... in the beginning
... early years
... senior school days
... Girl Guides
... teenage friends
... the world of work
... getting married
... the Sheffield years
... on to Hertfordshire
... a change of direction
... so where are we now
... other trivial info


Teenage Friends...

What else was going on during ’59 to ’63? As this spans the time between my being aged eleven and sixteen, plenty was going on!

Around the late fifties / early sixties my family had students from Leeds University lodging with us, Monday to Friday during term time. Names I remember are Michael Page (who sadly died recently), Terry Cook, Richard Hudnut and Keith Goldthorpe (who has also died). There were a few others whose names I have forgotten.

My family moved from Beckett’s Park Crescent to Moseley Wood Drive in Cookridge. After a short time in Cookridge, we moved back to Headingley; first to Alma Road, then to Beckett’s Park Drive (yes, we had come almost full circle).

At that time I was friends with a girl called Gail Scoffin, who lived a few doors away in Beckett’s Park Drive.

For some years, my best friend had been Valerie Smith. Valerie and I were growing up and boys took over from dolls as a main source of conversation. We went to dances together and had a penchant for exercising the dog in the local park on summer evenings. There we met Dave Beard, Dave’s dog, Colin Foster and several of their friends (most of whom were pupils at Leeds Boys Modern School.)

I used to go to a local youth club - The Mugs' Club - which was attached to St. Chad's Church and run by the slightly eccentric curate, Malcolm Stonestreet.

Around 1962/3 a crowd loosely known as the Shaw Lane Gang developed. Gradually, Shaw Lane corner became a regular, after-school meeting place for girls from Lawnswood High School and Leeds Girls’ High School, and boys from Leeds Grammar School. Some of the boys belonged to a local rock group, so we quickly took to spending Saturday evenings at whichever venue the group was playing that week. They were called "The Raiders" and consisted of Trevor Midgley (aka Beau, whom I eventually married), Robin White, John Armistead (aka Tarm) and Ralph Sims (aka Sidlet). At various times Paul Marshall, Alan Petch and John Allen were also in the group.

We had a great time for a couple of years or more. We met after school at Shaw Lane: we followed the Raiders around; we went to each other houses for parties. And at some time or another, several of us went out with each other!

People I remember from this time are Susan Carroll, Christine Pickup, Katy Brady, Karen Metcalfe, Anona Jackson, Jane Mitchell, Stephanie Hampson, Frankie Gauld, Joanne Agar, Jackie Firth, Pip (Suzanne) Fielding, Tappy (Catherine) Blackburn, Ann Debussy, Wendy Hollock, Penny Twomey and Caroline Phillips.

The boys were Beau, Robin, Tarm and Ralph from the Raiders. Also Garth Marshall, Paul Marshall, Roger Lamb, Mike Debussy, Roger Hick, Vance Johnson, Barry Wills-Beel, Gordon Dickson (aka Dumphrey), Martin Fryer, Anthony James Podmore (aka Pod), John Mitchell, John Mason, Bruce Bowling, Richard Wilkinson (aka Pimp), Ian Peel, Douglas Peel, John Oldfield, Roger Hick, Alan Roberts, Kelvin Trickett, Martin Ainsley and Chris Lake. Sadly Mike DeBussy, Martin Fryer Anthony Podmore and Kelvin Trickett have since died.

After we all left school for work and universities, I was at a bit of a loss. Valerie and I used to go to Saturday evening parties at nearby Bodington Hall — a students’ hall of residence. After that, I went around with a group that consisted of Bob Burrows (now deceased), Roger Tinker, Fred Felton, Theresa Martin and various others.

Were you at Leeds University in the '50's/'60's and did you lodge with the Baker family? Do you know anything or anybody connected with Beckett's Park Drive? Do you remember the Shaw Lane gang or The Raiders? Indeed, were you part of the Shaw Lane gang! If so, please get in touch with me at sandramidgley1@gmail.com.

If you would like to see the Raiders web-page, click here.