stella face

part 5

I spent the time between age 16 and 18 in and around Blackpool and St Annes spending time with my sisters and brother who had now moved from Ashton-Under-Lyne to St Annes, first staying with Auntie Minnie and Margaret and later moving in to my own house. I had my own flat with a couple of my friends and went from job to job trying to make enough money to live.

I did product promotions in retail stores for a while, was a demonstration of novelty items such as the ream clean brush that picked up anything from crumbs to nails in one sweep,and the non slip trays that were coated with a film of plastic to stop the items such as plates and silverware from sliding around when you carried them. I was good at this as I put on a show and gathered a crowd around my booth, and would do a live demo of the product.

This was a salary based on commissions so was tough, even though I was selling a lot, sometimes the boss would not pay me and once I was thrown out of the store by the police because my boss had not paid the rent for the booth in the store. I even did a few gigs singing in a local pub and was always looking for ways to make a living but did not really know what I wanted to do. All I was sure of was that I wanted to dance and be around music and musicians every chance I got, even though that meant underage drinking and hanging out sometimes in the wrong places.

One day I got a letter from my baby brother who had gone to stay with my dad who was now a cook on board the fishing trawlers in a place called Hull, Hull is in Yorkshire England and is where the trawlers go out for 3 to 6 weeks fishing in the Icelandic ocean in freezing cold waters and very rough seas. But this allowed my father to live and function as a full-blown alcoholic and codeine addict.

My brother was desperately unhappy and needed help so I boarded the train in January and went to Hull, it was a freezing cold journey and I still did not have a warm coat , I shivered all the way and arrived in the dead of night to the flat they were renting, only to find my father passed out drunk, and my brother sitting there with no electricity or food, he cried like a baby when he saw me and clung to me like he would never let go.

We hid from the landlord and chopped up the furniture to make a fire my dad was broke and would not have money till he got another ship, so I went to look for a job and got my last commission check from my Christmas sales, where I had sold the non slip trays in Bentalls department store in Kingston on Thames London over Christmas.

Thank goodness I got that money and was able to move to another place as we were literally on the street after being evicted. Needless to say my brother could not cope with my dad and once I was there sorting things out he decided to go back home to St Annes and I was glad that he could go I knew he would be better off there.

more to come…