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A Shout From The Attic: A Dot And A Squirrel

Ronnie Bray tells of a lad who loved motorbikes.

To read earlier chapters of Ronnie's life story, a work in progress, please click on A Shout From The Attic in the menu on this page.

Somehow, I became a friend with a lad from the bottom end of town. His parents had divorced, his mother remarried and moved away, so he lived with his grandmother on Bradford Road, Southgate. Heis name was Roy. He was an unusual lad, always had a bit more money than most of us, but not rich.

His grandmother owned some of the property, which stands yet, and ran a small second-hand shop. Behind the houses, was a cobbled yard in which was a variety of outbuildings. Roy loved motor bikes, and had, at various times, a rare collection of now-forgotten makes. He had a Dot, a Scot Squirrel, and some others whose names I can not now recall. He rode them round and round the yard, making quite a din, and even more smoke.

Perhaps there is some truth in the old saw that birds of a feather flock together. We were the children of divorced parents whose stepfathers expressed no interest. Whether this unspoken understanding drew us together, I do not know. However, we seemed to rub along well together, not asking anything of the other, just content to be together now and again and share our wonder at the unfolding world.

Once, we cycled to Warrington to see his mother. She lived in a terrace house with an outside toilet. I thought this was odd, because I had always lived in houses that had inside toilets. In the late 1940s, there were many houses with no inside amenities.

Eventually, Roy and I grew apart, seeing less and less of each other. I noticed him from time to time, as he bought and sold cars. He never made it big. The last time I saw Roy, he was running a small operation selling bits and pieces for motor bikes.


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