“My Life as a Boy.”

During the school holidays I would sit in the gutter out the front of Mum and Dad’s house at South Plympton and wish for lots of things.
I wished I was older, I wished time would go quicker. I wished I was back at school.
I wished the baker and his horse would pass by. Remember, those freshly baked loaves that had hot doughy centres.
Yummy! No sliced bread in those days.
I wished I had a pair of fluorescent glow in the dark socks. Lime green was the colour I wanted and when I got them I was too frightened to wear them.
I was too worried I would get a rock in the back of the head on my way home from the local Deli just for wearing them.
But most of all I wished the newsagent would hurry up each Thursday afternoon around 5 0’clock and deliver my precious copy of the British “Eagle” Magazine for boys.
Oh Joy!
I would rush in to my room and read up on the latest exploits of Dan Dare (science fiction) and P.C. 49 (He was a kindly British Copper).

“Jenny Easther and friends, 1979.”

Right Click and then click view image to see picture in a larger format.
The date is 8 March, 1979.
This Picture was taken at Harry Robinson’s Retirement Function.
Harry was retiring from the Photomechanical Section at the Government Printing Office Netley Complex.
From Left to Right (Back Row):
Gary Easther (with hair), Jack Flack (doesn’t look any different), Helen Flack (more beautiful than ever), Barry James, (Supervisor), Neil Watt (soon to become a Trade School teacher), the late Ian Hobb and Mike Rice (later to become a Union official).
(Front Row): Jenny Easther (the real boss of the section), Marijke James (Barry’s wife), Penny Hobb (Ian’s wife) and Lois Rice (Mike’s wife).
Photo kindly provided by Jack Flack.
Rod Parham

“Photomechanical workers in 1987”.

GPD 1987 005

G’day Rod
Here’s a picture for you.
The photo mechanical crowd from Netley taken in 1987. Most of the names I can remember and are listed below (with a few gaps).
You’ll be interested to see the late Bob Miller (who recently featured in one of your updates). He was passing through when I took the picture and no doubt wanted to join in. 
Cheers Mark Noble
Left to Right: Barry James, Alan Baker, Aldus Bogdanovs, Clive Baker, Rob Bruin, Ken Shevlin, Phil Pocock, Herb Kiess, Peter Gates, Keith Luce, Kaarel Lume, Rod (Bags) Baker, Bob Miller, Sandie Bruce, Felicity Turpin and Trina Butters.

“The Melting Pot.”

42_19522This is not me. The bloke pictured here is about nine inches taller than me, handsome and built like a “brick shithouse”.
One of my first jobs of a morning when I entered the dog box which we called the Comp Room at National Paper Industries. Port Road, was to switch on the Lead melting pot.
It was electrically operated and would melt the lead slugs from the Ludlow typesetter which had been dissed from the completed print jobs.
It was a dirty job and of course was left to the “shit boy” to do.
Depending on what went into the pot the smell could become a bit rank, but generally it was cigarette butts, and the occasional sweepings off the shop floor.
At one point in the process I had to open the lid to whack some flux in, which supposedly would help clean the lead, antimony and tin that made up printer’s lead.
One Monday morning I flicked the switch on and went about my business.
I never knew that on the Friday night before all the bosses, arse crawlers and office staff had organised a huge piss-up after work.
Unfortunately, on the way down to the factory toilets a number of them had spotted the open melting pot (not working) and had relieved themselves on top of the type metal in the pot.
The smell that came crawling out of the pot as the stale urine turned to steam was unbearable and I vomited into the pot setting up a chain reaction which had vomit tainted lead splatter flying around the comp room.
I survived that horrible day and we got a lock to make sure the lid couldn’t be opened when we weren’t on guard.
I was not happy…


“My Life as a 69 year old Tech Dinosaur”.

My first mobile phone was an analog “brick” given to me as a “hand me down” as part of my job as a union organiser.
At the time, I thought about how I had managed to do my job quite successfully over the years without a mobile phone. 
Then my son Danny taught me how to use a laptop, with very little explanation I might add.
After some time I signed up with Twitter only because 140 characters for a tweet seemed achievable even for me. Nowadays, I don’t use Twitter.
Facebook was a disaster because my account was soon hacked and people were receiving all sorts of strange messages from me that made me sound like a raving loony pervert.
What annoyed me about Facebook was I was swamped with useless bits of information about people’s lives. I didn’t want to know if they had tomato sauce on their pie for lunch or whether they had  a decent bowel movement that morning. I no longer use Facebook.
“Truthfully though, I do find a mobile phone useful in emergency situations and texting people is practical because no-one seems to answer voice mail anymore”.


Only God knows what it is like for some of my older friends.
If they have a query with a Government department they ring the relevant section and after waiting for an hour they are told by a voice it’s quicker to look it up on their home computer.
What bloody computer?
Most of my friends who are over 80 don’t have a computer.
It’s cruel you know to put that sort of pressure on older people who are just trying to stay alive.
No wonder there are so many scams committed against older people on the internet.
Luckily, I have an eight  year old grandson Seamus who is a kind boy and helps me out, whenever I need help.

“Never Trust a King”.


Pictured is poor old Wat Tyler being slain by one of Richard the Second’s thugs during the Peasant’s Rebellion in England during June, 1381.
Just when Wat Tyler and thousands of peasants (mainly women) were getting the upper hand in the Peasant’s Rebellion Wat Tyler made a terrible and fatal mistake.
He trusted the word of the Monarch who said,  “Wat old chap let’s meet to see if we can stop these horrible women peasants from murdering rich people and stealing their fine cutlery”.
So Wat being a lowly peasant thought he’s the King I should trust him and have a nice quiet peaceful chat
WRONG! Wat never got the chance to even get off his horse before he was repeatedly stabbed by some of Richard’s henchman and was soon dead.
Probably, got hung, drawn and quartered as well just for good measure.
Needless to say the Peasant’s Rebellion fell in a great screaming heap and the Nobles took their vengeance on England’s poor.
They were fair game you see and fox hunting hadn’t been invented yet and hunting down and slaughtering humans was so much better fun!