So this is what really happened
As promised in the last extract from my memoir "Stepping Out from Ashtead", this is the real story behind me almost being arrested for burglary but until now no-one knew how I almost lost my virginity the same night.
Fourteen is a funny age. You have all these strange feelings that swing between elation and depression, supreme confidence and a complete lack of the same. You can go between being a complete pain in the backside and the perfect child in moments and the trouble is you know you’re doing it, how it hurts people and you do it anyway. As my dad used to say, “Not a man nor yet a boy.”
He seemed to understand which was just as well a few months later
when I came very close to getting arrested for burglary.
This "butter wouldn't melt" studio photo was taken around the time of this little adventure or perhaps a few months before.
I almost fell off the windowsill when he spoke.
“Good morning Sir.”
I jerked round, clinging frantically to the window frame, and looked down. Below, shining a torch up at me, was the policeman.
“I can explain everything,” I stammered. “Well young man, I suggest you come down and try.” He replied, not sounding too convinced.
What I didn’t tell the copper was that my situation was really all down to hormones. Let me explain.
It was the hot summer of 1959. The year Buddy Holly died and Cliff Richard topped the charts for eleven weeks with ‘Living Doll’ and Travelling Light’. I had just turned fifteen and my greatest birthday present seemed to be the rush of testosterone that arrived with the warm summer days.
Every day for the last week I’d been cycling with my friend Jeremy to the Fetcham Grove open air pool at Leatherhead where we’d met these two girls. They were real stunners, and as we watched them running and jumping around in their bikinis I’m sure our eyes were popping.
Of course they weren’t the miniscule modern thong type of bikini that amounts to little more than string and sticking plasters as far as I can make out. Not that I’ve made a study of the subject (or not that I’ll admit to) but these were certainly revealing enough to raise our blood pressure.
Jeremy knew one of them slightly as she lived not far from him. Her name was Helen and her friend Theresa had come to spend the summer holidays with her. I guess they were about the same age as us or perhaps a little older and were the classic double act – blonde and brunette and about the same height with lissom tanned bodies slick with sun oil. They certainly knew what they were up to and it was working a treat on us.
For a change it wasn’t the usual situation where there’s one good looker and her, well let’s be charitable, ‘less attractive’ friend. These two were both gorgeous and what’s more they really seemed to fancy us.
We’d been chatting to them for a couple of days and had played a bit of badminton as well as just lounging. Thinly disguised posing I guess you’d call it.
There was the predictable sky-larking about of course with us chasing each other around in and out of the pool and us picking up the girls and tossing them in the water and then diving in to swim under the water and through their legs etc. etc. I’m sure you get the picture!
The interesting thing, and for our raging hormones, the most exciting, was that any ‘accidental-on-purpose’ touch on the soft and curvy bits was not repulsed, so you might imagine we thought things could only get better.
And better they did get when the following day Helen said “We’re sleeping in the summer house tonight. Do you want to come up”?
Well “Is the Pope Catholic?” – Certainly we wanted to. So that was how I came to be creeping out of my front door at half-past midnight and riding my unlit bike through the moonlight the half-mile or so to Jeremy’s house.
He was there as agreed but to be honest as neither of us had ever done anything like this before, we were both a bit wobbly about taking it any further especially as it was looking as though we both might be ‘real men’ before the night was out if you get my drift.
I don’t think either of us wanted to exhibit any lack of nerve but I guess perhaps I was because Jeremy said “Are you really up for this then?” and I said, “Yes. What about you?”
He said, “I am if you are.” “Ok then” I said. “Let’s do it”
So with our joint hormone level pretty well through the roof, we set off along the footpath that led to Helen’s house where we had to scramble through a hedge and then following her detailed instructions, creep furtively through the deep shadow around the lawn’s edge to the summer house. Moving stealthily forward we could see the light of a torch in the summer house and there, true to their word we found the girls waiting for us.
They were in their sleeping bags when we arrived but I could hardly believe my eyes when in order to let us in Theresa got up and I saw she was wearing these short, more or less see-through ‘Baby Doll’ pyjamas. They had certainly tried to set the scene because there was beer that they had smuggled out of the house, cigarettes and, of all things, packets of Digestive biscuits. I’ve never been able to look at a digestive biscuit since without being transported back to that night.
Well after a drink and some cigarettes and amid a lot of giggling I got into Theresa’s sleeping bag where I discovered to my shock and delight that she had surreptitiously slipped out of her ‘baby dolls’.
I had never even seen a naked woman before apart from in the odd magazine, much less have one pressing herself against me. Well I was so innocent and really didn’t have a clue. A certain amount of kissing and general groping about took place but in the event it didn’t go any further.
Not so much because sexual athletics is a bit difficult in a sleeping bag but because between us we didn’t really know or perhaps were a bit afraid of the next move.
Quite what Jeremy and Helen achieved (if that’s the word) I couldn’t tell at the time although I discovered later it was also what you might call a ‘no-score draw’. I guess we just weren’t quite ready for group sex or perhaps all those deeply held taboos so firmly established by the church and school somehow managed to hold us in check. After all it wasn’t even the swinging sixties – quite.
Now for the anti-climax.
It was about half three in the morning when we left the girls and so just before four o’clock and with the first traces of dawn light streaking the sky I was back at my front door where to my horror I discovered that in my lust-fuelled haste I had come out without the door key. I couldn’t believe it.
At first I simply didn’t have a clue what to do then as I calmed down and started to think straight I realised there was a possible way in.
My room was the small one over the front door and I could see that the little top window was open, but the problem was how to reach it.
I reckoned that if I dragged the dustbin over to the door I should be able to climb up onto the porch and get from there to the window sill but I couldn’t at first see how I would be able to open the big side window and get in. I needed something that would enable me to reach in and down far enough to lift the lower catch.
I went into the outbuilding on the side of the house where I hoped to find something in Dad’s shed but it was locked so I just started to look around and eventually in the outside loo found what I hoped might do the trick. The lavatory brush had a loop of string on the end of the handle that I thought might just let me reach the catch by holding it upside down. Unfortunately this did mean I would have to hold it by the business end, the thought of which almost stopped me but then ‘needs must’.
Tucking the loo brush into my belt at the back of my trousers I half slid and half lifted the dustbin towards the front door and managed without much difficulty to get onto the porch and from there to the window-sill where I had to perch on my toes in a sort of squat position.
Hanging onto the window frame with my left hand I reached behind me with my right, and trying not to think about where it had been I grabbed the spiky well-worn brush and pulled it from my belt. Inserting it through the little window at the top I was in the process of trying to lasso the window latch with the string when the policeman spoke.
I clambered down desperately thinking how I might explain myself, not just to the policeman, but also to my parents.
“Look sir.” I said, “It isn’t what it looks like. I live here and I forgot my key. I really don’t want to wake my parents so can’t you just let me carry on.”
The copper was quite understanding really, but even I could see his difficulty.
“Look son. I probably do believe you but unless you can prove you live here we’re going to have to knock someone up to confirm it. What were you doing out at this time of night anyway” he asked.
“I just went out for a bike ride. I’ve never been out in the middle of the night before and the moon was so bright I thought it would be exciting.
“OK” he said. “Let’s get this over with.” And he rapped on the doorknocker.
Silence; and then the hall light came on and suddenly Dad was standing there in his dressing gown looking down at me through sleep-filled eyes.
“Brian? What the devil’s going on? What on earth have you been up to?”
“I’m sorry Dad. I forgot my key”
He was pretty irritated at the time but the following day both Mum and Dad admitted to seeing the funny side of the situation with me being caught on the windowsill. However, that was on the basis of me just going out for a moonlight bike ride. They never did know the real story.
Next time I'll tell the story about how my desperate desire for 'drainpipe' trousers went disastrously wrong. However , if in the meantime you'd like to read a bit more or perhaps even buy a copy here is the Amazon link :
It's available in Kindle or paperback and of course on Amazon you can even read a few pages by way of a sample.