We are, who we are, because..
As we go through life people influence the way we think and behave, some people help form our moral compass
In my case beyond my parents Ray & Lucy, I would say my greatest role model was my grandfather Arthur Redsell (Lucy’s father).
Unfortunately my grandfather was taken from us too early, due to inoperable brain tumour. As with people of his generation, no one told them smoking would kill them and it did. At least some of us have learnt from them.
This man could not do enough for either my little sister Julie or me. Julie will say I got away with murder, as I was a boy and “the special one”.
Before my 12th birthday, I was helping Granddad hang wallpaper and do odd jobs for other people. When he wasn’t taking me to play football we would have been in his shed making things. I was rubbish at it, but he always said my stuff was amazing..
I do remember making cement bricks for the rockery in the garden, what’s funny is my Mum and Dad live in the house now. My Nan died in 2005 and then my mum moved back home. Those cement bricks are still in the garden as part of the cement castle we built back in 1975-76.
The last really remember able event with my Granddad was the 1976 FA Cup final, which we watch together as we always had. That was when the FA Cup was a really special day and marked the end of the football season.
I was also taught to play Lawn Green Bowls, as he was something to do with Pirrie Park bowling club in Southampton. Many a school holiday was spent riding on the mower, cutting the clubs lawn tennis courts or play fighting with stuff from the fencing club, no health and safety concerns then, just a clip around the ear if you did something stupid. For me the place was like having your own toy wonderland or back to his house to paly in the tree house, that was built for Julie and me.
Time was also spent trying to grow things, both Dad and Granddad had allotments, he had one near his house and my school (Tanners Brook) and both Dad and Granddad had one near our house on Oakley road.
We grew everything from potatoes, leaks, runner beans, cabbages & carrots to every fruit you could try. Its amazing how interesting digging and planting is to achild. Even spreading that lime and filthy smelly horse manure, that smell that never seems to go away. After school my job was to go and water the allotments, again I’m not sure I did it very often.
Also the allotment was a great place for Bonfire night fireworks, a big fire was built and all the local families came along and we shared the fireworks. This was after doing “penny for the guy” in front of the house.
There are a couple of things; I remember or at least attribute to him.
Every decision you make has consequences; make sure you can live with those consequences. They could be with you for all of your life.
It is your life; what you make of it is up to you and make sure you enjoy it.
Even if you don’t like what you are doing, do it to the best of your ability, as you don’t want to have to come back and do it twice.
I was only 13 when he died in 1977. In fact I was away at InterCamp’77 Scout camp with Stewart Cameron near Aldershot.
All I can remember is that was great fun and very hot. Playing games that are probably banned now, murder ball and British bull dog.
This was my first real experience of meeting people from overseas. I met scouts from all over the world, I do remember meeting some from the USA, in fact I think I still have neckerchief somewhere from the US scout association. I am still friends with Stewart.