Posted on March 21, 2022 at 6:35 AM
“I doubt there’s anywhere drearier to be than Rochdale on a rainy night in 1982. Having missed the bus and facing a 14-mile walk, me and my friend pass shuttered shops and shutdown mills. Suddenly we hear the sound of gruff voices: “Left! Right! Left! Right!” Round the corner they march, skinheads, in braces and Ben Shermans. Seeing us — two out-of-town punks, with bleached hair and scabrous leathers — one points, shouts: “Get them!” We run in fear for our lives, the skins close behind, until at the end of a brick alley we hit a dead end. My friend thatches his fingers and heaves me over the wall; I reach down and haul him up and we are away over a patch of derelict land, the muffled sound of dogs barking, the skinhead shouts fading, laughing…”
Read the rest of my latest column for The Critic here.