1968 – 50 year anniversary of my best year!

1968 was a really important year for me.

It marked the turning point from being a boy into becoming a teenager who went out, started drinking beer, started being sick and getting hangovers…

It wasn’t all good though and Martin Luthor King was murdered, the Vietnam war raged on although the first Moon photo taken in space was published.

It was the year my family moved up to Hale in Cheshire. The year I started going out with girls and the second year of my abiding love for music.

This is a photo of the building that used to be The Bleeding Wolf pub (Or the Bloody Fox as my gran used to call it in her later years…) about 300 yards from my house on Park Road. I remember it was done out inside like a Saracens tent – brilliant – sadly, now converted into flats!

Before 1967 it had been Hayley Mills with Jeepers Creepers.

One of my first loves single wise in 1967 was All or Nothing rapidly followed by I can see for Miles. The Small Faces were the biggest for me though and later in 1967 you had Itchycoo Park and my personal favourite record ever Tin Soldier with PP Arnold. I even wore a kaftan for a while in 1967!

Of course they had their only number 1 album in 1968 Ogdens Nut Gone Flake – probably the best album ever…

1968 wasn’t all about music though. It was a huge time of change and now 50 years later it still casts a spell. I started at a local secondary school Bradbury’s which wasn’t very interesting on any level and left to go to North Cheshire College of Further Education in the September.

The building was later taken over and became Trafford something or other and there is only one tiny Facebook group of 5 people I’ve just found (6 now!) two of whom are on this site Mac and Peter!

My life became a whirlwind of music, gigs and parties. Every weekend there was so much to do! On a Saturday night we would often go to Manchester University and catch a group saw bands like Pink Floyd and Third Ear Band there… Of course, now…

Other weekend nights we would go mostly to the Griffin or Stamford Arms pubs in Bowdon.

There were always parties though and it was just a matter of getting in i.e. ‘crashing the party! One of my funniest memories was being out with a friend and we bumped into a large group of girls we knew who invited us to crash this party they knew about. In those days you were almost guaranteed entry to a party if you were accompanied by a group of girls.

We got to the party and knocked on the door and waited – listening to the heavy bass sounds that permeated the walls. Eventually, the door opened and a girl stood there looking us over.

“Right”, she said “you can all bugger off” She paused. “Except Nick!” I couldn’t believe it and dashed in before she could change her mind.

I have absolutely no idea who she was then or now…

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