I lived very much in a fantasy world when I was younger, and I think that followed me very much into my teens. I don't know if this is normal, but it seemed normal to me. I believe even now at the grand old age of forty-seven that I still have that fantasy element swirling around my head, which I let out now through writing.

The only other memory I really have from around that same period when we were living with my Grandparents was having tonsillitus. I suffered for long periods when I was a kid with tonsillitus, the doctors then said that I would grow out of it - when I got older they said that I should have had them out when I was a kid - go figure! Anyways, I was very ill for a few days while staying there and certainly during the days I was put in someone elses bedroom. I must have been very young because all I recall is sitting on the potty at the end of the bed for hours on end - I think there's a theme to my younger years! I believe even now that half the reason I didn't get off the potty, was that there was, to a young lad at least, a very scary painting of Jesus on the wall above the headboard - for a long time I got the creeps from that picture.

After living with my grandparents, which I think must have been in Carshalton in Surrey, the next place of rememberance was a shop my parents rented in Wrythe Green. This is where memories become a bit more prominent: Getting in Airfix modelling; being ill again and in bed, my dad coming home with a new model of a Volkswagon Bettle and a tube of glue. Squeezing the glue and not realising I should have broken the pip to let it out, and it squirting from the bottom of the tube and going all over the bed.

I also remember on my birthday, my mother and I going across the green to the shops. On the way back a fog came in so dense that I couldn't see my hand right in front of my face. However, the most vivid one from those times was seeing my first coloured man. There was young lad, probably in his teens, working at the Chip Shop just a few doors up the road. This must have been at the time when the tomb of Tutankhamun was made public and I'm at some point I heard about it. For some reason I believed that this young lad was Tutankhamum... I was actually quite releived when one evening I was playing in the small yard area and a plume of black smoke rising up over the roof, and then hearing that the Chip Shop had burnt down.


Me and my uncle Bruno in the garden at 173 Reigate Avenue, Sutton in 1967

Me, my uncle Bruno and Scot the dog at Jaywick Sands in 1967

My next stopping point was in the town of Merstham in Surrey and this was when I first started school, so we must have moved there in 1970. My parents had a woman's clothing shop next to the bank, and we lived in the large flat about the shop, which extended right over the bank underneath. The second along at the top was my bedroom :)

The shop changed a couple of years after we had moved in to a green grocers called 'Vanity Fare'. It was just before we moved in 1977 when I got my first girlfriend - well actually two. They both came to my house to pick me up for a date, remember at this time I was barely eleven. I got myself ready to go out and see them (They were sitting on the bench under the tree outside giggling) and my Dad said to me "Go on Fred, give 'em one."- so on the way out I picked up two Mars Bars for them - Did I tell you I was nieve when I was younger!



In the spring of 1977, we moved to Cornwall and lived for three months in a tent at Presingol Farm, in St. Agnes. I found it very hard to adjust for a long time, and missed my friends, as well as the two girlies that I was going out with back in South London. It took me a good couple of years to adjust, especially to school life, which it has to be said was a lot rougher than that I was used to up country. I must have been a bit mouthy because in the first week at seconadry school I had the blades of three flick-knifes stuck up my nose, all within the first week of being there.

I did adjust though; however, my confidence did take a few knocks, not least from bullies. It was Martial Arts that became a significant part of my life and turned that all around.


This photo was taken in 1980. Behind the house in Goonown was a play area and again I was with a couple of girls at the same time. We were all on the swings, which were rusty and hadn't been looked after. The concrete below the swings (You wouldn't get away with concrete under a swing nowadays!) had all broken up, but it didn't stop me from standing up on the seat and swinging right over the bar. I had done this, stupidly, many times before, but this time I caught my thumb in the links of the chain and it snapped. I fell down head first, as you can see, half my face on the grass and half of my face on the broken concrete. I never did see those girls again!

This was probably the start of my 'Reckless' years, because from this moment on, until I was well into my twenties, I was a regular contributor to the hospital stats, getting to know a lot of the hospital staff (and of course nurses) by name.


I have always one for a bit of a giggle, in fact it has gotten worse the older I've got. I think at this time, working in my Dad's Menswear shop helped with my dress sense. This photo was taken just before being picked up for a dinner-dance. Both Mark Rowe, who was a friend at school and still is, and I were taking Joan and Juicy-Lucy out.

The funny thing was we had left our pushbikes in Truro where we were going, after the dates we rode back in this getup!

Well I think that's enough for now, you've got a little insight to the world of Fred. I'm sure I will be adding to this at a later date, I've got loads of stories to tell... but where would all the fun be in giving everything away?!

My Past

editOn the 9th December 1965 a child was born in the town of Swannage, Dorset. At that early stage of my life, legend has it that my Mother was staying with a family called the Pipers. I don't remember anything about being down there and my first memory is of falling out of my cot and banging my head on the skirting board of a flat in South London.

I think like most people, I don't have full memories of my very young years, just a few snippets. I think my next strong memory is of being on the toilet one morning at my Nana & Grandads. My Dad was going to work and I could hear him from down the hall saying his goodbyes to my mother. I could only have been about three, and at the time couldn't bear the thought of missing saying goodbye to him. I quickly slipped up my pyjama bottoms and ran down the stairs - clunching my little bum cheeks as I went.

I did manage to say goodbye, but I do remember my mother having to do a bit of cleaning up on me as soon as the door had closed behind him :)

“Pick up your feet... got to move to the trick of the beat”

Fred Deakin
Design Engineer / Author