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Teenage Years in Portavogie


City Roller tartan stripes for the girls (not regulation uniform I should add), Noddy Holder sideburns for those with enough fa- cial hair to grow them, kipper ties and plat- form shoes. I tended to fail the coolness test on most counts. A wrangler jacket was standard fare but they were not permitted as an outer garment at Regent House and so I had to wear a ridiculous navy overcoat. I probably set a world record for the number of times I arrived home without my coat, followed by my dad driving to Portaferry to retrieve it from the Ulsterbus lost property office. Te transition to Regent House from a small primary school was effortless, apart


The Lemonade Man. Photo courtesy of Miane Soft Drinks Ltd.


from the trauma of discovering that football was purely a lunchtime kick-around in the tennis courts, while ‘rugger’ and cricket were the sporting options. Tat said, I did play alongside Philip Matthews who went on to captain Ireland. However, my rugby career lasted only three weeks before it was decided my skills might be bet- ter suited to cross-country running – which appeared to be a mindless pursuit to this 11-year old. While the cross-country roll of honours was a tad limited, Regent nevertheless enjoyed some great success in the 1970s, thanks in no small measure to one particularly memorable games teacher. Football at the turn of the decade wasn’t so bad for a Manchester United sup-


porter as nine of the 1968 European Cup-winning team were still playing and the Best, Law and Charlton triumvirate was still creating memorable matches. Several decades of Liverpool dominance hadn’t quite arrived to leave emotional scars that would remain until the Alex Ferguson era put things back in proper order. In those days it was actually okay to acknowledge publicly to being a Leeds United, Wolves or Spurs supporter. I still argue that the 1970s was a decade of pioneering technology, even if my kids


don’t buy the argument that the CB Radio was a 1970s equivalent to the iPhone 6. We did, however, progress through school without the aid of a PC, never mind mobile devices. With iTunes still decades away, I know of people who purchased LPs by Slade, Mud and Status Quo – and it says it all when the dreaded Bay City


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