The Scar and the Kart

I said earlier that some memories were from around Hardman Lane. Some of these must have been during the summer school holidays. I still bear the scars from one of these and I can only remember part of it.

I was sent to the local corner shop to buy a bottle of pop or milk, anyway it was a real bottle, made from glass. I remember running out of the shop and turning right, then I dropped the bottle and fell. The bottle broke and I fell onto the broken base. My hand was sliced open around the base of my thumb and across the palm back to the index finger in a nice clean curve.

I don’t know much then until a very clear vision of my Dad running, carrying me with my hand wrapped in a towel or something. He was running along the main road to Manchester trying to stop somebody in a car, to get me to the hospital. I seem to remember a truck stopping, it was quite high and he had to climb in. I think that children have a way of blotting out certain memories, and I may have done this for I don’t remember anything else, no pain, just Dad running along the road.

He told me years later that I was only worried about all the blood on his clothes. It wasn’t the last scar, but it is the most impressive, even now nearly 55 years later.

I stole my first and last vehicle around that time. There was a wooden go-kart outside that same shop and it wasn’t doing anything - just sitting there.

I need to expand on this go-cart, it wasn't a soap box cart or anything nearly as 'special'. The frame was a plank of wood, the steering was a cross piece at the front with a large bolt as the pivot and a length of string to steer it by. The rear wheels were normally larger and from a baby pram, axle included. The only brakes were shoes, walls or gardens hedges - back to the story.

So we took it to another street that had a good slope. We were having a ball, two at a time up and down, until the boy, his father and an extremely large policeman arrived. Was I in trouble again, you bet I was.

The 'problem' was that this was the era and the kind of area where everybody knew who your parents were and where you lived. And they cared enough about youngsters to do something about it. The local kids didn’t see it that way of course, they thought people were just interfering busybodies. It’s quite amazing how your opinions and thoughts change as you get older. You think you know everything in your teens.

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