Liverpool 1964

16 May

liverpool landing

It is lunchtime and I am home from school having a sandwich at my Granddad’s house. I am eleven years old. Sixties Liverpool is in full swing.

It is quiet in the room; I am at the table in the bay window, listening to the clock tick and worrying about the dreaded swimming lesson at school this afternoon, trying to think of a good excuse to get out of going.

Granddad Alfie, is ill in bed and Mum is dividing her time between me and the bedroom where my aunties are also gathered.

There is a good fire burning in the hearth lighting the polished brassware, and a lingering smell of Granddad’s pipe smoke reminds me of days spent here as a small child. The old leather sofa looks odd without him: I have not been here for a while; too busy growing up. The sixties phenomena has eluded this house, unlike ours, seven doors down on Blackhorse Lane, where my mum has made various attempts to modernise, on a very low budget.

The clock ticks and the swimming lesson draws nearer. Mum comes downstairs to see me off, but as I reach for my duffel coat, a long, high pitched wail pierces the quiet. For a moment I am puzzled; the sound is one I have never heard before and does not sound human. Only later, do I realize it was the sound of a daughter’s grief. My Granddad had died.

I am shocked, but my bereft Mum insists I return to school.

At school I hand over the hastily penned note:

‘Please excuse Kathleen from swimming today. Her Granddad died at lunchtime.’










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