At work I was involved in a discussion about the provenance of the eighties metal band, Saxon. John was wondering whether it was legitimate to claim them as a Huddersfield band because he’d heard they were originally from Denby Dale. Another colleague said he thought that although Denby Dale has a Huddersfield postcode, it falls under the administrative jurisdiction of Barnsley*. Another colleague said he was at school in Huddersfield with a member of the band’s nephew.
When I got home, I Googled Saxon and discovered that Biff Byford, the band’s singer, was born in Honley (HD9, not Barnsley) so I emailed John to let him know.
My father-in-law once told me that Puff the Magic Dragon was from Honley and I believed him.
I was driving through the housing development that now occupies the site of the old mill. All the garages are too small to fit a car inside and consequently the streets are double lined with mainly silver Puntos and Astras. I had to brake to avoid a young boy who was staggering from one side of the road to the other whilst balancing an upside-down yard brush on one finger.
I said hello to Howard. He waved an envelope at me and said “Bastards have taken £550 off my pension in interest!” He crossed to my side of the road, “There’ll be none of that when my lot get in: BNP. We’ll string all them bankers up. Bastards. And the bloody unions! They’ve fucked your pension up, haven’t they? Bastards! They’ve gone fucking soft; in my day if anyone had gone within a mile of our pension fund the union would have had us all out, shut the place down completely. I were out for twelve week once, nearly bloody starved to death. Ended up scotching for a pound an hour, never told anyone. I had to do it. The unions now are bastards...” He jabbed me in the chest “They’re condemning you to a life of poverty. The bastards!”
I said I needed to get going and Howard said “I hope you’re not rushing round for them bastards. Bastards.”