! No Stones. Shame, shame, shame. Down with Top of the Pops. – there, how did you like that running commentary? I believe in wasting paper

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I am surprised how I can write so much when so little of importance (except about Monkey which is only important to me) has happened. Still, never mind. Now read on :-

I’m just listening to Country Line Special by Cyril Davis on the tape ‘cos I’m trying to find some space. I have found a little bit but I have to wipe off Chuck Berry’s ‘No Money Down’


* here’s a link to this song



which is great but I may be able to borrow again from Jean Smith. I have only enough space to tape a couple of songs though.

The other day I was listening to the Stones LP so carefully (with my eyes closed and everything) that I couldn’t hear the phone or anyone shouting for me for a bit. There is some fantastic instrumental on it. Keith is such a great guitarist (not bad looking either!). I’ve got to write another letter to my aunty now so I will leave off till after the ‘Train’ – tata (Nota Bene – it isn’t really I just like that, another thing about Judy. When she was told that the Stones may be coming she gives one of those smart answers – ‘What do you want me to do, scream?’ So now if anyone tells us something we say ‘What do you want me to do, scream?’ – see?)

Boy, that programme was FANTASTIC.


* information about the film



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I was crying half the time ‘cos it was so great! I’ll tell you all about it.

Opened with a train running down a track with all teenagers inside. Playing the music of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee – an instrumental and I taped part of it. Then the train stopped and the people got out and there were more people in the station (Charltonville). Then Muddy Waters sang and I taped part of it. called ‘My Baby By My Side’ I think. Then Cousin Joe Pleasant was on playing the piano and singing. I taped part of that. He had a flat hat on and looked very sweet and sang a song about Hot Dogs:- ‘I couldn’t look a cold dog in the face’ and about Gravy etc. But you can hear it when you come home –


* here’s a link to this song that is mentioned



Fantastic. Then he talked and said thank you to everyone and introduced Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It started to rain so she sang ‘Didn’t it Rain?’ She came up on a horse and played the guitar as well as singing. The audience clapped and went mad. After Cousin Joe sang about his Hot Dogs he sang ‘I’m a railroad porter’ – I’m a railroad porter, running up and down the track, if my woman don’t be careful I’m going to catch her and double right back. Anyway

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I didn’t tape it ‘cos I hadn’t much tape left. Then after ‘Didn’t it rain’ Sister spoke for a bit. Then she said, ‘The train’s gone but I’ll catch the next one’ and went into another song called something about ‘Troubled’. I have some of that on tape. Cousin Joe was sat behind her while she was singing and playing in a rocking chair. Then Muddy came on and played and sung ‘Sweet Little Girl’. (I’m not sure about these names) Taped some of that. Then Sonny and Brownie came on and there was a goat next to them. (taped a bit). The beginning of their first number is a bit like some of ‘Country Line Special’. There are some ‘oohs’ in it and some ‘whooos’. Then they did another one and were joking a bit with the harmonica. They are fantastic. Their second song is ‘I’m a roaming rambler’. In one of them, I think it is the second, they sang ‘I’ve been rolling just like a rolling stone’ and everyone said hurray and cheered. Then they sung ‘Walk on’ which I taped most of. Then Sister sang ‘He’s got the whole world in his hand’ (I know the title of that). Muddy and Joe were fooling around behind her and singing with her

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Well that was the end and it was a fantastic programme. I only wish I had enough tape to have taped it all. – You must hear when you get back. My mother thought it was great as well.


*  here are links to some of the songs mentioned:

Muddy Waters at Chorlton Railway Station 1964



Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Didn’t It Rain



While I was watching the Bluesounds last night I was thinking that I would like to get some photographs of them so will you be able to get a flash when you come back and we will try and get some? Also I would love to take a tape to the Coins or anywhere where they are playing. Do you think I could? We always wanted to do that when they played at Club D but we never got round to it. It is terrible that they don’t play there any more because it was a great place and everyone used to like it and I used to look forward to going.

Anyway I think you deserve a meddle for finishing this piece of literature! No doubt I could fill some more pages with rubbish, but I must go ‘cos I’m dead tired and it is now after 11 and I think I am going to bed. So, have a nice holiday and I will write if anything fantastic happens & I will write anyway. So ta ta and bye for now & lots of love & up the Stones and up Keith & Micky & the Bluesounds. have a fantastic time and don’t get too sunburnt

and stop hoping nothing fantastic will happen and hope a letter comes from Keith & Micky and hope I get off with Monk

we must plan for Bradford very soon & definitely stay the night there



Enter part of the first and last pages of the letter


All the gigs and dates mentioned  can be found here !


and Paul Woodrow on you tube here

Sadly it seems that Paul died in 2015



The Conc which is mentioned in the letter was the main coffee bar we frequented at that time.  The Del Rio, Concadora and El Toro were coffee bars on or around Boar Lane.

The Del Rio Coffee Bar was a true basement bar with vaulted ceilings. The main cafe in one room and a room next door with a pin table, a table football and a juke box.

The Coins was the Three Coins nightclub.  The Coins was on Albion Walk where the Bond St Centre now stands and had some top bands on in its day.

Mods and Rockers in Leeds in the 60’s


Coffee Bars in the 60s



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