Ray King: Memories Of ”Little Old” Amble

Posted on 14th February 2011 | in Community

“Hello Raymond! Welcome back to little old Amble.” These were the words that greeted me when I met a former teacher from the Amble Council School on Queen Street. Her name was Helen Aisbait (née Tait). Norma and I had recently returned to our ‘roots’, having lived away from Amble in various parts of the country for almost forty years.

Meeting Helen again was a nostalgic moment, particularly for me as Helen had been the sweetheart of every boy in the school from the moment she arrived as a nineteen year old teacher.
Certainly Amble was no longer the quiet little town that Norma and I had left all those years ago. During the first week of our relocation to Amble we lived in Newburgh Street and I can only say that the initial experience was a disaster. Eggs were thrown at my car and a pellet from an air pistol just missed my head. It had been fired by a young woman who said she was firing at cats! So much for a peaceful return to “Little Old Amble”!

I remember that there was a group of men who could often be seen walking together along the roads during the early mornings. They were known locally as “The Summer Wine Boys”. Billy Priest was the only one of them that I knew but as time went on I became familiar with all these faces. In many ways they were a heartwarming sight – if only there were more of that kind of camaraderie in the world! Billy’s father (Billy Senior!) had been Amble’s champion billiards player and played between the wars. Every Saturday night Billy (Senior) would stand at the top of Queen Street with a group of friends, some of whom were Newcastle supporters and others supported Sunderland. They would discuss their respective teams and often the discussion would become very ‘heated’.

Life is all about friendships and I treasure the many true friends that I have made during my eighty-six years. True friends such as Robbie Twedell and Ernie Bell, are both now in their late eighties.
Robbie still walks long distances and does his own shopping. Ernie on the other hand has severe problems with his legs and walking is a considerable ordeal for him. As a former county tennis player and a football referee of stature he still loves to talk about football and especially to compare the game of yesteryear and the game of today.  So many friends and so many memories – they are embedded in my memory forever!

The second volume of my memoirs “To the End of the Road” goes “live” on the internet at the beginning of February. It is available at www.amazon.com at £9.99 (not including p&p).
It can also be obtained from jamos@exquisitewriting.com at £9.99 (including p&p).

You can get a copy by sending an e-mail or writing to: Amos Consulting Limited Fairview Bungalow Parkhill, Whitecroft, Glos, GL15 4PQ
Thanks to those of you who purchase my book and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.


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