Aug 07 2012

Published by at 1:27 pm under News

I rememeber so well the day our Da’ came home with a brand new record player that was tied onto the carrier on the back of his old bike with a length of twine. And the gas thing about it is that we had no records to play on it. He got it on hire purchase from Sloans. Be the jakers I can tell you that we were lifted several rungs up the social ladder that day…the news spread like wiildfire ‘The Coffey’s have a record player’…I remember the older brothers scattering to the four corners of Cabra West in search of anyone who would loan them a record to play on it.

One of the neighbours came in with an LP of South Pacific and the brother runs in with Marty Robbins under his arm. Oh when I saw Marty Robbins all dressed up in his black cowboy gear I made up my mind there and then that I wanted to look like him when I grew up, he was the ‘Real Thing’. Well for weeks afterwards we had ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ followed by ‘A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation’ blasting the walls of our house. The gas thing is that the neighbours came from far and wide with records of their own to play on  it. The Da’s sister came all the way on the bus out of town to listen to it. Of course us kids weren’t allowed to even touch it. We couldn’t even stand near the table in case we knocked against it and caused the needle to scratch the record.

My granny came down to our house from Broombridge to see the ‘New gadget’. All she was concerned about was the amount of electricity it was going to use and could my Da’ afford to pay for it. One of my brothers and his pals even organised a party to show off the new record player. I remember them  all dressed up that night as they arrived at our house because it was my job to open the door to let them in. The lads wearing their skinny ties and winkle picker shoes and their hair all covered with Brylcream and the girls with their Beehive hairstyles and loose skirts for jiving in.

My Da’ was in charge of the record player of course. The Ma’ and the sisters were in charge of making the cup of tea. All us kids were allowed to sit on the stairs and listen to the party, it was great entertainment altogether. Some of the lads were allowed to bring in a few bottles of stout with them but only on condition that the Da’ got the first one that was open. All the records that the crowd brought were put in our parlour for safe keeping. My older sister and her pal would come out of the kitchen laughing and giggling to themselves and bring in another record for playing.

There were clouds of cigarette smoke coming up through the rails of the stairs as we sat there trying to suck it in, thinking we were great. Now and then the Da’ would let out a roar ‘Here now, none of that in here, cut it out…’ This was followed by roars of laughter from the gang inside. I would have given anything to have been allowed downstairs that night.

Then all of a sudden the music stopped and the Ma’ came out into the hall and opened the front door. ‘Now…‘ she said ‘…it’s ten o’clock and time you’se all went home’. Out they came laughing and joking and I’m sure they’d be still there today only for the Ma’ was tired and wanted to get to her bed.

That was probably my first introduction to the world of the vinly records and boy was I hooked. I remember so well the Da’ cleaning and polishing that record player with a special duster that Sloan’s gave him. Each record went into it’s own individual sleeve and was carefully put away waiting to be returned to its rightful owner. That night is still remembered by people today.

I recently gave my vinyl collection to my 16 year old nephew and now he’s mad to get his hands on an old record player. Isn’t that gas all the same. Well I certainly hope he gets as much fun and memories as I did from those singles.  Hold on a minute, I think I hear a song coming on…‘Memories, from the corners of my mind…’



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