I was born this day February 8th 1936, in a village called Dunsfold in Surrey England. Just South of London. I tried to write a brief decade by decade account of my life, but found 80 years was too long to summarise in a blog post. So gave up and decided to post some pictures from the first two. The earliest picture I have is the one above. Already learning to keep my head down and my eyes open.
With my Dad in my first year or so. He was so proud of me back then. WWII took him away for 5 years when I was 4 and when he came home I was 9 years old. I realize now how annoying 9 year old boys can be. No wonder he hated me.
My earliest picture with my mother, as she was usually the photographer. Aged about two I'm guessing.
1940 Aged 4. Why so serious? WWII had started.
About the same time. The tents in the background are an army camp. With my Uncle David, who I was named after.
1944. Left to right, my Mother, My younger sister Betty, my step-sister Joyce and myself.
A school picture. My mother wrote the date on the back, 1944. I was eight.
1948 The war was over, I was 12. Here with my sister.
1949. Aged 13, with my first new bike. A Hercules Roadster.
The local church choir. Me on the right age 13.
1950. Age 14, on a horse at my Aunt's Riding School.
1951, One of my last school pictures. Aged 15. (Is that a hint of a smile, or a fuck you smirk?)
1952. My first year racing. Age 16.
1952, At the end of my first season racing, collecting my trophies. After years of my father and school teachers telling me I was useless, people were praising me and telling me I was good at something. No wonder I fell in love with cycling.
1953. Aged 17. Riding in the National 12 Hour TT Championship. Covered 220 miles in the 12 hours.
1954. On the right aged 18. Wearing the fashion of the day, discovering girls. Into music, modern jazz mostly. Rock n' Roll was yet to burst on the scene a couple of years later. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were only 11 years of age. And People think those guys are old?
And that was only the beginning, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day, after all I will only turn 80 once.