Tony Walker





Tony Walker
Born in 1944

Lived in Trafalgar Street, South Bank



I attended English Martyrs Primary in Blossom Street, next door to the Odeon, where Mother Andrew was the headmistress/chief nun. I used to walk there every morning, from my home in Trafalgar Street, South Bank, walking through the Nunthorpe School grounds, across Scarcroft Road and past the school there, and up South Parade to emerge next door to Shearsmith's motor bike and toy shop, where I used to drool over the Meccano No 10 set that was in the window there.

Passing the 11+ and getting a scholarship to St Michael's College in Leeds. Hating every minute of the place and managing to get myself expelled after a mere 18 months there. The sadistic Jesuit priests who taught there were not known as 'God's Gestapo' for nothing! That was my biggest mistake, going there instead of opting for Nunthorpe, a mere 5 minutes from home, but being a Catholic kid, what choice did I, or my parents have? So, I was gently decanted to St Georges, where I had a happy time until I left in 1959.

I Remember a technical drawing exercise in George Barker's class. All the measurements and angles were given and we were told to get on with it. Imagine my surprise when the completed drawing turned out to be a swastika! Blimey! That wouldn't get past the PC Brigade these days.

I used to buy cigarettes at a little shop near Fishergate Bar, opposite the pub. Park Drive and Woodbines were tuppence each, while Players and Senior Service were tuppence ha'penny each. Matches were supplied free by the shopkeeper. This led to Colin Richardson and myself being caught 'having a fag' at Rievaulx Abbey on a school trip by Brother John. Underpants were brown that day, but our punishment was merely a wigging and our being given the job of tidying out a few cupboards at the school. I guess that shopkeeper would be banged up today for hazarding the health of the young!

Playing 'Hangman' with Brian Turner during morning assembly. Rattling through the mindless chanting (to my mind, at least) of the rosary. Thursday afternoon Benediction at the church, which I often tried to dodge.

Playing on the Knavesmire, going to Rowntrees Park.

Teenage memories? The 'bops' at the Empire. Seeing stars like Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Brown, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers in concert at the Rialto.

Work? I was found a job (not my choice) as an apprentice butcher at Wrights, where I spent five years knotting sausages, working down the black pudding mine and making pork pies. The only good thing that came out of that was meeting my wife there.

Tony's Later Life

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