Me and Keith

An unusual source of material on this topic was provided by Mr Keith Richards of Dartford on BBC 4 recently. We lived close to each other for a while I don’t remember him and I imagine he does not remember me .I left Dartford in 1966 , he had left a few years earlier to pursue a career with the Rolling Stones. I do remember that when they had their first hit (Not Fade Away I think) Dartford Co-op filled up with teenagers for the washing machine demonstrations which were given by his mother. So many things struck a cord ,playing on the banks of the Thames ,singing in Choirs ( no choice: if you were chosen you sang).Playing with bits of “ordinance”,cartridge cases in his case ,we played with “demonstration purposes ” hand grenades .I remember also that many of my teachers were qualified by virtue of having been in the army .”White Horses” refers to those horses which inhabited the wastelands between the town and the river . Roy Rogers and the Eagle . He made a bit of a meal of getting himself expelled from school ,not really necessary at my secondary modern school where attendance was negotiable ( registration three time a week was “required” the rest was optional and weather dependant).I was reminded of the euphoria at the end on conscription,was not looking forward to that. He was perhaps a little harsh with the assessment that Dartford was and remains a “criminal place” there are definitely some law abiding pockets. Most of the crime that I remember was to do with the river. He did remind me of the night that the fire works factory went up on “Long Reach Marshes”,we all thought it was a display put on by the council( out of character then and now).

Laurence October 24, 2016 at 3:58 pm