My Intro

My photo
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Real Name Steve. Once went to prison for a month. Now a full time carer. Part romany/part tyke. Father and Step-father, Grandad to 14 superb kids. Was an RMN. Was qualified Fitter, Was a Shop manager, Was a Warehouse manager. Was a retail assistant/floor fitter. was a plastics fabricator/glass fibre laminator. Was a Boat builder. The best job I've ever held is the one I hold now, caring for the woman I love and who has stood by me for these last 9 years.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Ok time to start the journey.

I had an unremarkable childhood apart from being the physical focus for the delusions my mum suffered following the birth of my younger brother. At that time diagnosis such as perpural psychosis were unheard of, and my situation was undiscovered for some years till my Grandfather walked in the house one day. What he saw led him to bundle me into his arms and take me home with him where I lived for the next 10 years. My father was upset at first as he genuinely had no idea what was happening whilst he was at work at the colliery.

The only other really memorable thing about this time was my being assessed as 'educationally subnormal'. A not too nice label to apply to some-one, but it turned out to be a turning point for me. My real problem was a degree of congenital deafness. (This affects some males in my family as does dyslexia). Once this was diagnosed through the interests shown by one of the teachers at the Remedial School I was then sent to, I was able to start and try and catch up with the rest of my school year. I did in some aspects but still suffer difficulties with numbers and sequencing. This however is also partly due to my dyslexia (not all dyslexiia sufferers have difficulty with words).

I returned to my parental home when I started to attend my high school. Here I was an average student, but quite good at sports, even winning a scholarship to the Midwestern Methodist college in the USA. I did not take this scholarship up though owing to the financila needs of my family. Instead I began my working life as an apprentice mechanical fitter, with the (then) National Coal Board. I reached the level of Chargehand/supervisor in that job.

I was involved in the strikes of 1972 and 1984/5. On the day we returned to work in 1985 I refused to clock on and go into the workshops as some Kent miners were still picketing trying to get sacked miners the promise of having their jobs back. I was one of only 9 out of a workforce of over 300 that did this. We 9 were later all victimised at work by the management, and not allowed to take voluntary redundancy under the 'enhanced scheme' introduced by Mrs. M Thatcher and her American Coal Board president. Insted we were refused this until the week after the first anniversary of the strike ending, at which time all 9 of us were made redundant on normal redundancy terms, meaning a financial loss (comparatively) of thousands of pounds each.

Before I finished my apprenticeship, I applied for and was granted Grade 1(a) status which meant I was paid as and expected to work as a fully qualified fitter. When this application was successful I married the girl I had been courting since meeting her at school. She stood by me throughout the strike and was unflinching in that support despite finding out that she was expecting our third child one week after the announcement was made regarding taking industrial action.

That 12 months was very difficult, I lived a long way from my place of work, and recieved no support from my union because of the practical difficulties. In fact our branch was so small only the single miners recieved financial help and that was pitifully low. Social security said we recieved strike pay so nothing came from them (we never have had strike pay from the NUM in any dispute), more power to the likes of Arthur Scargill for refusing to draw his salary during that dispute in solidarity with his members.

I worked for a short time on temporary contracts, outside the engineering industry for which I was qualified. The reason for this is partly conjecture on my part, but I believe (though I cannot prove it) that there was a blacklist of ex-miners who were not to be offered jobs in mining or related industries due to union activities). I believe my name was on that list, if indeed it did exist. Officiladom denies any such list, other sources claim it to be true.

During all this time and for 2 years after the strike I was a member of the Territorial Army but will not discuss that except to say that those who laugh at this part of our armed forces and call them 'saturday soldiers' etc. are way far of the mark. Most of these lads and lasses hold down full time jobs too and commit to many more than the mandatory training days, many actually do see active service and not just in rear areas, but in theatres of operations too. I for one am proud of them, as I am of our regular forces, the best in the world bar none.

I will travel further down this path later, the path to self-disclosure and the truth of my life. Why, because I can, but also because I'd rather any inyterested persons get a picture of the real me and not the manufactured me being espoused elsewhere by people that know next to nothing about me. It will at times be a convoluted journey, but it may hold some interest for any observers.

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