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philthespark

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philthespark last won the day on February 9

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About philthespark

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  1. Mental Health in St Helens

    As some of you know I suffer from MH problems and am having a terrible time at the moment and am due to see a doctor later. Mental health services are dreadful, there's a lack of trained professionals, the so called "crisis teams" are no better, I had a real bad time a few years ago, I was suicidal! My wife rang the crisis team and all they were interested in was, "is he cutting his wrists currently as we speak, is he currently trying to hang himself, is he currently taking an overdose, if not then it's not a crisis" Days later they came out and were more interested in whether I had any alcohol in my glass of Coke, than the actual state of my mental health. I've had psychiatrists who have asked me questions, then wrote down incorrect information in their notes so as to make things fit in with their opinion/diagnosis! I suffer from depression as a result of being physically abused at school, this also left me with PTSD, I currently have little or no interest in anything, I hardly eat, I smoke more than ever, I will drink whenever I can, and my sex drive is non existent! I get almost nothing in benefits, and what little I do get was reduced even further, when after 3 suicide attempts, they had a review and decided I was much better! I've tried going back to work, but am not stable enough, there are people who'd love to give me a job, but I can't do it, I can be ok for a few weeks then a bout of depression hits and I'm down again. It took 3 years and led to going bankrupt before I got any benefits, apparently it was my wife's job to keep me, I may as well chop my bits off and be done with it, it's so emasculating when a bloke has to rely on his wife to keep the home going. Sorry to bore you all with my problems, but that's my view of mental health care in our area today
  2. why so much litter in sthelens streets.

    I've said this before, the surroundings can and do affect how people behave, perhaps if the town didn't look such a dump then people would be more inclined to do their bit by binning their litter. I suppose they think "well the place is a dump anyway, my coffee cup won't make much difference", Warrington has a lovely town centre and I've noticed that most people will carry their rubbish to a bin rather than throw it on the floor.
  3. British legion, Scholes lane

    I remember back in the 80's and the caretaker of Grange Park High, used to drink in there all the time, if there was an incident at the school we'd have to go and collect him to let us in, unfortunately we were not allowed to enter any pub while in uniform, so, we'd have to sit outside the club in the car and ring up and ask the steward to tell him we were outside and he was needed to come out. "he'll just finish his pint and be with you" would be the reply, then 30 minutes later he'd stagger out of the club, fall into the back of the car and after handing over the keys, he'd fall asleep. We'd deal with the incident, then drop him off at home, everybody dreaded getting a call to that school because of the caretaker.
  4. Cowley Hill Maternity Hospital 1931-1970

    All this talk of maternity hospitals has reminded me of a funny thing that happened back in the 80's when my daughter was born, obviously not at Cowley Hill, but I thought I'd throw it in here, it had all the makings of a carry on film. I already knew quite a bit about medical matters, when in the 80's my wife at the time became pregnant, it started off pretty normally, bouts of morning sickness, weird cravings, all the usual stuff. We moved house and she was booked in to have the baby at Billinge hospital, we went there for all the checkups and stuff as you do and everything was pretty normal. I started a new job and the firm sent me to work in Bamber Bridge, along with another electrician, and we had one van between us, a couple of days before her final ante-natal appointment she developed a bit of a discharge, and I recognised it as slow labour, not wanting to panic her I said nothing but kept an eye on her and knew they'd deal with it at the appointment. I went to work that morning and just after lunch received a message at work to contact our office (no mobile back then) I rang work and a rather Irate boss told me that the hospital had been on and they wanted me there ASAP! He wasn't pleased and said that I'd have to make my own way there as he didn't want the other electrician leaving site, and he'd need the van to get home in after the shift. I was a bit annoyed at this and when I got off the phone I had no idea how I was going to get back, luckily one of the bosses from the company we were working at had overheard the conversation and told me to go into the yard and get one of the drivers to run me to the hospital. Unfortunately the only vehicle in the yard was a 40 foot artic loaded with machinery headed to Scotland, I told the driver what had happened and how the boss had told me to get one of the vehicles in the yard to run me to Billinge. I got in the cab and we shot off down the motorway, he pulled up outside the "deliveries" entrance in this big wagon and a bloke came out and said the entrance wasn't for that kind of delivery! lol I got out of the truck and hurried into the hospital, my brother who was about 14 at the time was already there, and he was in a right state, apparently when my wife had been told she was actually in labour, she'd rang my mum's house, unfortunately she was at work, but my brother was off school. He'd rang my mum, then jumped on a bus to the hospital in case she needed anything, at this point it all started to unravel in a rather spectacular manner! He arrived at the hospital and being a big lad looked older than his 14 years, he said he was here for a Mrs Davies, who'd gone into labour, the matron asked who his name and he truthfully replied that his name was Andrew Davies, she assumed he was her husband and promptly began to lecture him about how he should have brought his wife to the hospital himself, not just sent her on the bus, she wouldn't let him get a word in edgeways and marched him off to the delivery suite, before handing him over to a midwife, " here's Mrs Davies's husband, take him to her, and make sure he stays with her" she told the midwife, again his protests fell on deaf ears, "look, you were happy enough to get her pregnant, now you can be here for the birth", the nurse told him, as she ushered him into the delivery room. When I arrived I went and found them, she was sat up in bed and our kid was panic stricken, he was convinced they were going to make him be present at the birth ( to be honest I think they would have if I hadn't arrived in time) I explained that I was her husband and that he was actually her brother-in-law, at which point he was unceremoniously removed from the room by a nurse who muttered something about how people should learn to explain themselves better, lol. Shortly after, all three women in the suite went into labour at the same time, one had complications and "our" nurse had to help with her, leaving just me and the midwife, "I hope you're not squeamish, because you're going to have to help me" she said, I replied that I wasn't, and as she opened the sterile pack with all the delivery kit in, it fell off the table and clattered to the floor! she told me to grab another pack from the cupboard, but there wasn't one, at this point my wife was really going for it and the midwife had to run to the room next door to grab a pack. At this point my wife had a massive contraction and the head emerged, the midwife pressed the button, but nobody came, "here put your hand on Baby's head and hold it there, don,t let it fly out" she told me, as she struggled to unpack the kit. Another contraction and the baby slid out, I was literally left holding the baby! "excuse me nurse, what do I do with this?" I asked, in a voice that was much calmer than I felt, she looked over and there I was holding this baby, the placenta hadn't been delivered and there I stood, about 3 feet of umbilical cord hanging out of the wife! " JESUS, DON'T DROP IT! " she yelled, rushing over to take it from me, she took the baby and sent me out to find a nurse, I found one and went back, as they were dealing with the baby I sat down on the bed and got my breath back, they handed the baby to my wife and we all stood around chatting as they cleaned her up. When it was all over, my parent's came in, along with my brother, by this point it was starting to settle in what had happened, and I was feeling a little shocked, I just sat there quietly, "I guess he's overcome by seeing his daughter being born" I heard my mum say to the midwife, "well, I don't suppose he's delivered one before" giggled the midwife, she then went on to explain what had happened, " perhaps we should get him a cup of tea, to calm his nerves" she said, my stepfather butted in, " I think a stiff one would be better, come on lad, lets go wet the baby's head" we said our goodbyes and headed to the pub over the road, had a drink then headed back home and called in to our "local" where my stepfather proudly announced he was a granddad, and not only that but "number one son, actually delivered his own daughter". I seem to remember him being bought more drinks than me that night, he went on about it for weeks afterwards, talk about stealing my thunder!
  5. Around St.Helens

    At the side of EMR used to be an industrial estate, Reginalds was on the front of it, there were various businesses there in the 80's, HL Pallets, Folglade pipe and fittings, and Warrington Press and Shear, Which was where I served my time as an electrician, I was going to go and take some pictures a while back but it seems to have all been flattened. I don't suppose anyone has any photo's of the estate?
  6. Charlie Vaughn,s fish shop

    If I remember correctly it was on Cambridge Rd, he sold tropical fish, again it was someone my old fella knew, he was mad on fish. Well the story goes that when he came to packing it in, he couldn't get what he wanted for what was left of his stock, so, rather than letting them go to other dealers for next to nothing, he dumped what was left in the hotties! I can remember going fishing in there with a net as a kid and catching all kinds of exotic fish, angel fish, neon tetra's etc, I remember reading somewhere that they eventually cleaned up the waterway, and at the same time removed lots of tropical fish. It just proves how warm the water was that came out of Pilks, if those fish could survive even in winter.
  7. Around St.Helens

    Casey Bros was sold many years ago following the death of old Joe, it was bought by some obnoxious Asian bloke who ran it for about 3 years, the last time I went in there I had a blazing row with him, some guy was in there and he had an electrical problem, he'd got Live/earth reverse on a socket, it was on a plastic backbox mounted on a stud wall. I said I'd seen that type of problem before and it was probably just the socket that had been changed and wired incorrectly, the Asian bloke was trying to tell him he needed a rewire! I said you couldn't decide that without actually looking at and testing the installation, he said I was talking bollocks, I asked if he was a qualified spark, he said he wasn't! I told him I was and that if he didn't know what he was on about then he shouldn't be giving advice. All the prices went up when he took over, it was cheaper to go to B&Q, plus he stopped selling all the oddball stuff that Casey's did, that said, Joe used to buy big metal cages full of stuff, I think he just bought it price per pallet, rather than based on what was in it. He and my father were good friends for years, and quite often he'd never charge me for bits and bobs, he'd even let me wander around in the back or upstairs, now that was a real treat! Bob Foster was another family friend, in the early 70's he gave me two rabbits, he'd bought them for his kids, but they had soon lost interest, they had bought a buck and a doe and hoped they'd breed, they didn't! We'd only had them in our garden for a month or two and they were breeding like, well rabbits, lol. We were giving them away and I think nearly every kid in our street had at least one. They were really nice people, Bob and Joe, another nice bloke, again a family friend, was the man who ran the toffee stall in the market, I remember him coming and towing our car home once when it broke down, he towed it all the way back from Rhyl, a Ford Cortina MK1, it was. On Saturday's we'd go to town shopping and call there for the weeks' supply of sweets for the family, My gran ate masses of caramels and we used to get different sweets and sit watching telly on Saturday night, back in the day when there was decent stuff on tv on Saturday. Happy days they were, sadly there are very few people like that around today, If I see someone needing help I always stop,it's amazing the number of people who just walk on by.
  8. The Grange Park Hotel

    I lost my virginity to a woman I met in there, a couple of pints, then walk to the Grapes, then after a couple more it was back to her house on Scholes Lane, boy that was some wild night, and it seems so long ago now.
  9. Southport Pleasure Beach and aeroplanes

    It's sad how all the places I loved as a young lad have gone downhill, I blame a lot of it on when the government allowed the unemployed to move to seaside towns to look for "work". While some went genuinely and did indeed find work, a lot of the alcohol abusing, drug taking idiots went as well, they figured that it was better to laze around on the beach all day than laze around on the couch in some town far from the coast. Respectable people with young kids were soon put off by some of the things that were happening and stopped visiting, that led to a surfeit of empty guest houses which were rapidly turned into bedsits, thereby increasing the potential for more of this dross to move in. I took my two grandchildren to Blackpool a couple of years ago, you could smell cannabis everywhere, and people were openly smoking it in the streets, it's no wonder that decent people with kids don't visit these places anymore. A lot of the smaller hotels seem to cater for the stag and hen trade, last time I looked you could get a room for a tenner, some of them even sell cheap alcohol as well, I know people have to earn a living, but surely they shouldn't be actively encouraging some of the stuff that goes on, it's nearly as bad as certain parts of Spain now in Blackpool.
  10. anyone remember these things

    Glass factories, now that makes me smile, I remember once many many years ago being called to that one where the college campus is now, backs onto the railway line, the place had shut down and was all secured. Somebody reported seeing someone break in and we were sent to deal with it, we arrived on scene and this young bloke came flying out of the building and headed for the fence onto the railway, I gave chase and he leaped up and disappeared over it, I slipped and damaged my shoulder. In great pain and swearing like mad I made my way back to the building and my colleagues, we found a board had been removed from a window to gain entry, so we re-nailed it securely along with all the other windows, we even drove nails into the fire doors,nothing was going in or out! This occurred on the Friday evening, and on the following Monday we were called back by the police, a woman had reported her husband as missing, after a bit of digging, the police got it out of her that he'd gone out with a friend to steal scrap from a disused factory. Further inquiries located the "friend" and he admitted breaking into the factory, he'd heard us arrive and legged it, he was the one I had chased, his friend, he assumed, had scarpered as well, but he'd not seen him since. We entered the building and did a search, eventually, we found him in one of the rooms, he wasn't in a good way, no food or water for 3 days, they both got done for breaking and entering, and I later found out that my shoulder injury was worse than I first thought (it still gives trouble today), I often wonder if the lad gave up crime after that, lets be honest, 3 days without even bread and water is enough to put anyone on the straight and narrow.
  11. Welly tops

    Oh yes, and those 'orrible itchy balaclava's that your gran knitted out of that special wool, I think it had strands of steel mixed with it, it was so scratchy. You hated the damned thing but your mum made you wear it because "gran spent ages knitting it, she'll be hurt if you don't wear it". I think my gran was some kind of Olympic knitting champion, she could knock out hundreds of them every week, or at least that's how it seemed to me, every time I lost one there always seemed to be another 4 or 5 to replace it.
  12. anyone remember these things

    I wonder if anyone remembers these few things, 1) The Triplex Christmas parties for kids, they had one for the older kids in the works canteen, and for the younger ones it was at Peter St, loads of jelly and cakes, and barm joey's with ham on them, and a present off Father Christmas. 2) The summer of 76 when Eccleston Mere and Carr Mill Dam dried up, and you could walk across them, it was the only summer they had the gritters out, it was so hot the tar on the roads was melting and they had gritters putting sand down. 3) those tricycles with a fridge box on the front that sold ice cream, they had "stop me and buy one" written on the box. I don't know whether it was done by an individual for a joke or by a company as a marketing ploy, but I'm sure I remember one of those old condom machines in a pub somewhere and it had written on the front, "buy me and stop one"
  13. Bridge St & Covered Market

    Don't forget Leathers Chemicals on Lancots lane, I remember they had acid leaks and women walking down the road used to find their tights melting into holes.I remember hearing a story of how one cold, misty night, a bloke was walking his dog along Sutton Rd, as it was cold and misty he had a scarf wrapped around his face, suddenly his dog dropped down dead at the roadside, apparently, he had it examined and its lungs had been burned out. The story went that there'd been an acid leak that night and the warning siren hadn't sounded and there was a hell of a row over it. I don't know why the plant closed, but I remember hearing my parents discussing it on numerous occasions, it seemed they had acid leaks on a weekly basis.
  14. Bridge St & Covered Market

    My mum worked at Oxley's in the 60's, she started off on the shop floor and worked her way up to be a window dresser, a much-prized job back then I believe. She lost her job early in 65 and always blamed it on me, which for years I never understood considering I was born in August 65, then one day I heard the full story. Apparently she was really into the job but when she ended up pregnant she suffered from bouts of fainting, there was nothing the doctors could do to prevent it, and apparently, the shock of one of the " mannequins" suddenly picking itself up in the window had caused some complaints, so out she went.lol added 12 minutes later Greenalls brewery, now that's a smell I miss, I loved it on a Saturday morning, a great uncle of mine worked there as a tanker driver, but according to stories, he, like quite a few others who worked there was dismissed for basically being blind drunk at work. He was a sad case, ended up totally addled by drink, he lived with us for a short while before being put in a nursing home at a relatively early age. I remember he used to get up and pee anywhere, the final straw came after he relieved himself all over the new carpet. He went to several homes and was asked to leave each one after a very short time(weeks) in the end he ended up in a home run by nuns in Manchester. When he died we were handed all his possessions, he didn't have much apart from an old orange crate that he guarded with his life, we got it open and it was stuffed with five-pound notes!, there were thousands of them, but they were all well out of date and even the banks wouldn't exchange them, in the end my parents were that gutted they had a bonfire in the back garden and burned the lot.Years later mum used to laugh about it and sometimes when cash was tight, she'd smile and say "remember years ago when we had money to burn" and we'd all start laughing.
  15. Around St.Helens

    It's all a game of musical chairs, move from one place to another, then move on again, it's pathetic, and the council wants to spend, sorry, waste more money on some stupidly expensive revamp. There was a council in another part of the country who granted permission for a new retail park, however, they put a clause in the planning that existing large businesses on other sites will not be permitted to move onto the new one, seems a sound idea to me. Or perhaps this one would be better, it would certainly save money, lets totally flatten the Hardshaw Centre, and both the shopping arcades and create a giant open market with stalls, like we had many years ago. Then there'll be no problem with moving will there? The pound shops et all can move every week if they want, just set up on a different stall.and given the number of shops we have, it wouldn't too big so there'd be plenty of parking spaces.
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