I have an issue thats been gnawing away at my mind for 52 years now.
Where am I on that photograph ?
Let me explain.
We’re on holiday, Cayton Bay, Wallis’s holiday camp, my guess is that its the summer of 1959, maybe 60, no, make that 59, we’re on holiday in a family group like we always were in those days – see the old man, that my mothers father, my grandad, he died three years after this photo was taken, you’d guess it was him even if you’d never seen him before because of the cricket bat in the push chair, he was crazy about cricket, he played cricket for Woodhouse, it must have grieved him to have had two daughters and no sons to play cricket with but years later those two daughters gave him four grandsons, four, count them…
Whats that ?
There’s only three in the photo ?
Yes, I’m glad you noticed that, so have I, almost every frikkin day for the past fifty two years.
So there we all are, a family group, my grandad, my little brother Ned (see the tiny little face in the background staring lovingly at his grandad ? ), my cousin Al on the right and his brother with the bleached blond hair on the left (looks familiar doesn’t he, its almost like you recall seeing him on TV somewhere recently, if he was blubbing his eyes out in the photo you’d get him straight away).
Anyway, they are all there, on their way to the beach and someone thinks it would be a great idea to take a photo of Richard Atkinson and his four grandsons on their way to play cricket and so they all stand around the RSPCA collecting tin and someone snaps the photograph that becomes famous in our family – I’ll wager a months wage that all three of those boys in that photo could walk straight to the box in which they keep their copy of that photo, its famous, we’ve all got one.
So where the fook was I ?
That photo is so famous in our family, I’ve seen it hundreds if not thousands of times and its only recently that I’ve realised that I’m not a part of it, why, what did I do wrong, why didn’t they let me join in their family photograph, huh ?
I also have a photo of me at Cayton Bay from around the same time, I’m two or three years old int he photo and I’m stood ont he steps of The Rendevous Club with about a hundred other much older kids and I’m the smallest one there and I’m on my own and we’re all just about to go down onto the beach on an organised treasure hunt for the teenage kids – I’m three years old for gods sake and they’ve left me there with the teenage kids to go on a treasure hunt, climbing cliff faces and such like searching for clues.
Thats probably where I was when this photo was taken, abandoned on the steps of The Rendevous Club in the hope that I may wander off on totally unsuitable unsupervised trips with older kids, maybe its true that I was rubbish at cricket but sending me cliff climbing at three years of age is a bit off don’t you think ?