<i>'I moved down to the town of Sunderland with my Da in 1965, settling in the poverty stricken East End, very close to the River Wear (the river that runs straight through the town). Rarely did I attend school, choosing instead to get up to all sorts of petty crime and mischief, ya know how it is: vandalism, street scraps, setting small fires, stealing sweets and crisps from the corner shop.
When I turned eighteen, I signed up for Her Majesty's Armed Forces as a mechanic, spending some time in West Germany, close to the city of Hamburg. The town I returned to, however, was not the friendly County Durham town that I had left. There was a clear divide within the once jovial community. In 1978 Da was diagnosed with lung cancer, having been a life long smoker, and died just before Christmas of that year. He'd always told me not to take sides, to always turn the other cheek, but I just couldn't let it lie, if and when I had kids, I would want them to know a place of peace. Ultimately, I joined the East End Brigade of the SDF, becoming one of their top guys.
By 1980 our campaign was in full swing, a patrol group, vigilant group would be a better word, frequently watched the East End day and night. </i>
|Mural in the East End (taken in 2000)|