A tale of two teenagers.
Posted by Big John on October 17, 2006
My first holiday without my parents was when I was seventeen, when I and some friends spent a week at Butlin’s Holiday Camp at Clacton on Sea. The year was 1956.
The photograph was taken in the camp dining hall and shows me and my mate Roy on the day that we arrived. I know it was the day we arrived because Roy got chatting to ‘an older woman’ (she was at least twenty) on the next table and I never saw him again until the end of the week.
Roy had been my best friend at school although we did not have a lot in common, and this became more apparent after we left school. Just look at the way we are dressed. I’m trying my best to look like my idol, James Dean, in my white T shirt, jeans and check shirt, whilst he looks more like my dad in his sports jacket, flannel trousers and cravat (ascot). Perhaps his ‘older woman’ thought he was an older man.
I lost track of Roy a few months later, for as I went on ‘Rock ‘n’ Rolling’ towards conscription, he followed his older brothers into the Royal Air Force by signing on as a ‘regular’. I preferred to wait until ‘they came and got me’ for my two years, in the vain hope that I might be overlooked.
Come to think of it, staying at a Butlin’s was good preparation for the military life of a young conscript, with it’s red coated staff forcing everyone to have ‘regimented’ fun and being awakened every morning by a loudspeaker’s call to an early breakfast. Not to mention the ‘mess hall’ style of dining and the ’cast-iron’ bunk beds.
Strangely Roy never spoke about his ‘experiences’ with his ‘older woman’ and I wasn’t really interested to tell the truth, for I had enjoyed a week of drinking beer and chasing teenage girls. A fairly new experience for someone who had until recently attended an all boys school.
So did I have any ‘experiences’ to brag about to Roy after all my lustful pursuing of those nubile young women ? … Umm!!
…… Well I did say that this was 1956.