Down (local) memory lane

by Tim Bradford on May 26, 2010

I read Small Town England at the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it, I just wanted to give you my thanks for an eventful trip down memory lane with all the trials, tribulations and laughs of those teenage years. The cartoons were a really great addition too.


There’s a fair bit of common ground between us, I was born in ’62 and brought up in Grimsby;  yes, a metropolis compared to Market Rasen but we must have crossed paths at some point. I recall seeing Another Pretty Face at Meggies Winter Gardens – my skewed memory had them supporting the Skids, but I saw SLF there as well and since it was your first gig you are most likely to have the true account. The gardens were demolished a couple of years back and the last time I passed by the (surprising small) plot of land it remained barren. Shame, I saw many brilliant bands, played there myself and spent many drunken nights at the 6thform discos.


Any tentative idea I had of putting pen to paper to recall that period has been rendered obsolete by proper writers like yourself who have done a fantastic job of it, (Stuart Maconie, Andy Blade and Mark Radcliffe included). Our musical and band history have also followed similar paths through punk, post punk and jazz. Of course nothing came before punk as the Stalinist view prevailed, my pop and rock stuff was confined to the cupboard until 1980 until it was ok to like ‘’other stuff’’. Back in the day being identified as a punk in Grimsby was a fairly risky affair, (I had my hair cut in a Billy Idol style in the Spring of ’78, how cool ha ha!). Although I’m still proud of the fact that I stopped the traffic on Laceby Road with my attire and food colour dyed hair.


I was in many bands through the ‘80’s in Grimsby and Nottingham (a drummer). One of those bands aspired to sound like ACR/Rip, Rig and Panic/ Pigbag etc but was more like The Fall with a brass section, our singer was Bill Brewster who has worked for When Saturday Comes so you might be acquainted. Actually I think Bill could pen a fairly decent piece if so inspired, he writes and DJ’s now. We made an aborted attempt to start a left wing fanzine around the early ‘80’s called ‘’Young, gifted and red’’, …well two out of three and all that, so I wasn’t surprised when he joined WSC, he could waffle on about Matt Tees’ tenure at GTFC ad nauseum.


I smiled when I saw your collection of rehearsal / album cassettes, there are a whole host of middle-aged blokes out there applying modern technology to ‘re-master’ these period pieces. I’ve been the recipient of CD’s  DVD’s and Jpegs documenting many events that had slipped from my memory. Much like your book some of it makes you feel like an energised 17 year old again, or wince with embarrassment or laugh out loud. If a similar amount of effort had been put into making the music as coming up with band and album titles who knows what could have been achieved?


Unfortunately, I don’t recall any of your bands but I think Grimsby was quite parochial in that respect, I remember seeing a Louth band in situ and travelling to Broughton near Scunny but otherwise any foray out of town was to see a ‘name’ band or play a gig. Lincoln was always dangerous territory for us GY lads, we returned from the Drill Hall (I think?) to see The Adverts in a  bricked windowless coach after encountering the Lincoln Scooter Boys – and that was prior to the mod revival!


It demonstrates your point about Lincolnshire being somewhat behind the times. Nowadays I live on the outskirts of Spalding (so I have a better idea of the cultural wilderness you endured in your youth).  I’ve spent most of my life living in Lincolnshire; half North, half South, so I shouldn’t be too critical really.


Well, thanks again, I really should turn my attention to some work now.




Richard (Charlie) Porter

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