Back in 1982 when I had a shop selling and repairing domestic appliances, I was living in Worthing.
My friend Phil and I rented a house there, and because of our close proximity to Brighton, we regularly got on a train at the weekend and went over to see bands.
One week, John Peel told me that ‘The Higsons’ (featuring Charlie Higson, later to become famous
as one of the stars of ‘The Fast Show’) were playing at the Falmer campus of Brighton University.
We looked forward to the coming weekend. On Friday, the night of the gig, Phil was contacted by his boss. He worked as a signalman for British Rail, and one of his colleagues had been taken ill.
Being a conscientious employee, he agreed to cover the shift.
I decided to go on my own, and while getting ready that evening, I partook in a few pints of our
evilly strong home brewed beer.
It was finally time to leave, I made my way to the station in good time. When I arrived at Brighton I had to change and get another train to Falmer.
The gig was great, I had several more beers, and eventually boarded the train back to Brighton.
At about 2a.m, a carriage cleaner woke me saying “Mate, you can’t sleep here, i’ve gotta clean”
Of course there were no more trains back to Worthing until about 5-30a.m.
I couldn’t afford a taxi, I had to open the shop in the morning my business partner had taken
the day off.
The weather was very mild, I thought “how long will it take me to walk?”. A mad idea, but I
wasn’t thinking very straight!
I set off, not being very sure of which way to go. The best way would have been to head downhill
to the seafront and turn right. Again, the braincell for some reason thought it would be clever
just to head West from the station.
In 10 minutes I was hopelessly lost in the suburbs.
Eventually, I came upon a main road, by now it was nearly 4a.m, but I immediately recognised
where I was. Over the road was the old Brighton&Hove football stadium. I walked across, there
was a milk-float parked outside a block of flats.
I was exhausted, I picked up a pint of milk and glugged thirstily. I also waited for the milkman
to return, because I was self-employed too, I don’t steal anything and I wanted to pay him.
He came back down, I paid him and moved on. Just past the football ground there used to be a
petrol station. As I came upon it, I noticed loads of bits of paper on the forecourt. Intrigued, I
walked over to see what they were.
When I saw hundreds of the raffle tickets that the club used to sell back then (it was called the ‘Seagull Lottery’) I thought JACKPOT! In my befuddled state, it didn’t occur to me that you can
only win on a raffle ticket if the counterfoil is returned to the organiser.
I was scooping up the tickets (£10,000 top prize) when the police arrived, 2 cars, a
motorbike and the helicopter (OK, I made up the helicopter!).
They surrounded me and said “Where’s ya mates?”. Even if I had been sober, I wouldn’t have
had a clue what they meant. Being so intoxicated, I took the piss out of them relentlessly, never
a good idea!
The Brighton&Hove FC shop had been robbed and the safe stolen, I was a main suspect and was
hauled off to Hove police station. After giving up questioning me (I was far too pissed to give them any sensible reply, even if I did know what they were talking about! ), they threw me in a
cell for the night.
Next day I was interviewed by CID, who, being a lot cleverer than the ‘plods’, realised that I had
nothing to do with the heinous crime, and let me go. The shop was very late opening………….
Thought i’d be clever today and post an image in the middle of this nonsense, but blogger’s not
‘aving it. How do I do that then ?