Monday, December 7, 2009


One of my best buddies, Bod, from the late 70's contacted me today after I only found him, through Facebook I fear to say some 3 months ago after 25 plus years of no contact, that 'our' other buddy 'Litchy' was killed a few weeks ago on a mountain road in Spain where he had emigrated some years ago.

We went to the same school together Pingle, Bod in the same year as me and Litch, a year above us. In typical fashion the 'older' boys didn't mix that often with the younger ones so we only knew each other by sight.

Litch left school and Bod and I finished off our last year together albeit in different classes and not really friends.

Then we left school, the FSIE's hit the streets and low and behold there was Litchy on his brand new Yamaha DT175, 'S' reg, silver - the new 1978 model with 'rainbow' tank decals. What a beautiful machine. Bod and I couldn't stop looking at it each and every time Litch rode passed us on it, especially when were sitting on the "Delph" downtown Swad. He would be wearing his blue 'piss pot' helmet and have a 'fag' hanging out of his mouth with a Levi jacket on.

We then started to frequent the Angel Inn a little more often and of course we shouldn't have but it was the seventies and as long as you behaved what the heck.

Litchy, Bod and I would drink a pint or two with our other buddies and before we knew it we become good friends. I then went to college and traveled back home every night for the first year before I moved into my Digs at Derby.

Around 7 o'clock each and almost every night through the week that year Litch would turn up in his 'K' reg white Ford Escort and we would go to the Lamb in Ashby for a few bitters. I could just about stretch myself to 3 pints for a quid, sometimes 4 if I could scrape the change together.

At the weekends Friday would be the mega night out and all us Swad lads with some from Newhall and Woodville would hit Ashby and cruise the pubs as well as the town hall disco. Sometimes we would follow the evening by going all night fishing but we would always spend the rest of the weekend riding the bikes.

Then Bod and I became 17, we passed our bike tests almost immediately and we each bought Yamaha DT125's, 1976 models, reg PJF852R, mine and Bod's, PJF853R, both white with blue strips down each side of the tank from George Beale's Yam shop in Woodville.

Now we were talking, with Litchy on his DT175 and us on our 125's we were the 'kings of the road' Our other good buddy, Eddie, who could ride like the wind also had a DT175 but it was a '76 "P' reg same design as our 125's but had the red strip on the tank - that was how Yam differentiated the various twin shock 2-stroke models in the 70's by the color of the strip on the tank, (DT100, 125, 175, 250 and the monster 400)

We went to Skeggy for a week once in the Escort and slept in it, the three of us, and just had the most incredible time clubbing it, etc. etc.

Great times.

I could go on but as the 80's arrived so did the 'more serious' relationships and with 'careers' kicking in after the Sex Pistols, Stranglers, Beer, Crashes, fishing, crashing, etc. we went our separate ways but the most formative recollectable years of our lives were shared together.

Litchy left 4 children but I bet he went with a smile on his face and maybe a fag hanging from his chops.