Yes Really !

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Probably not of interest to anyone who is not from the Isle of Man

Submitted: June 24, 2017

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Submitted: June 24, 2017



Yes Really !

A Selection of True Events in the Life of Terry

{in no particular chronological order }

WARNING ! These recollections contain a few naughty words.


The Manx Paedophile:

Growing up in the 50's the words paedophile and homosexual were not words I remember being bandied around at Onchan School, in those days we were just warned ''don't talk to strangers'', we knew a tiny bit about sex though as it was rumoured that our teachers Miss D & Mr C had been caught ''kissing'' in the school cloakroom.

However, one evening I was standing waiting for the bus at Douglas Bus Station when I was approached by a man who asked me if I would like to go to the circus, at this time there was a Circus situated in a spare area of the bus station, my first thoughts were, this bloke is a murderer, my favourite books at that time included one called ''The Chinese Nail Murders'' so I reckon that's what made me suspicious, however, he seemed OK so I agreed he could take me to see the circus, and there were hundreds of people about so I should be safe enough.

Wrong ! After the circus he said he needed to go to the toilet, at that time there were underground toilets at the far end of the bus station opposite the Steam Packet Company offices, so I followed him in. I thought I would have a pee as well so we stood next to each other in the gents stalls, the next thing his hand grabbed my hand and put it on his willy, which was hard, I was shocked and ran away up the stairs. He followed me and asked me if I would meet him again the following night, I agreed just to get away, and then ran like mad to catch a bus home.

I didn't tell anyone about the incident and soon put it out of my mind, I just got on with enjoying the summer holidays, lots to do, motor cycle gymkhana's at Onchan Stadium, fishing for bull heads on the rocks at Happy Valley, endless time spent in Molly Quirk's Glen and Groudle Glen, and toffee apples at the Port Jack Glen kiosk.

It wasn't until I was 15 years old starting my job as an apprentice carpenter at the Isle of Man Harbour Board that the memory returned, one of my jobs {perks} was to keep the penny slot machines oiled in the public toilets around Douglas Harbour, and I was warned by the head joiner to beware of ''Brown Hatters'', it was explained to me that this was a term used to describe the homosexuals and such like that used to hang around the gents toilets...

Amsterdam 1967

In the summer of 1967 our band the Ray Norman Combo were still resident at the Palace Hotel and Casino playing for dancing in the Casino Cabaret Room. During the cabaret most nights as it was our break we would walk across the car park to the Palace Lido where there was also a summer show to watch the various acts, the girls dancing group that year were from Amsterdam, and there were some real beauties.

As the season progressed Ray and myself made friends with a couple of the dance troup, Ray's girl was the lead dancer, Eileen, and my date, Elsa, had the less glamourous job as the costume girl, dressing and repairs. Ray and myself both got on really well with the girls and at the end of the season they invited us to visit them in Amsterdam at any time.

We never thought seriously that we would ever see them again, our plans after the season were to go on holiday to London, visit the clubs, see that sights etc. Anyway, after a couple of days in London we both decided that we didn't like the place all that much and certainly didn't want to waste any more of our holidays there.

On the spur of the moment we thought, ahh, Amsterdam, and had a flight booked within the hour to Schiphol airport, Ray had Eileen's contact details handy so it was arranged that she would meet us at the airport and we would stay at her mother's house in a village about 15 minutes drive to Amsterdam city centre. I had not met Elsa during the trip yet as she lived in the city, but it was arranged that we would all meet up the next day.

Eileen's mother's house was really lovely but quite small so the sleeping arrangements were that I would kip down on the settee in the lounge and Ray {lucky sod} would share Eileen's bedroom. This was my first experience in understanding how the Dutch were a good deal more open minded than parents would be in the Isle of Man. Ray had a clearer picture of this the following morning, he was in the bath with Eileen when her mother popped her head round the bathroom door and asked if Ray would like a cup of tea.

Amsterdam was a fabulous city and the girls gave us the full tour, canal boat out into the harbour, town centre, huge hurdy gurdy type machine with a man selling chips with mayonnaise, the walk by the canal with the ''ladies of the night'' sat in the shop windows offering their services, and a visit to a night club where the clientel all seemed to be smoking peculiar cigarettes, I have never smoked so they were of no interest to me.

Elsa invited me to her home, an apartment in the city to meet her parents, her mother was lovely and made me very welcome, but her father I think wasn't keen on his daughter going out with a musician, and even worse a bass player, he was sat in a darkened room watching football on the telly, his local team Ajax, he looked at me, grunted, and that was it, back to the Isle of Man.

Cliff Richard & The Settlers

One summer afternoon in the late 1960's Cliff Richard walked into our Island Music Centre shop in Strand Street, Douglas looking very relaxed and cool in his moccasins, and asked if we could let him have a P.A. System for the evening for a ''religious'' concert he was giving with The Settlers folk group at the Villa Marina in Douglas. 

We had a portable W.E.M. system handy with a 200 watt amplifier, Shure microphone, and two speaker columns, so he said this would be fine. As it happened my mate Robin Kelly, who a few years later we were to start the Kelly Records recording studios together with, was the sound engineer at the Villa Marina at that time, Robin had to struggle with the outdated ''tannoy'' sound system in the Villa, he was annoyed that Cliff had nipped into town to hire his own system but understood why.

We set up the equipment for Cliff and he was happy with it and it all sounded great, on the night I was hugely impressed with Cliff's obvious commitment to his religious beliefs, and that of the Settlers folk group, the night was a huge success. My impression of Cliff was that he was a genuinely nice person.  

Villa Marina Gardens Room:

The Nelson Sound:

In the early 70's The Nelson Sound, who's members at this time were, John Nelson-Guitar, Gary McDowell-Drums, Ken Jones-Vocal, Anne Smith-Vocal, myself on Bass, were booked by the local town councillor at the time {Dominic Delaney} to play in the Villa Marina Gardens Room for the summer season, mainly to play for dancing, but also as backing band for the Cabaret Star that had been booked for the season.

The cabaret star turn was a comedian from Liverpool named ''Al T Cosy'' , the opening night was a huge success and we all thought Al was the funniest man we had ever seen, the audience were rolling about laughing, he really was a real talent.

The next night however we were all brought down to earth when Al turned up for the show as pissed as a coot, he could hardly stand up, and that was bad news for a stand up comedian. He was terrible and the packed audience were nearly silent, he went down like a lead balloon, we in the band were so embarrassed we didn't know where to look, anyway, thankfully he staggered off and left us to try and resurect the mood with a bit of rock n roll.

Unfortunately this night set the tone for the whole season, when Al turned up sober he was brilliant, when he was drunk it was a disaster, and we never knew what to expect each night, it was like Russian roulette and the season was a nightmare for all concerned. So much so that Dominic decided to close the Cabaret a week early and buggered off to Spain or somewhere on holiday, what he failed to realize and honour was that we had a musicians union contract stating our terms of payment for the season.

Dominic or the Gardens Room management still owe the band about £420.00 which we are still waiting to receive 40 years or so later. John Nelson and myself tried on many occassions to get the money owed but without any success, and the local Musicians Union were no help at all. Sadly, John Nelson and Ken Jones have both passed away so I have not taken the matter any further..

There were a few bright moments during the season, one was the ''Opportunity Knocks'' auditions with Hughie Green, this programme was big on UK TV at the time, we did our audition to cheers from the locals but Hughie wasn't impressed, he said it was a good band but nothing different, fair enough comment.

There was one very sad moment that has stuck in my mind though, regarding a young lad about 8 or 9 years old who played guitar. Hughie pointed out to his father in a very polite manner that his son's guitar was out of tune with the piano that was needed for accompaniment during the audition, unfortunately the father lost his rag with Hughie shouting that his son always played the guitar in that key and would not change it, Hughie had no choice but to cancel the yound lads audition and the chance to show what he could do. Hughie was not to blame, he tried everything to make the dad understand that the guitar had to be in tune with the piano, but it was not to be.

The Sound Engineer:

Gaiety Theatre:

Using the expertise for sound recording I had obtained working with Robin Kelly at ''Kelly Records'' I applied and was accepted by the Gaiety Theatre manager, Bob Wilkinson, for the post of sound engineer at the theatre.

This was at a time when the summer seasons in the IOM were still quite busy, and I had a fantastic time meeting and working with a fabulous range of artists and performers that were booked to appear.

My favourite memories are of Norman Wisdom, Roy Castle, and Des O'Connor, there were many more of course but these stick in my mind as being real gentlemen, no ''big star syndrome'' just genuinely nice people. I have a letter from Norman thanking me for my efforts.

Roy Castle had a very difficult time at the Gaiety as his young son at the time had fallen off a cliff and was seriously injured and in Nobles Hospital, but being an artist the show had to go on, it was heartbreaking for him but he would get on with it, each night at the start of his act he would give a short report on how his son was doing, and then get into his act. He was wonderful and thankfully his son eventually fully recovered.

The Douglas Carnival was on and the Gaiety had a float, the people on the float were myself on sound, with a Honda Generator to power the amplifier for the microphone, Roy Castle on Trumpet, with his drummer providing the beat, and a few of the Gaiety Dancers, great night..

Palace Lido:

There were good times to at the Palace Lido as sound engineer and part time DJ.

Floyd on Food:

The TV Chef, Keith Floyd, was giving a demonstration for the Isle of Man W.I. And the Lido was packed with ladies in Laura Ashley dresses and big hats. At one point Keith asked for someone to assist him on stage and there was a stampede

One lady was chosen and she happily took her place next to Kieth on stage with a huge smile on her face. Keith handed her a cucumber and asked her to finely slice it and put the slices on a plate, this she did for about 10 minutes while Keith continued with his cooking demonstration, finally he got back to her, picked up the plate of sliced cucumbers and threw it across the stage saying, ''I can't stand the bloody things'' The lady was not happy and quickly left the stage, apparently he had a cruel sense of humour and was a bit of a git..

The Junior Pugilist:

My job at the junior boxing tournament in the Lido was easy enough, I just had to switch the microphone on and off and raise it up and down for use of the referee to announce the various bouts.

The boxers were all young lads I think about 10 or 12 years old, one boy I remember before his fight started was moving around like Cassius Clay, practising all his punches and posing in great style, dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Unfortunately when the fight started he got one early punch on the nose and ran out of the ring crying, don't blame him, it's a tough bloody sport.

The Bee Gees {Palace Lido}:

The Bee Gees had just released their record Jive Talkin and the BBC wanted to film them for Top of The Pops. Barry Gibb popped into our music shop in Douglas and asked could he borrow an acoustic guitar for the recording, I lent him my Hofner Jumbo.

Barry also had the problem that they didn't have anywhere for the BBC to film them, I suggested that we could possibly use the Lido where I was sound engineer but I would have to check with the manager Derek Norris, Derek agreed to rent us the place for the afternoon for £25.00, Barry agreed to this so the recording was on.

The BBC arrived at the Lido and all they kept asking me was for ''more light, more light'' the lighting at the Lido was not great but they cracked on with it anyway, it only took about 30 minutes, the Bee Gees stood on the Lido stage and mimed to their record of Jive Talkin which was playing on a portable cassette player out of site on the stage. The BBC video was shown on that weeks T.O.T.P. however, the quality was not good and the following week with Jive Talkin moving up the charts the Bee Gees were invited to the BBC Top of The Pops studios to do the job properly. I have asked the BBC for a copy of the original Lido recording but they say it has been destroyed or recorded over.


The Gibbs as far as I could see were a very hard working family, led by their mum Barbara. I only met Barbara once when buying a few items from the Post Office shop she ran in Union Mills, near Douglas. I know the Bee Gees had success in the 1960's with some top ten hits, but the family never gave the impression they were well off, however, that was to change very quickly after Jive Talkin hit the charts.

Prior to this the band had been living at home on the Island writing songs and putting weeks in rehearsing, and not always in glamorous surroundings. One day I went to deliver some equipment to them at the Castlemona Hotel on Douglas Promenade. They were rehearsing on the stage in a very little used and run down function room at the back of the Hotel, I was only there for a few minutes but I remember the lads were playing away in the company of one Kosangas {Butane} gas heater, and the room was damp and freezing cold. 

Andy Gibb:

Around this time {1974} Andy Gibb was also working on the island with his local band Melody Fayre, in the band were John Stringer – Drums, and John Alderson-Guitar, and Andy of course who really was a fabulous vocalist, like his brothers he was very talented, we had several demo-recording sessions in our studio in Victoria Street.

The Bee Gees parents lived in Alexander Drive, Douglas, and their father, Hugh was also a musician, he loved to play the electronic organ. One day when we were delivering a new organ to the house we asked about a brand new little red sports car in the drive that had a big red ribbon wrapped around it, we were told it was Andy's 16th birthday and the car was his present, he was really chuffed with it and could often be seen driving along the prom posing...

Melody Fayre {Notes from Andy's drummer - John Stringer}

I've always remembered Terry as being responsible for me getting together with Andy. I'd ordered a set of Paiste hi-hats from him in the Music Centre, and as my mum was in Douglas she picked them up for me. Terry told her that a guy called Andy was looking for a drummer and gave her the phone number, which was Barbara Gibb in Alexander Drive. 

That was Wednesday 13 February 1974. My mum rang Barbara up and arrangements were made for me to go to Andy that night. I was quite reluctant to go when my mum told me as there was something I wanted to watch on TV, but I did go and jammed with him in the music room on his dad's drum kit. He told me there and then that I would be his drummer! 

My diary says that on Sunday 24 Feb, 'me and Andy went to Terry's studio in Duke Street'. On Monday the 25th we went back to Terry's studio and were joined by Stan and John from the Ray Norman Combo. Back again on the 26th. just jamming and trying songs out. 

On Monday 4th March went to Andy's at 5pm and then to Island Music Centre, packed our gear in Terry's Music Centre van and onto the Palace Lido, and set up on stage to practise. We practised a lot in the Lido according to my book and tried out different guitarists etc. 

On Sun evening the 5th May we spent 4 hours at Terry's Island Music Centre studios recording some demos,  'Wouldn't I be someone' and Mon 6th 3 hours doing 'Whisky' and 'Most Beautiful Girl'. I remember Manx Radio playing them on a program about Andy around that time. Terry gave the original demo to Andy to take home to his mother.

Manx papers did articles and photos of us all. We started at the Peveril Hotel on the 25th June 1974, but it seems we did a few nights there and were also booked at the Grand Island Hotel in Ramsey, doing Barbecue nights as it was billed in the newspapers. I know the Grand Island sacked us because of noise complaints as we played outside on the terracing, and all the neighbours said it was too loud! So that's how we ended up doing the full 11 week season at the Peveril in Douglas. That was 2nd July onwards to 9th Sept. 

The Grumbleweeds:

The Grumbleweeds were a fabulous musical comedy act that often used to perform in the Isle of Man at that time, they were based in Blackpool so it was handy for them. I forget their names but the bloke who looked liked Charlie Drake asked if he could use our recording studio in Douglas to make a demo of a song he had just written, we had a very funny couple of days and the song was called ''I'm Going Bald'' it was brilliant but I never heard anything more of it, and he did go bald..

October 21st 1985 - 1-15 pm

A mild pleasant autumn day with the sun peeping through light hazy clouds as I drove south on the M6 motorway after visiting my daughters in Scotland for the weekend. I had swapped my Honda CRX sports car for a friend's mother's car in Blackpool, an Audi 100 saloon car, which I thought would be better for driving the kids around for the weekend in Scotland, more room in the back.

I had an appointment in Burnley for the afternoon but I was in no rush, just trundling along at around 70 mph enjoying the drive, as on long motorway journey's it is normal that you overtake a car and minutes later it overtakes you, and so on, this day it was a Ford Fiesta with a couple of old dears in the front, we must have passed and re-passed half a dozen times.

I had passed Lancaster and was in between Garstang and Preston on the top of a gentle slope, I could see about about a mile ahead and noticed at the bottom of the slope that there was a build up of traffic due to road works and a contra-flow system in place, this was on the southbound carriageway of the M6 between junctions 32 and 33. 

I slowed down in the centre lane to around 10 mph and signalled to turn into the inner lane, the car now almost at a standstill, then there was a huge bang, I glanced in my mirror and saw the front of a coach bearing down on me, I thought, shit, this is it TC, I'm dead, however, at the last moment the coach veered to the left and as it hit my car it spun me round and I was now going backwards down the motorway, fast. At last after what seemed an eternity, but must have only been a few seconds the coach came to a halt, I was alive, but then I thought, for how long. The coach had come to a halt with the front offside wheel alongside my drivers door and there were huge flames coming from the coach wheel arch, also I could hear screaming from the coach passengers, I will never forget it.

Earlier, further up the motorway at Penrith I had picked up a hitch hiker, and because I had my briefcase and work papers on the front passenger seat he was sat in the back, with the flames coming up the side of my drivers door I wasn't sure what to do for a moment, I looked over my shoulder and the hitch hiker was scrambling out of the rear window of the car which had been blown out in the impact, quick as a flash I followed him, diving out of the window onto the motorway.

We both ran onto the grass verge and sat there watching the horror unfold, my car was now a burnt out shell, as was the coach, we didn't realize straight away that there were many dead on the coach, they were unable to escape in time.

The fire brigade arrived and soon had everything under control, there was a burning van that contained gas cylinders that were liable to explode, they put the van fire out and then created a ''pool of water'' by using tarpaulins to form a large bath, they then put the gas cylinders in the bath to cool down. We also noticed them throwing a tarpaulin over the remains of the Ford Escort that had shared our journey down the motorway, sadly, the two ''old dears'' had apparently panicked and not been able to release their seat belts and were killed.

I read later that the coach and 13 other vehicles were involved in the accident. Thirteen people were killed and 34 were injured, some seriously. Three of the fatalities were in the coach and 10 in the other vehicles. A family of four were in a car directly behind my car, the coach had crashed into their car crushing it, and then hit my car. At the inquest it was revealed that the driver of the coach had fallen asleep at the wheel and only woken up at the point of impact with the first car.

Has I mentioned earlier we were sat on the embankment, just sat there, stunned, shocked, about an hour later we were approached by a firefighter who said, hi lads, no sightseers. After we had explained that one of the burnt out cars was ours he immediately summoned an ambulance for us and we were taken to Lancaster Hospital. The drive to the hospital was itself scary, I will always remember the driver, he looked just like ''Blakey'' from the TV series On The Buses. He drove like a maniac at high speed and spent the journey time telling us his son was critical in hospital after a car crash, just what we wanted to hear, because of the motorway crash there were traffic jams everywhere, at one junction he drove straight over a grass roundabout, but he got us there safely.

At the hospital I telephoned the kids to tell them I was OK, it was all over the news and they were worried knowing I was on that road. Then I had to telephone my friend in Blackpool to tell him that his mother's Audi 100 was no more.

While I was waiting for my friend from Blackpool to pick me up I wandered out of the back of the hospital and was surprised to find a canal. The horror of the days events had started to get to me now and I was shaking like a leaf so I decided to walk along the canal tow path to try and calm down. 

After I had gone a few yards I was approached by this friendly black labrador dog who clearly was looking for attention, I picked up a stone and threw it for him along the canal bank, he chased it and brought it back, this to-ing and fro-ing with the stone went on for about 15 minutes and then he ran off, by this time I had calmed down and felt much better, I have always been thankful to that dog for being there.

My friend arrived and drove me to his home in Blackpool for the night, the morning after I drove in my own car back up to Heysham to get the ferry back to the Isle of Man, I went the coastal route from Blackpool to Heysham though, I couldn't face the M6. It was only when I was on the ferry and had a copy of the Daily Express with the M6 accident as the main story, then I realized how lucky I had been, there was a photo of my burnt out car and the coach front page.

After Effects of the Crash

At the time of the crash in 1985 the only apparent injuries I had received were the usual whiplash neck injuries that often occur when being in a car struck at speed, however, over the years it became clear that I had ongoing mental issues relating to the experience. 

At intervals over the years, sometimes two or three years apart, I would just be going about my daily routine when out of the blue I would collapse into floods of tears, sometimes alone, and at other times when other people were present, the latest episode was as recent as 2016 at an Indian Restaurant in Altea in Spain, I was enjoying a night out with friends when the dark cloud descended, suddenly with no warning, much to their surprise I was in tears for a couple of minutes, I apologised to them and explained, they were very understanding and supportive, I am hoping that writing it down in this account will go some way to preventing it happening again.

Another strange episode was again to happen thirty years later. At the time of the crash I had a TV Business in Douglas, Isle of Man, and just previous to the crash I had supposedly agreed to supply 30 portable TV's to a hotel in Onchan, The Majestic Hotel.

Thirty years later I was out with a girl friend and we were discussing the owner of the Majestic Hotel, the girl said, Terry, the owner told me he was very dissapointed that you let him down and did not supply the TV's, I was shocked, taken back, I still have no memory of the event. All I remember is that I closed the business and moved to Spain.

The Video Shop:

After renting a couple of video films from T.H. Colebourns from their stock of a dozen or so, I thought, there has to be a better way of doing this, and so the idea of ''The Video Shop'' was born. I rented a shop premises on Prospect Hill, fitted it out with the correct video shelving and stocked it with hundreds of the latest movies, it went a bomb from the first day it opened and it was obvious that I would need help to run the place, I gave my mate Ray Norman a call and he agreed to assist with the project.

One of the first problems that we had was that about 50% of the customers joining the video club were using Betamax video machines as T.H. Colebourns were the main island agents for Betamax, and we were finding that when ordering video movies only about 25% of the available movies were on Betamax, 75% were on V.H.S. , and we thought that this situation was unfair to our Betamax clients.

Our solution was that we would copy the V.H.S. Movie Tapes on to Betamax, we had been told that most video shops in the UK were offering this service for Betamax customers, unfortunately it was illegal, breaking copyright laws, and the Betamax copies were classed as ''Pirate Videos''. One day a team of ''video inspectors'' arrived from the UK seized all our ''Pirate Movies'' and half a dozen ''Porno'' movies that Ray had stashed under the counter for special customers.

We were taken to court and fined £700.00 and the headlines in the IOM Examiner the next day read something like ''750 pornographic and pirate videos seized from Douglas shop''. We failed to mention in court that the Douglas Police were our best customers for the porn videos and had several on hire during the court case, no point in upsetting our mates..

The Video Shop Dublin:

Ray and myself decided to open a video business in Dublin at the request of a couple of Irish businessmen, there were three branches, one in Dublin city centre opposite the Halfpenny Bridge, another in Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre near the port, and another in an out of town housing estate called Finglas.

At first we would export the video movies from the IOM via air to Dublin airport, but the duty and purchase tax was ridiculous, nearly 30%, so it was decided to transport them from our suppliers in the UK to Belfast and drive them down and smuggle them across the border.

I was in our Dublin city office one day when this bloke appeared saying he wanted 10 copies of a V.H.S. Master tape he was carrying, I said , no problem and we agreed a price, when he had gone one the Irish lads said to me, do you know who that was Terry ?, I said no, why ? he said it was an IRA man. Apparently the tape contents were an IRA party political broadcast, they would pass them around the main bars in Dublin and at the time that the local TV channels broadcast the official election programme the barman would be asked kindly to play the video, I believe no one ever refused.

It was also suggested to our man in Dublin by the IRA man that when driving the tapes down from Belfast and over the border, it would be better to use a route where NO ONE would stop us or ask any questions, the instructions were easy. ''When leaving Newry on the Dublin Road and about 100 yards from the Customs Post, turn Left into Kelly's Road, drive another 100 yards to a school and turn Right, drive another 500 yards and turn Right again, after another 100 yards you are back on the main road, but across the border''

I duly arrived in Belfast one night on the ferry from Scotland and drove south around midnight, there was nothing else on the road as I approached the border I could see the customs post lit up like Blackpool illuminations, I followed instructions as given and never saw a sole, it did cross my mind though that my car headlights would be in view of the customs post as I was the only bloody car on the road and they could clearly see my every move, anyway, after that Ray and myself sold the Irish business, best let them get on with it in their own way.

Peter Kneale {Manx Radio}

Some years previous to Ray and myself getting involved in the Irish video project I had been dealing with a company in the Republic of Ireland that owned and ran ''Eamonn Andrews Studios'' and the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. In 1976 I had recorded the Mannin Folk LP ''King of the Sea'' using the studios in Dublin.

I was contacted by the director of the company asking if I had any contacts at Manx Radio, the Isle of Man's local radio station, in those days I pretty well knew everyone there but the main man was Peter Kneale.

I asked them what they wanted and they replied that they would like to talk about the possiblity of running the radio station on the Manx Government's behalf with the intention of increasing the broadcasting power of the station to compete with Radio Luxembourg. I put this to Peter and a trip to Dublin was arranged to discuss their idea in detail. I believe there were full discussions between the company, Peter, and the Manx Government, with at one point Eamonn Andrews involved, but the idea was not taken further.

Peter and myself were treated very well in Dublin, a trip to the Gaiety Theatre to see a show, and a very interesting tour around Ireland's premier radio station, RTE Radio Eireann. At this time they had just competed their new studios outside the city centre in a green field site.

We were impressed, they had basicily just dug a huge hole in a field to house all the sound studios below ground level to avoid noise pollution, the surrounding soil acting as sound insulation, the main offices were situated at ground level.

They told us a couple of stories which could be Irish blarney, but had a ring of truth. When working in Dublin city centre in the old studios the radio station staff would supplement their wages by running unofficial betting shops, when the station moved inland they lost their city clients and could not survive on the radio station wages, so they left.

The other less likely story is that the management were trying to sack one of the staff but nobody wanted to tell him, so they waited until he went on holiday and moved his desk and phone out of the office, hoping that when he returned he got the hint and left. However, when he returned and noticed his stuff was gone, he just went to the storeroom and replaced everything and carried on as normal....

The Taxi Driver:

On my return from Spain I was giving taxi driving a go and for the most part really enjoying it, I didn't often do nights though as the thought of late disco revellers spewing up in the car was not appealing. I liked early mornings through to about tea time. A coincidence though was that the ''taxi inspector'' who had put me through my knowledge test at his office at Strathallan Crescent, started school at the same school in Heywood in Lancashire as I had attended as a four year old. {Magdala Street School}, small world.

Best Ever Job:

It was a hell of a morning, gales, rain, mist and fog on high ground, a typical Manx summers day. I was called to collect a lady at a farmhouse in the hills way up past Strang at 11am, I struggled to find the house but eventually did arriving 10 minutes late. The lady got into the back seat, all hoity toity and posh, she was complaining that I was late and that she had to get to a hair appointment on Douglas prom, I apologized blaming the weather and that was that.

However, I recognised the lady instantly as someone I had known in the rock n roll days, but I said nowt, until she said, do I know you from somewhere? I said, Yes ! it's Terry, I used to shag you on the stairs of our music shop, suddenly the posh attitude disappeared and she was friendly again, just one of the gang, a classic moment.

I have had a few famous people in the cab, the olympic swimmer Sharron Davies and her husband, she couldn't get to Ronaldsway quick enough, she said get me off this bloody island, that's the polite version. Also Steven Fry, very polite, Sefton Hotel to the Nunnery grounds, he was making a movie with Julie Andrews. David Bowie and his personal assistant, again very polite a real gentleman, Castlemona Hotel to The Place in the Park for a meal and back.

Then there were the stuck up bastards from Bairings Bank, sat in the back of the taxi on the way to the airport boasting loudly about about how much money they had made that day, the twats asked me for a receipt so I signed it Nick Leeson, they didn't notice..


I was living and working in Mallorca importing various frozen foods from the UK, including Manx Ices. I had spent 6 months getting all the paperwork I needed from the Spanish Government to allow me to import British Food, all the licences were correct and in place.

Our first wagon load arrived from the UK for customs clearance in Barcelona containing 26 pallets of frozen sausages from Halls of Broxburn in Scotland and Mcintoshes sausages from Aberdeen, mostly destined for selected Thompson Hotels in the Balearics. However, on arrival at the customs we were informed that the paperwork was not correct, I was annoyed at this as we had been over everything with a fine toothed combe, dotting all the i's etc.

We contacted the suppliers and the meat marketing board in the UK by fax and they confirmed that everything was in order, the customs in Barcelona again refused entry so we contacted the head customs office in Madrid, the Madrid reply was ''Sorry we can't help the Barcelona office are a law unto themselves''

At this point our wagon driver had had enough, he got into the wagon and drove it out of the customs pound, and was arrested and thrown in Jail, 30 minutes later they released him and the wagon without a word and he continued his journey on the ferry to Mallorca.

At this time I was living with an English lady in the hills near Palma who had in her farmhouse two art gallerys, one with a permanent display and one that held monthly exhibitions by various artists. One of these artists was the Palma Chief of Police, Inspector Moreno.

One day I was explaining to the inspector the problems that I had with the customs people in Barcelona, he just laughed and said ''Terry Terry, you are doing it all wrong'' , he then went on to explain that the normal practise was to leave ''samples'' of the product at the rear of the wagon so when the customs opened the door there was some loose product on view, they then took a few ''samples'' away for their families, from then on we always had a few boxes of Sara Lee chocolate cakes on board, and never again had a single importing problem. A lesson that could be learned by our exporters today, when in Europe Act European.

The English Breakfast:

As a supplier of ''British Sausages'' to Thompson's Holidays for their 7 hotels in the Balearics, I was invited to one of their hotels in Mallorca at ''Can Picafort'' , this being across the bay from Alcudia in the north east of the Island. Thompsons had laid on a 3 day event which included courses for ''Spanish Chefs'' from their 7 hotels on how to prepare an ''English Breakfast'' , this consisted of Sausage, Egg, Bacon, and Tomato.

The chefs spent 2 days being taught by a chef from the UK, and on the last day of the course they had to serve the breakfast to the invited guests, simple enough you may think, but each item of the breakfast had to be individually priced so the total cost of the breakfast had to be no more than 50 pesetas, about 25 pence in those days, this was possible. 1 sausage, 1 fried egg, 2 slices of bacon, and 1 half of grilled tomato.

So we were all seated on the last morning waiting for the ''English Breakfast'' to arrive, it arrived served in great style by the waiters wanting to impress, however, the Thompson bosses went mad, the chefs had served up the English Breakfast as ordered, except for the inclusion on the plate of half a Kiwi Fruit, the chefs thought it would improve the look of the meal, unfortunately the cost of half a Kiwi Fruit was 45 pesetas which doubled the cost of the breakfast, that's why Thompsons went mad. .

The Argentinian:

I had met a beautiful Argentinian lady in Palma, she was probably a couple of years older than me but stunning, she was a psychiatrist so I thought I could be in deep shit, she was divorced from her Italian husband though so the coast was clear. We had shared a few dinner dates and this particular night I had arranged to pick her up at her apartment in Palma at around 7-30, I arrived on time {of course, can't stand being late} and rang the doorbell, Marta opened the door and she was stood there in just the skimpiest of nightwear, I said, I thought we were going for dinner, and she said, ''first we make love, it gives me an appetite''. The sexiest thing a women has ever said to me.

Marta was from Buenos Aires and was from a wealthy family, her grandfather used to work for the Argentian president Juan Peron, as I understand not a gangster, but an agriculturist, and agriculture has always and remains vitally important to the economy of Argentina. Marta lived in a big house with servants, the whole thing, unfortunately she was very short on doing the basics herself, hopeless at cooking, just about boil an egg, which may be a clue as to why her Italian husband divorced her, probaly having a wife that can't cook is illegal in Italy. Also she could not iron clothes, hadn't a clue, all her clothes were very expensive non ironable types.

Marta went back to Buenos Aires on the death of her grandfather and I have not seen her since, I was tempted when living in the IOM again to visit Buenos Aires, but I never did, it's a strange thing, there was a hit song around at the time called Jessie and it really awakened my urge to leave the island again, in fact everytime I hear it I am drawn to Spain..

Seve Ballesteros:

Marta and myself had decided to move away from the heat of the Mediterranean for a while, and I suggested that we try northern Spain on the Bay of Biscay. I was familiar with this area having travelled many times on the ferry from Plymouth to Santander, and Santander is a beautiful city. We managed to find a nice apartment about 5 minutes drive from town in an area called Sardinera, a little way down the estuary from Santander.

Marta had an Argentinian friend living and working in Santander as an accountant, and he had many contacts in the local community, and was a member of Seve Ballesteros's golf club in Pedrena, this was just across the estury opposite Santander. Marta's friend {name slips my mind} had tickets for a golf tournament in Pedrena, The USA verses Spain.

This took place the week after the British Open Championship and really was just friendly get together at the invitation of Seve. The USA team were Payne Stewart and Tom Watson, and representing Spain were Seve and Jose Maria Olazabal.

It wasn't like The Open of course, there were just a few hundred people at most following the golfers round, and lucky me was one of them. As a bit part golfer I was impressed seeing them so close up, and striking the ball so well, Tom Watson in particular was fantastic. Spain won.

Manx Friends:

Back to Palma Nova now in Mallorca where I was still busy with the frozen food business, apart from Thompson Hotels I used to supply many of the hotels on the island that had British clients, apparently the Spanish sausages use to explode in the ovens when cooked in mass so the British non bangers were preferred.

This gave me a lot of contacts with hotel owners which helped when I got a phone call from my friend in the IOM, Ken Daly. Ken was trying to get last minute accommodation for the whole family in Palma Nova, but being August everything was fully booked, anyway I said I would ask around the hotels and get back. I explained the problem to one of the hoteliers in Palma Nova with a very nice quality hotel on the beach, ideal for Ken and family, but Ken and the gang wanted three rooms, if possible next or close to each other.

I thought this was going to be impossible but the owner asked me how they were going to pay, I said American Express Gold Card, what he did next shocked me, he grabbed the bookings book and crossed out three British families and put Ken's name in their place, these were probably nice British families who had selected and booked their holiday months before. I asked the owner what would happen to them and he said they would be met at the airport, told they had been double booked, and transported to another hotel in a different part of Mallorca. I pressed the owner again about this and he said that generally British Holiday companies were poor and slow payers and the hotel would much rather have the money in their bank. Anyway, Ken and the gang had a great holiday, I never did mention at who's cost.

Ray Norman and myself had bought a small 2 bedroom apartment in San Agustin between us as somewhere to escape to after a long hard summer season at the Palace Hotel and Casino. It wasn't all plain sailing of course and we had one particular dissaster that was very embarrassing. Our solicitors in Douglas at the time were Kelly, Luft, Stanley, and Ashton, and we had mentioned that we had this apartment in Mallorca that they were welcome to rent.

Anyway, Barry Stanley took us up on the offer and flew off to Mallorca for their holidays, disaster, on arriving at the apartment they discovered that there had been a flood at the apartment above that had brought our ceiliing downh, they were up to their knees in rubbish, nothing we could do from the IOM to help so they had to book into a hotel, I flew out a couple of weeks later to sort the place out, I think it was just after this event that Ray sold me his share in the apartment.

Just down the road from San Agustin is the area known as Cala Mayor, one day I was showing some friends around a very nice apartment block in this location looking for a particular flat, but couldn't find it, so I knocked on a door and Geoff Duke opened it, I said Hi Geoff, as if I had known him all my life and asked if he knew the bloke we were looking for, I don't know who was more surprised. Following the TT from an early age I always have this picture of Geoff in my mind zipping around Signpost Corner on his Norton {1} it was great to meet him.

A few years down the line I was to become a small shareholder in a British Nursing home in San Agustin, The Atalaya. We had ran the place a couple of years when our ''main man'' died of cancer, he was the doctor so we decided to sell the place, we were asking for around £700.000, one day the footballer Graeme Souness turned up wearing a flash white suit and carrying a briefcase, I think it was his solicitor or accountant that was with him, he opened the briefcase to show us CASH £450,000, unfortunately we couldn't sell for that price and no deal was done, that was all he was offering.

Talking of celebrity's Errol Flynn used to own a beach house in San Agustin in the old days when it was just a small fishing village, all that is left of the house now kept as a small monument, is probably about 20ft of circular wall, on this wall Eroll Flynn had a Gargoyle built as a water spout in the shape of a penis, guess where the water came out ….

I hope you enjoyed some of my spoutings

Terry xx


To be continued at a future date...


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