Ea­monn O’Neal

Stockport Times West - - TRAVEL -

IN Septem­ber 1972 I started col­lege in Liver­pool and met a whole set of new peo­ple.

Sit­ting alone in my room in the halls of res­i­dence on the first evening, I heard the sound of Joni Mitchell and John Mar­tyn seep­ing through the wall.

My new next door neigh­bour turned out to be Si­mon Davey from Sal­ford who was and still is an ex­cep­tion­ally fine git-voc (gui­tar-vo­cal­ist).

My school pal from St Bede’s, Ged Hynes, a gen­tle­man and proper scholar was just along the cor­ri­dor and on the floor above was Jim Wil­liamson, from Cleator Moor in Cum­bria, a gifted artist.

We all be­came very good friends very quickly.

Of course there were many oth­ers who formed our close col­lege co­hort and I’m pleased to say most went on to have happy lives and suc­cess­ful ca­reers.

Rem­i­nisc­ing about col­lege life can be bit­ter-sweet – great mem­o­ries but the fact that it all hap­pened 42 years ago is a bit de­press­ing.

I’m not re­ally one for re­unions but I en­joyed a small get-to­gether with Ged, Jim and Si­mon in Manch­ester.

All three have used their huge tal­ents to ed­u­cate thou­sands of young peo­ple and are now en­joy­ing do­ing what they’ve al­ways been good at.

Ged is a bril­liant au­thor and racon­teur, Jim is cre­at­ing crit­i­cally ac­claimed art­work and Si­mon is still strum­ming and war­bling in venues across the coun­try.

We had a laugh. All the usual sto­ries were told, the em­bar­rass­ing sit­u­a­tions were re-lived and I still man­aged to get an early night.

It was like a scene from Last of The Sum­mer Wine – we were sip­ping halves of bit­ter, sit­ting in the cor­ner of the pub near the toi­lets.

Well, at our age, you can’t be too care­ful.

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