Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Page 18

Jackie brought a few bits and pieces , mainly clothes and his newspaper cuttings and photo`s of his boxing career in Ireland.

He played the harmonica really well and with my dad playing the spoons in bottles we used to have great times, real family get togethers, it was as if my Dad had a new lease on life.

I got to love him very much, we never argued we were really good mates. I got used to not drinking and my boyfriend and my dad going to the gym and coming back full of it, my dad saying what an excellent left jab he had etc......a mutual admiration society.

I still loved my job so much, everyday was different, on this day we were going to a place called Chapeltown, it was quite a long run which I liked. We got about halfway when we got caught in a traffic holdup at the top of Chapeltown Hill, on both sides of the narrow road were woodlands, it was a really beautiful spot. On the left hand side some building or something was going on ,as lorries turned into it, empty and came out loaded with lumps of rock, still I digress, the traffic started to move and I was hanging out of the back of the double decker bus to see what the holdup had been. I soon wished I hadn`t been so nosy, there was a lorry stationery in the turning and a person who had been on a motor bike with his head underneath the rear wheel, needless to say , by the time I realised what was running from what had been his head was the contents, next thing I knew some of the passengers were talking to me as I had fainted, it was quite dangerous as there wasn`t alot to stop me falling out of the bus. One of the passengers said the other guy just managed to hang on to me otherwise I would have joined the poor lad whose life had just ended.

A horrible experience, one of many accidents that I had witnessed but that was the worst.

I had been going out with Jackie for sometime when I started to notice that the Irish contingent who worked on the buses were muttering to each other, mainly the females, they all stuck together and I seemed to be the target, why I had no idea.I ignored it as I thought I was imagining it but it started to happen a lot. I spoke to Jackie about it and he said it was probably because I wasn`t a Catholic and they thought this was wrong and had spoken to him about it he had told them to mind their own business. I couldn`t get my head around this Catholic lark they could do and say really horrible things then go to confession and be free to go and do the same things again.

One of the inspectors was busy trying to get Jackie some fights lined up, this guy was also in boxing, he ran a small gym and had six boxers in his stable, he was very impressed with Jackie. He managed to get him a couple of fights, one in Wakefield and another in Leeds. The one in Wakefield my Dad was particularly pleased about as his sister my auntie Bessie and her husband Uncle Albert lived there, they had two daughters Marion and Dot. It was arranged that our families would meet up and watch Jackie box at least he would have some supporters , afterwards they said we could stay overnight and go home the following day.

It was a terrific fight, although I didn`t like to see Jackie hit but he won by a knockout in the 4th round. The next fight was in Leeds. It was somewhere near Armley prison very rough but nonetheless we all went and a couple of mates Barbara her boyfriend Jeff and a couple of others went for support. Another good fight , a win on points this time, a tougher opponent. We were thrilled to bits awaiting the next fight, Jackie was getting quite a following.

It had been hard for him being the A.B.A champion in Dublin he had loads of supporters there and then starting again in England had been difficult, still he was winning.

My Dads health had improved quite a lot, we ,that is my Mum and I think that being involved with the boxing had helped alot , he had got a job at British Oxygen Co. as a night security guard. He had to answer the switchboard and patrol the offices and also man the gatehouse. It was night shift but it was ok, not to taxing and he was his own boss. Sometimes Jackie and I would walk there and sit with him and chat for a couple of hours. Sometimes I would be doing the Rotherham to Sheffield run on late shift my mate (driver) would toot the horn as we passed the gatehouse and I would hang out of the back of the bus waving like mad to my Dad. He was the best Dad in the world.

Jackie and I took my Mum and Dennis to Blackpool for the day, it was around August it was really hot, we had a lovely day, spoilt Dennis rotten. Jackie bought me a marcasite ring and a cross and chain. My Dad couldn`t come as he had to sleep and go to work early evening.

I was still having trouble with the irish lot at work, it did puzzle me, I had previously got on well with them. It had to be something to do with Jackie, he was a really good looking man, tall ,dark, very muscular ,maybe they were jealous.

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