The Easy Road Taws pitch


The Easy Road Taws pitch

By Dave Carncross

There was an open space at the end of one of the streets between us and the Easy Road Picture House. We knew there had been a house there at one time … the reasons it wasn`t there any longer ranged from being bombed, to gas explosion to , somebody being murdered there and nobody would rent it so it was pulled down. In fact I think it was that it simply became unsafe for some reason or other and had been demolished accordingly. So the next house in the terrace acquired a gable end and became the end one instead. The cellars had been filled in and the earth there was ideal for several taws pitches and became a handy meeting point for the local likely lads.

During one hot summer – they were all hot then, weren`t they ?? – somebody got the idea of grassing the whole area over and gangs of youths diligently scoured the immediate area and the quarry uprooting clods of grass from between the cobbles and wherever they could be found. Unbelievably, we actually managed to cover virtually the whole of the packed earth thus creating a new green “ lawn“. It wasn`t cricket square standard but nevertheless unique at our end of Easy Road. Much stripping to the waist and lounging about then ensued and we went home as brown as berries – not sunburnt, just covered in all the dust which had stuck to our sweaty bodies. All the grass had died within a couple of days of course and we were soon back to the plain old surface.

When we were about fourteen it was the site of an unfortunate accident for me personally. A few of us were speeding home down Easy Road on our bikes and I spied a trio of girls leaning against the end wall chatting. One was my mate Jenny Chappelow but the other two were `foreigners` and therefore of considerable interest to me. In the juvenile equivalent of screeching to a stop in an E type Jaguar, I swerved as nimbly as I could at the last minute and ended up skidding along the paving immediately next to the wall. Unfortunately, the knuckles of my right hand clutching the drop-handlebars scraped along the pebble dashed wall for a considerable distance removing the skin neatly and efficiently in the process. Somehow, I managed to quell the howl of anguish this provoked, managed what must have been a ghastly, crooked attempt at a smile, contrived a few merry quips through gritted teeth and went home to inspect the damage which, for once, was actually much worse than I`d thought it would be. This being the summer holidays, there was no one home but me and my Dad who was upstairs asleep in bed (permanent nights on bus service) and I thought it would be prudent to disinfect the area with Dettol. Using this neat from the bottle and pouring with my left hand was probably not the right thing to do so, yet again, I was in a position where I couldn`t unleash the screams of pain which would I thought have been entirely justifiable. I bandaged it as best I could and later told my Mam how it had happened judicially leaving out the girls bit. She looked at me through narrowed, all-seeing eyes and said “Showing off, were you ?? Serves you right !!” She always did have a way with words.

Not many folk came through with the answer to last month’s pic. It was of course Victoria School on York Road

Who is going to offer a name for these old iconic school –alas no longer with us.


Ellerby Lane School pic


5 Responses to “The Easy Road Taws pitch”

  1. Eric Sanderson Says:

    Ouch !. Great yarn – brings back memories of scraped knuckles & grazed knees. I remember the maneouvre well – ride up fast, apply the front brake – not too hard otherwise over the handlebars you went – just enough to raise the back wheel a fraction, a flick of the hips and bingo, an impressive 180 degree spped turn – just like the Sweeney doing a handbrake turn. Did it impress the girls though. In my case, I don’t think so – all I seem to remember is them exchanging a look which seemed to say – “what a jerk” !!.
    Remember the byzantine rules for Taws ?. All designed to avoid handing over your prize marbles.
    Really enjoyed the story
    Think I know the pic

  2. Douglas Says:

    That Dettol must have stung Dave, you tell the story so well that I can almost feel the pain myself. Yes, the stunts and things that we used to do to try to impress the girls with our valour and panache – none of it ever worked well for me – though I was proud when I mastered and showed off my “reverse turn” at the Mecca and Barnbow. Tell us more.

  3. aussiepom Says:

    All the brave young men in their endeavours to impress girls. Too young to offer to walk them home as they did in the American movies we watched. Hardly sophisticated to ask them to hop onto the back of their bikes and go for a spin. Not exactly the same as a ride in a little sports car was it.

    sports cars didn’t impress me when I was 19 either. I had a boyfriend who wanted to drive with the top down. Windswept hair on girls in the films looked wonderful. Not a good look driving down York Road, hair looking as though you’d come out of a wind tunnel and Mr. Suave thinking he was ” cool ” Cool? I was freezing.
    The photo of the old school. I remember it well. It is mentioned in so many previous published stories. I think it was the only school in our area surrounded by pubs.

  4. christine moore golton Says:

    Ellerby Lane school, went there from 1948 until leaving in 1952 to go to Lawnswood after winning a scholarship.

  5. christine moore golton Says:

    Remembered with love, loved the school and i can still remember my classmates.
    Anybody remember playing in the derelict air-raid shelters on Ellerby Lane on the way home from school?

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