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Freda Gregory - My Red Face

 
36

Freda Gregory
My Red Face

Freda remembers an embarrassing moment as a 15 year old and how she decided to go to night school to learn to read and write. An adult beginner reader.

Source: tape

Files:
My Red Face - Story.mp3 (1˙483˙127)
My Red Face - Introduction.mp3 (568˙214)
My Red Face A.mp3 (2˙878˙274)
My Red Face B.mp3 (11˙096˙397)
My Red Face.txt (2˙822)

Files A and B are original tape track. Files Story and Introduction are cut from side A. Side B is very, very, very, very slow.

Text:

My Red Face

Introduction
I was born in Manchester. I had a basic education while attending school. I never really got to grips with English. In later life, I decided to do something about this. I attended evening classes for English, achieving two MOCF* certificates. I have completed Stages 1 and 2 of Wordpower**. Hopefully, I will start studying for my GCSE English this year. I hope my book will encourage other students to write their own stories, and wish them well with their studies. It is never too late to learn.
Thank you to tutors, Chris Riley and Sharon Jackson, and to Gatehouse, for this opportunity, and to my husband for his support.
Freda Gregory
* Manchester Open College Federation
** City and Guilds Certificate

Story
In 1960 I started work as a trainee sewing machinist, making baby clothes. I was just 15 years old, very shy and blushed if anyone at work spoke to me.
I travelled by bus to and from work and found this very tiring for the first few weeks. After a month or so I started to get used to the travelling.
Work was great. I made a friend, and started to come out of my shell by talking to the older ladies I worked with. They were very helpful and friendly.
Although I liked my work I was always glad when 5 o'clock came. Work was finished and I was ready to go home.
One particular night, I was standing at the bus-stop wondering what my Mam had cooked for tea. It might be chops or my favourite meat and potato pie.
The bus came, and by this time there was quite a queue. I did, however, manage to get a seat. The bus filled up quickly leaving standing room only.
A couple of people were already standing, when I heard someone cough. I turned round, it was my Dad.
I looked at him and thought, "Oh, no, he's three sheets to the wind." In other words, drunk. I stood up and offered him my seat.
He said, "Hello Pop", that was my nickname. "You sit down, I'll stand up." "Stand-up," I thought, "He couldn't stand sideways."
I sat there and cringed with embarrassment as he swayed to and fro. As people were passing him to get off the bus, he made it difficult for them with his swaying backwards and forwards.
People were pushing into each other and there was a lot of tut-tuts. I sat there, red in the face, wondering what the passengers were thinking of my Dad. Come to that, what they were thinking about me, as it was obvious we were related.
He was unaware of what was going on around him. I couldn't wait to get off the bus. We got off the bus together, but I left my Dad and ran all the way home.
That bus journey I will never forget, although now I can laugh about it.
Sadly, my father died 19 years ago. Yes, he did have his faults, as we all do. Saying that, I did love him, and still miss him, especially, when I no longer hear him say, "Hello, Pop."



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