Friday, 22 March 2013

RIP: Aunty Angela

We travelled to Newcastle yesterday for the funeral of my aunty Angela - a quiet, unassuming and kind person.  We did not meet up that often but her passing marks the removal of yet another tessera from my life's mosaic.

The crematorium where the commital was conducted is located on Scotswood Road in Newcastle.  I've been there once before and I can remember the exact date: 15th October 1964.  Why would I remember it so precisely?  On a whim a friend (Malcolm James) and I had hitch-hiked from South Wales to Morpeth to stay with my uncle John and aunty Angela. As the day after we got there was General Election Day, we decided to go to an Election Night disco in the Top Rank dance hall in Scotswood Road. The DJ was the now infamous Jimmy Saville who I distinctly recall sported tartan dyed hair. Other details of the evening are lost in a fug of Newcastle Brown ale and liquorice-paper rollies!  For the record, Labour won the election by 5 seats and Harold Wilson became Prime Minister.

And if you think 'Scotswood Road' sounds familiar, you may have heard it referred to in the chorus of the Geordie folk song, The Blaydon Races:
Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin

Passing the folks along the road
And all of them were starin'
All the lads and lasses there
They all had smilin' faces
Gannin along the Scotswood Road
To see the Blaydon Races

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