I was walking up to the top of my road with the girl from three doors down, she had a crush on me and was altogeather too familiar, but I walked with her because I wanted to show off to her my new light brown cordroy long trousers, that my dad and grandad had bought for me at Pettycoat lane the previous Sunday.
These were my very first pair of long trousers and were fabricated out of four pieces of corderoy and the grain didn`t mach on one front panel, I didn`t care and was very proud of them. She was on her way to ballet classes at the local church hall and her mum had said that I could walk her around there as long as I went back and told her that she had got there OK.
We talked about "not much" and as we approached the building on the corner of the road where my mum used to work, I decided that I would do my party piece. I had often tight rope walked along the top of the spiked railings and took great delight in frightening all my mates in doing so. I sprang up onto the wall and duly walked out on to the top of the railings. I could hear my companion saying don`t do it you will get hurt and felt good that she was impressed. This was easy I said my aim was to do it on my hands eventually. I took another step and my trousers caught on the spike and I overbalanced and missed my next step and plunged down onto the railings with a leg either side.
I was in pain and could hardly breathe my companion upon seeing the blood running out of my trouser leg ran for home to get help. I was suffering with acute embarrisment at failure and real pain at being impailed on the railings. I really didnt know what to do. To save myself any more embarassement I thought that I would go straight back home and ask my grandad what to do. Fortunately there was a rail further down that I could get my feet on and with my heel on one side and my toes on the other I tried to straigten up. I nearly passed out with the pain, I felt weak but could feel the spike withdrawing, with a slurp I was free and swung my leg over the railing and making sure that my shirt was free from the spikes I dropped to the ground. My legs collapsed upon impact and I managed to get to my feet.
I made for home and walked into the kitchen. My Grandad was sitting in front of the fire place with his pipe in full smoke and my Aunt Lill was just about to give him a cup of tea . She took one look at me and dropped the tea, ran out into the garden and locked herself in the outside toilet. My Grandad did no more than jump to his feet and in one motion he had his pipe on the mantepiece and told me to take my trousers off, my lovely new trousers, I hoped that I hadn`t ruined them. He went out into the scullery and with some hot water, clean cloth and some Disinfectant (Dettol) he started to clean me up, the pain from this activity was excruciating, I wasnt a sissy but I could not take it any longer.
He was concerned, he had seen many wounds in his battle scarred years and this was serious. The very fact that when he tried to hold the wound closed it spurted blood, according to him, meant that I was going to have to go to hospital. I was terrified, Not the Antivivi! I thought, its local reputation for everybody dying in there filled me with fear. I was starting to feel weak and Grandad gave me a cup of tea with so much sugar in it that I almost couldn`t drink it, he cooled it first and made me drink it quickly and told me that I was going to have to "get off to the hospital" (which was a ten minute walk away) He finished dressing my wound and somehow using a large piece of his old shirt rolled up with a knot in the middle, having plugged the hole in my inner thigh with another piece of clean cloth he successfully bandage me up. He then got a clean white towel and layed it across the crotch of a pair of my short trousers and made me pull them on ensuring that the towel was in position correctly.
All this seemed to take hours, in fact later, I found out that it was no more than five minutes for accident to dispach to hospital.
I left the house feeling embarassed I was now wearing a pair of blue thick winter short trousers with a piece of now bloody white towel sticking out of each leg. As I passed the girl down the roads house I looked down and kept going I was in pain and felt dizzy and knew that I had limited time to get to the hospital. I had seen it in a John Wayne film that my Dad had taken me to at the Super Palace in York road Battersea, he too was loosing blood and feeling faint, so I kept going I remember crossing a road without looking, something that I new was a definate no no but did it anyway. I walked passed the house of a now Transexual mate (thats another story) and up to the white stone pillars that were the Antivivi `s entrance. I turned into the entrance and started to flag, my feet were wet with blood and I had no socks on at the time, my shoes (Baseball boots from Bata`s) were full of blood and soaked too.
I lent against the wall that was on either side of the entrance road and passed out. I woke up on a table with a starched nurse talking to me. I had been found in a pool of blood (their description not mine) by an ambulance returning with another casualty. I had been carried into the hospital by the Ambulance drivers assistant. According to the nurse the large lump of "something" that was tight onto my groin was there to stop the blood from escaping and the Doctor would soon sort me out. I had apparantly perforated my femeral artery in a minor way but enough to cause come consternation. I was duly knocked out, sorted and discharged a few hours later.
My Dad arrived home and asked why an ambulance hadn`t been called and generally berated everyone more in a concerned way (as one does when you were unable to take part in any way for what ever reason) .
As for my new trousers, when I asked Grandad where they were, I was shown to the garden and they standing up in a corner solid with congealed blood, I was assured that they would never be worn again and that I could go up to Pettycoat lane the next weekend with my Dad and Grandad to get a new pair. When I finally met up with the girl three doors down she asked me if I was OK, as her Dad had said that I would have a "problem" with a wound in that place "You know OK! and haven`t lost anything?" I realised what she was eluding to and wished that I had said that I had, but instead said that all was OK and from that moment she wouldnt leave me alone, Whenever I saw her she wanted to see my scars. Rob aged 9 going on 62