from Ted Marriott
The week we moved to Grove Road, I started Lenton primary school, opposite the infants' school that I had attended previously on Lenton Boulevard. I can't remember my first days there, but a week or two later I was walking home on my own when I heard someone taking the 'mickey'out of me. I can't remember what was said but I know I was boiling up inside. I looked around and saw two lads who lived on Grove Road, Geoff Green and Pete Bradley, getting nearer to me. I'd never spoken to them before and at the time didn't know their names. I started to walk a little faster but they carried on with their calling me. I'll never know to this day why I did it, but I just stopped dead in my tracks and turned and threw a punch at whoever was still walking towards me. It turned out to be Pete. It must have been a beauty of a punch for an eight year old and spot on target. Always being on the small side, almost all the lads at school were taller so I aimed high as I turned and punched. It was the first time I had hit anyone in my life. The blow caught Pete on the cheekbone just below his eye. He cried out in pain and fell to the floor holding his face…GOD I felt good!!! But my hand hurt. As I stood their looking at him, Geoff started toward me, and then I panicked and ran home.
I had a wash and sat down for my tea, my right hand starting to get a bit warm. (It had been a long time since it had felt on fire again)… Mum knew something was amiss and asked me if anything was wrong. Funny how mums always know when 'summats up, innit'?
Trying to sound all wide-eyed and innocent, of course I said that there wasn't. Just at that moment came a loud knocking at the front door, mum looked at me and went to answer it.
I heard her talking to someone then she shouted me to, "Come here"…. Walking slowly to her I saw Pete Bradley and his mum at the doorway. Pete's eye was a 'picture'…. the skin under the eye grazed and a deep red to purple bruise showing. His eyes still wet with tears
Mrs Bradley took one look at me and turned to Pete. "WHAT...HE DID IT"?
Seeing that I was a good 12 inches shorter than Pete, she must have been as embarrassed as him, after complaining to my mum that I had beaten him. She grabbed him by the collar, turned and marched him off home. No apology…just a look of disgust, for either me, or Pete.
Mum closed the door and told me to get back to my tea. I'm sure I saw her put her hand over her mouth to hide a smile when she asked me again what had happened. I told her the story and she told me not to fight or the Marriott temper in me would get me into trouble. She always said I got my temper from my dads' side of the family, as his brother Ken was always fighting.
When I returned to school the following day I was a bag of nerves and kept looking over my shoulder waiting for the beating that I new was to come from Pete. As I said, Pete was bigger than me and I knew I'd be no match for him. I got home and mum asked if he had seen me. She advised me to keep away from him. Well done mum I think I figured that one out for myself.
It was the next day when I thought I was safe again and turned the corner from school when Pete stepped in front of me. Grabbing me round the neck he pulled me to the ground, he on top of me. I tried to roll into a ball as he threw punches at me. I remember the punches weren't hurting as I expected, but I made out they were and yelled out 'in pain'. He stopped and got up saying something like "don't try 'owt like that again or you'll get more".
I got to my feet and looked at him. "I'm sorry I just got mad."
He accepted my apology and after a few weeks, we became friends and remained so for the next ten years.