The Contract – 22nd January 1988

You attracted me with your charming smile
You attached yourself, if only for a while
You attacked me to try and make a pact
In fact, your impact held me to your contract
You took away my freedom but I gave you guilt
You turned me upside down and changed the way I felt
And now from this contract, you wish to resign
It’s not that easy you see cos you’ve got something of mine
The love I gave you will not save you
I cannot hate you but I will break you
And your contracts

Falklands Square – 15th January 1988

It’s summer down in Falklands Square
All the yob’s hanging out there
Sun hanging in a cloudless sky
Talking about the week gone by
Everyone a stranger ’til the weekend
Saturday afternoon and everyone’s a friend
And when the winter comes on down
They’ll still be there hanging around
Their faces sadder, their cheeks are red
Maybe wishing they hadn’t left their bed
But that spirit lives on in the square
Just waiting for summer to arrive there

8th Nov 2021 – It’s odd that the square is actually called Falkland Square without the pluralisation. The seats and island on the left in the picture was taken over by punks from Wareham, Bournemouth and far out in the sticks where I was too. It was an epic journey by local bus that only ran twice a day and you were fucked if you missed it. It was a long walk home and I don’t think I ever did miss the bus but there were occasions I chose to walk home instead. I had been coming to Poole most every Saturday since 1983 or 1984.

We had so much fun in this place, blasting Minor Threat to the bemused locals, (some) stealing anything not nailed down in the shops, hanging out at the Animal Rights stall, eating baked potatoes in the late afternoon when all the alcohol had run out, jumping, shouting a being a general nuisance. We never had any problem with the police though sometimes the shopping centre security guards would try to quiet us down.

In the picture, the shopping centre is called The Arndale Centre but around 1988 they changed the name to what was perceived as the more upmarket Dolphin Centre. Before Falklands Square was built all sorts of kids would hang around in groups looking over the balconies, waiting for friends to show up, shouting and screaming as kids would do. There would be groups of trendies with cute girls, Goths, also with cute girls, and then the mostly girl-free wanna be punks, as I might classify myself looking back. All the security guards ever did was ask us to move along and we would joke with them every time, shouting ‘move along’ before they even had the chance. Each group would scatter and reform at another part of the centre and so it went on. I think the security guards were happier once we had relocated outside to the Square.

The strangest memory I have of that time is when a messed up punk kid, who none of us knew, was stumbling around the ground floor without much coordination and looking completely lost. We watched him anxiously for a few minutes and were as horrified as the straights and regular shoppers when he decided to pull down his pants, squat and take a shit right there in the mall. We didn’t rush to help him. He was fucked!

Julie – 12th January 1988

I got your picture on my wall
I think maybe I should give you a call
I haven’t seen you for a year or two
I don’t know if I’d even recognise you
I know you just took me for a fool
But now we’re older and out of school
You’re someone I’d really like to see
I wonder if you’d even recognise me

5th Nov 2021 – It’s 1983/1984 – On my school bus was a girl called Annabel Frost and one day whilst looking out of my second-floor classroom I could see Annabel in her classroom on the ground floor in the building opposite. She was talking with this cute girl and I got their attention and from that point on I would regularly blow kisses out of the window whenever I would see her there. I found out her name – Julie Roberts but was somehow too shy to even have the courage to talk with her, let alone take it any further. The attached picture is a barely snuck shot in the playground one day. The days when no one wanted their picture taken!

Sometime in the following year (1985) Julie happened to be visiting Annabel in her village, which was one of our gang’s rotation of regular haunts and we got to hang out a bit in our wider circle of friends. I tried to lead her off, not for any nefarious activity but more to just talk alone and we did that in the local church doorway. I so desperately wanted to kiss her but was too shy to approach and also recognised the awkward position that that might put her in.

Anyway, she was quite interested in the fact that I had pierced my own nose twice and wanted hers pierced too. I told her I would do it and we arranged for her to come to my house in the days following. Oh my god! Julie Roberts would be alone with me in my bedroom! Better hide the stinky socks.

Again, I was so damn nervous and I couldn’t for the life of me understand if she was here just to get her nose pierced, how much she liked me or wanted to fumble around. I felt like I was acting like a gentleman by not initiating anything and leaving it for her to decide if there would be any making out.

Things were also frustrated a little by the fact that I spent part of the time with my tobacco-stained finger stuck up her nose and making her cry when trying to shove a sharp needle through. The needle wasn’t sharp enough, I wasn’t brave enough. She left in the end, both of us disappointed, one way or another.

And that was the last time I saw her! In 1988, her picture inspired this poem and, as I’m sure we all have similar pictures, left me wondering what might have been.