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Biography of two brothers growing up in postwar liverpool during the early 1950s. A comedy of errors set against a backdrop of poverty. An hilarious story of trouble and mayhem, bigotry and revenge
The true story of two brothers growing up in postwar Liverpool Uk.
Stigmatized for coming from a broken home. Written off as no hopers.
Blamed for eveything that went wrong, this is our story of how we dealt with our childhood of poverty. Often funny, sometimes sad. A story of mayhem and trouble, often hilarious but true. We fought back with the only thing we had our imaginations. The 1950s hold many treasured memories for us.
It was during an early December smog shrouded evening when the wet soot fell like confetti at a chimney sweeps wedding.The street gaslights danced in a halo of soft yellowish light casting those haunting flickering shadows into the wintry half light. The cracked damp paving stones glistened with rain drops and sparkled with the frost forming little glittering ice crystals.
It was a kind of night that 19th century Whitechapel inhabitants would have feared, never mind the scousers of liverpool. It was going to be a cold night on the Mersey coastline. A night that most city folk preferred to be sat at home in front of their coal fires cocooned in that red glow of warmth.Most would have their slippers on, resting their feet on the tiled hearth. Their rubber soles would be smoking and smelling as they read the 'Liverpool Echo' before it ended up in the local chippie for wrapping paper. It also could be cut into small squares and hung up in the brick built out'ouse down the bottom of the yard. Then in time to come the ink print would be transferred onto the bum cheeks of some unsuspecting user of the toilet after wiping their ill fated backsides. most of the kids of that era ran around with last weeks headlines well printed on their backsides. Did we care? did we 'ell as like.
An hour or so later I flicked Willie’s lug ’ole, he woke with a start. The time was 5-50am. He sat bolt upright rubbing his ear lobe scowling with face like a cat’s puckered bum. “What was that?” He yelped
“One of yer biddies, it was a massive one.”
“Come on Willie shift up I want to look out of the window at the mighty ‘Onion Grower’ biting the dust.”
“I can’t wait fer this.” Willie chuckled scratching his backside and yawning.
The dawn was beginning to break over the houses. The streets lights were going out when we heard that all familiar sound below. The rattling of windows as the back gate slammed shut. Then we heard the sound of a rasping gruff cough followed by a chest clearing exercise and finally the spit. The heavy stamping of giant clodhopper boots followed. Talk about Frankenstein and his boots, the noisy ‘ole bugger could wake the dead with racket he made every morning.
“He’s coming,” whispered Willie with his head inclined and is face squashed so hard against the window pane; he looked more like Quasimodo peering through the lace curtains. We made sure Pedro couldn’t see us up at the window. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed throughout the entry. The handlebars of his bike scraped against the wall as he pushed it out towards the slope that ran down to the pavement. We both burst out laughing at the thought of what was to come. Suddenly Pedro and his beret came into view below us, scooting down the slope. His saddle suddenly swivelled upwards as he swung his leg over the crossbar of his wobbling bike. He sat down with a ‘thump’! The pointy end of the saddle went right up the ‘crack of his arse’. What a cry of agony, it echoed down the street like a roaring bull. The shock and pain caused him to thrust the pedals forward. The sudden pressure on the taut chain caused the rear wheel to slam forward out of its brackets. The front wheel dropped out of the forks as the bike tipped back taking him with it, before being propelled forward again. Pedro yelled as he was bounced around like a rag doll before being thrust over the handlebars taking them with him as the wheel less frame dug into the tarmac. He managed one somersault before he landed on his back still clutching his handlebars. He hollered again at the top of his voice, words of abuse and impending doom. We both collapsed in a fit of laughter almost peeing ourselves.
“Shut up you pair rascals!” Ma shouted from her bedroom. ”Get back into your own rooms and go to sleep!”
“It’s Pedro; he’s had an accident Mum.” I shouted.
We heard Ma getting out of bed. “Just get back to bed, the pair of you.”
All hell had broken loose down in the road. Pedro limped around rubbing his backside, he kept shouting curses. A few of the neighbours peered through their bedroom windows wondering what all the commotion was about. They watched him pick up his three piece bike and limp slowly back up the path. He glanced up at our window. We both ducked down hoping he hadn’t spotted us. Willie wiped his eyes and held his aching sides. “We’d better watch our backs in the next few weeks.”
“That’s just the start Willie; we ain’t finished with him yet. Not by a long chalk, that miserable ‘ole bugger has a lot to answer for.”
Ma walked into the bedroom shaking her head. “One day you will cause him to break a few bones and then where will you be?”
“He deserved it,” said Willie still looking through the window.
“You had better watch your backs for the next few days to come.”