My first memory of the Blackie was the swing downstairs in the building. It was one of the best around. It seemed real high and there were all kinds of nets and mattresses. You constantly flirted with danger. I remember that I always enjoyed meeting people from different Countries and there was always a Blackie volunteer from Holland or somewhere in Europe.
As kids we were always being barred out of the building for one reason or another. We would always be caught in parts of the building we should not be in. We would always find ourselves having to attend staff meetings and pleading for a reprieve. We would always be allowed To come back in with ‘conditions’ added to our growing ‘don’t list’.
The balloon – you could never forget it. It was red and massive. You could play on it in the knowledge that you could never get hurt, it was like some giant that you could just jump on as much as you liked. There was one thing that I always remember about the balloon and that was how black your socks would be after you finished playing on it, a small price for loads of fun.
After the Blackie I was soon to leave the city and move to Northern Ireland. My parents were adamant that I would be back in Liverpool within two weeks. I joined the Irish Territorial Army, which was an experience I would not get in Liverpool. I proved my parents wrong and stayed for around 3 years. They were very proud.
When I came back to Liverpool I soon found myself working in a Petrol station. I was in this job for two years. The job would have a positive affect on my work ethic. I realised that I liked working with the public. I was now determined to get involved in some kind of customer service post. It would not be long before I would achieve this.
I started at B&amp;Q as a temporary worker. I carried out various duties, all involving direct contact with the public. I have now worked there for over ten years. I am now proud to say that I have been elevated to the Trades Account Department, which continues to maintain my contact with the public.