This was my second visit to the Blackhall Navy Club. The first was many years back when I went there with my Uncle Tom (whom I have now found out was called The Guvnor) my cousins Kathleen and Mark, and my hubby Ed.
We went from there to The Hardwick and then to the RAFA club. This time I was only accompanied by a camera. I went to the Navy Club by chance to find the owner of the Hardwick. I was told he spent afternoons there before heading around 4.30 pm to the Hardwick. He wasn’t at the Navy Club but I fell in with these guys who were holding, a quiz which I never got to establish if it was weekly or daily. Well to be exact they asked me if I was brainy to which I replied of course. They then told me to take a seat and help with the quiz. They were friendly and welcoming and even offered me drink and cigarettes, both of which I declined. Only because I was driving and I hadn’t touched a cigarette since I was around seventeen years old.
I had a fabulous time. Laughed quite a lot. At the jokes, at the language, at some of the quiz answers. Some of them were ex-miners, the mere mention of Margaret Thatcher brought them out in a sweat, such was their animosity towards her. But who can blame them. She destroyed an industry, a way of life, communities, people, of course they should hate her.
Even though I am of a certain age now and probably not far behind these guys I felt like a young girl again and I felt as though my dad was around. I could picture him doing just this on a cold, miserable afternoon. Doing a quiz, sharing a joke or too, having a pint, no smoking mind, he gave that up a long time ago. And I think he would probably have got more questions right then my measly one.