Staying at Home
Chapter Three begins with a reflection on actions, and as such, the boys decide to stay home rather than going out to cause any further mayhem. But, it doesn’t matter where they go: mayhem seems to follow them. For example, here is an image of the sort of nonsense they got up to.
This is two shotgun shells pushed into pre-drilled holes in a large piece of wood for the sole purpose of being shot at in order to see how well both boys could aim.
Can’t see it very well? OK, here’s a close-up. And notice the can on the right, already shot by the boys:
Can you see the gold percussion caps in the middle of them? If the boys’ aim is true, and they can hit those gold caps from 30 yards, then the shotgun shells will explode. Simple! And all undertaken in the safety of Mick’s garden.
They would make the above “tests” on Mick’s dad’s workbench. Here it is:
That vice would have been where they made their pipe bombs. Was it fun? Yes. But, was it a tad naughty? Looking at it through today’s eyes, and 30 more years of experience, it could be thought of as a little irresponsible, but that’s not how it was in the 1980’s. That’s not how we thought. That’s why we took them down to the common at the bottom of Cambridge Road:
You can see the college on the bottom left where Darren would go in book two, which is almost finished. The best thing about this common land was that it had a river running through it with trees which traversed the river at various points, which the boys could use as cover. You can see the river in the photo if you look closely.
When the boys had had enough of staying home, they decided to go garden hopping. The great way in which houses were built in the 1930’s lent itself to the teenage idea of jumping through everyone’s gardens in the dark, creeping around their hedges and leaping tall fences. The next image demonstrates this design:
If you can see the red pin in the middle of the above image, and imagine the boys enter the gardens via that house, then they pretty much have free rein over the whole of the street, and over all of the houses on Cambridge Road as well as the parallel road behind them. That’s a lot of gardens!
When I get some more images of the gardens, I shall put them up. In the meantime, go to the next chapter.