An Ordinary Man

From Bransholme To Germany All For The Price Of A Bus Ticket

An Ordinary Man has followed and supported Loudhailer Acoustic from the start. He prefers to remain anonymous and it’s a total pleasure to receive and read this evocative picture of a rite of passage from Bransholme to Germany all for the price of a bus ticket.

Bransholme Estate, Hull in 1974 was still young and so was I, still playing out on a Saturday night, football with me mates.  And all of a sudden no-one was out. I knocked on all the doors and everyone was somewhere else. Me mates were all about 17, they were out with their dads, all having their first pints in the Nightjar or the Drake. But not me, my dad had left when I was eight but that was no excuse.

I’d always tried to get in pubs when I was a young kid, even when I was at school. You used to go in in your school uniform, rip off your school badge and put it in your top pocket and go in Paragon upstairs (now Hull Cheese). Sometimes you got served if they was blind as a bat and a bit deaf ‘cause they had old barmaids in them days and you could chance it should’ve been in school but you was having a pint.

I was now working in a carpet shop at the time MV Couplands on Ferensway. I’d left my first job in a lemonade factory because the shop floor bully had dropped a lemonade bottle onto my head from the stacked crates above which he thought was really funny but it really fucking hurt. Anyway the carpet job was ok and I was 17 but I looked 15 and one Saturday night in too many with Starsky and Hutch with me Mother swanning out down Westfield Country Club where people thought they were something was sending me round the twist. So one night it was time to make a change and beer was on the menu.

So I tagged along with a couple of older mates, jumped on the no. 36 bus from the estate that took us down George St. and straight to the stop outside Hofbräuhaus and two large rounded brown wooden doors. Green flares, platform shoes and a stars and stripes jumper, I don’t know how I got in but me mates went in first, who were older, and I kept me head down and handed over some change, can’t remember how much dirt cheap, something stupid and I was in. I was stood by the wall with me mate and grinning ear to ear thinking Christ what’s going on here and two women walked up and one put her hand on the wall above my head she was a big tall woman and old – must’ve been about 27. I just remember staring at the bead of sweat that was just hanging on to one of the hairs in her armpit, she was that tall, and then she stared right at me, smiled and said have you got the time so I pulled up the sleeve on me stars and stripes jumper, looked at my wrist and said no I didn’t put my watch on tonight and me mate started pissing himself, lit up and flashed the fags. The beer was in huge glasses, steins hanging out your hands took two hands to hold it and schnapps was being served by women in very low cut tops on long wooden tables and the music playing was like this Oom Pah Pah band and somewhere near the stage some big hairy blokes, grown men in leather shorts and braces started dancing and slapping their thighs and back sides then each other’s back sides. I’d had half a dozen schnapps and got on the table and started to dance but me platform shoes and flares and the table had other ideas. Got a message all me mates were out of here and next door by 11 o’clock and straight into Scamps up some stairs and the latest music loud, flashing lights and glitter balls. This was the place no turning back and they served scampi and chips and I woke up on Sunday with a bad head and me brain all mixed up.

I was now on the circuit: Dram Shop, Trog Bar, Scamps, plenty of birds and cheap beer, there was now something to look forward to every week. Everything was different then, but everything had changed.”

© 2015 An Ordinary Man

Hofbräuhaus no longer

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