I grew up during the second World War, dad was away with the R.A.F., I would be about 6-7 years old when he came home.
Mum and grandma looked after my young years, I was taught ‘children are seen and not heard’. While dad was away, mum spent her time knitting and reading, we did listen to the radio. When dad came home, he impressed on us the need for us to be quiet, he liked to listen to the radio, he liked most of all (I did not know it at the time) Classical Music. While it was on, I also had to sit very still, to ‘pull my skirt down and not show my knees’.
I grew to know them all, all the pieces, all the Opera’s, Dad’s favourite was Tosca, I could sing along with it – under my breath!
I developed the ability to knit and read at the same time, while half an ear listened to the music. Multi-tasking indeed, anything rather than annoy my dad. At school, we listened to some music programmes on the radio, there was Peter and the Wolf, The Sourcerer’s Apprentice, Danse Macabre, also Sparkey’s Magic Piano.
We even got taken from School to Leeds Town Hall to see Sir Maurice Miles conducting Peter and the Wolf. That was fantastic, the noise of a full orchestra was exciting. I did learn to love music. Later when I left school, I used to go to Leeds Town Hall to see concerts, sitting in the balcony, peeping over, I was surprised to see my father in the stalls below.
As a teenager, I used to go the the Leeds Grand Theatre, and the Moss Empire, I had season tickets for both of them. I saw all the musicals, all the comedians, even Sir Bruce Forsyth when he was younger and took the spot ending the first half, I couldn’t have imagined how long his career would eventually be. I would see my father there too, he never said anything about seeing me, I never said anything about seeing him. At the end of the performances he always went to a Bar for a drink, i took myself home on the Tram.
What a shame, what opportunities lost, me and my dad were like ships in the night. Sailing round each other. All the more sad, as we did share similar interests (other than beer drinking!)