Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes

1980s Disco, walking home late at night and "Stranger Danger"

I watched a facinating programme at the weekend on the Synth Britannia and explosion of the electro, new romantic, electronic synth movement of the 1980s. You can check out the episode on the BBC iPlayer at:

In the early 1980's [starting in 1982] every Friday and Saturday evening, a group of us that had grown up locally and had gone to school together, would get ready to go out. Since none of us had passed our driving test at that time, we would meet up at a bus stop in Paignton near to Paignton Zoo and catch the bus up to the Blagdon Inn on the Totnes road. There, we would dance and for some drink the evening away.

At the end of the evening which was normally around midnight, the girls would get a lift back from one of the mum's or dad's and us "lads" would have to walk the 2 miles back to Paignton. No lifts from our parents - think of the street cred getting picked up by Mum!

The walk along the Totnes road is unlit for most of the way from the Blagdon Inn, with a small section lit at Collaton St Mary and then darkness again till you nearly get to the ring road. There, I'd say goodbye to my mates and then continue the walk home alone. The walk itself would normally take about 40 minutes and being the lads that we were, we never took rain coats or flashlights or umbrellas with us. Darkness, solitude, sometimes rain!

This only lasted for a short while. First Ian [my best friend at the time] and then I passed our driving tests, though it took me a year to save up and be able to buy a car. So for nearly 18 months we did that trip nearly every weekend and not once did I ever recall thinking about how dangerous it was. After all what is dangerous about walking home late at night!

I reflect on it now and realize, I'd not allow it in today's world. Would you? Do you remember doing something similar? Do share.....
Tags: children, inner thoughts, paignton, stranger danger
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