These lads were a couple of years older than me. Obviously, I knew them all though time has dimmed the memory somewhat! You’ll just have to make allowances for my senility! OK?
Back Row – left to right.
Gerald Jeffreys. Gerald lived at 9 Nottage Road – next door to my old mate Keith Hickson. Gerald’s father, Lewis, was a big-shot in the Newton and District Horticultural Shows – and a lovely man. Gerald died very young, as did his older sister Emily, and younger brother Brian. All, sadly, very overweight. (It has to be something in the genes, doesn’t it?)
John Pickard. John lived in Newton Road, a couple of doors from my Gran. His father was the chief mechanic on the old Mumbles Railway. His younger bro, Ken, is still local. John becaone a Police Superintendent locally and when he retired, he became Clerk to the Mumbles Community Council. Still around.
Keith Richards. Lived at 14 St.Peter’s Road. His father would always have the latest model Vauxhall motor car – in the days when motor cars were not all the same to look at! Keith became a well-off Estate Agent in Mumbles and bought – and still lives in – a nice large detached house on Newton Road, overlooking the adjacent Underhill Park. Pipe-smoking Keith is still very much with us.
I don’t recall the next lad, but the end boy, I believe, is
Keith Wright. Keith lived at 13 Caswell Avenue and had an older brother John. Keith went to Swansea Grammar School. (Now Bishop Gore.)
Mystery boy! Can’t place him, I’m afraid.
Betty Sivertsen (Evans). A lovely, but tough, lady who kept us all well in check. Betty was, of course, Akela. A Newton Road girl, one of the ‘Stirling Evans’ family. Strangely, her two brothers Brian and Eric both died very young. Betty’s husband was a Lord Mayor of Swansea and Betty has written much in the Mumbles Book. (Which can be accessed via my sidebar in Dickiebo.) Betty still lives locally and I frequently see her in the village.
Jean Griffin. Jean lived at the bottom of Newton Road, (by Nottage Road). Her father Eric worked for Swansea Council and looked after the Bowls Green at Southend, and the Underhill Park pitches. Both Jean and her younger sister, Joyce, married priests though Jean’s hubby – Ion Davies from ‘Balfron’ in Marytwill Lane, left the clergy to become a teacher.
Donald McKay. (I’m told!) I say that because it doesn’t look too much like him, if you know what I mean! Duckett – as we called him – lived over Caswell cliffs. He would cycle-in to play with us in Nottage Road in the evenings. Many people also called him ‘Duke’ which seemed to be in later years. Duke owned the Tivoli Amusement Arcade in Mumbles. The only school re-union that I ever attended was the centenary celebration of our school – Dynevor. (Famous old boys include Sir Harry Secombe – the fool!!!!! lol – and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.) I attended the re-union really hoping to meet some of my old school pals and guess what? The ONLY person who I knew was Duke! Huh! Sadly, Duke died a month or two ago.
Jackie Stack. A hell of a boy! Lived next door to Jim Davies’s garage in Newton Road, with Ernie Kift. He was a really tough guy who you just had to like. Bit of a tearaway! One evening, I was on my newspaper round in Southward Lane when Jackie came past – going to catch the 85 bus from the stop at Strathmore to go to Army Cadets in Swansea. He called me over and asked me if I had a handkerchief. I said I did. (In those days, a handkerchief was usually a torn-off strip of old sheet or something similar!!!) He held out his hand for my hankie, blew two loud blasts of air from his nostrils, and asked me if I could do that! I tried, but the snot stopped my second attempt – and I no longer had a hankie. Jackie said, “See. I have to be able to do that as I’m in the boxing team.” And that was the last I saw of my hankie!
Middle two I’m not sure of.
Selwyn Hixson. (Wiss!) Lived in a cottage in Caswell Road – now no longer standing. Wiss was the best friend of our gang leader, Frankie Bowen. His younger brother, Terry – also Wiss to us! – was, you may recall, with Bilbow and yours truly when we nearly set fire to the Church Hall. Selwyn is no longer with us but Terry is, and is on my mailing list (for passing jokes around!) Their mother is famous, in my eyes, as being the first person I ever heard saying, “Make hay whilst the sun shines” – which she used frequently!