|Armed and ready for action|
There he stands (above), Scott Tracy, pilot of TB1 from Thunderbirds, as manufactured by Matchbox Toys in the early '90s. There was a lot of Thunderbirds merchandise around then (and I think I bought an example of most, if not all of it), due to the show then enjoying its first national (as in simultaneous) broadcast across the country by the BBC since its original independent regional airings on different days at different times (depending on where you lived) back in the '60s.
And now a slightly embarrassing admission. I'm sometimes in the habit of taking a small toy with me whenever I go for a walk around a former neighbourhood with which I associate the item. It might be a replacement for an original toy I had when I lived there (it's my way of 'reconnecting' the item with the place), or it might be a contemporary retro toy that didn't exist until years after I flitted, but is based on and represents a TV show from the period of when I yet resided in the area. Thunderbirds obviously fits those criteria.
Which is why, one pleasant evening in or around the mid '90s, Scott accompanied me and my dog Zara along to where I'd lived between 1965 and '72. I wandered around the deserted playground of my 2nd primary school in order to relive the time when I frequented said playground in the innocent, carefree days of my childhood. At 4 or 5 points around the school grounds there had once been wire mesh litter bins which detached from the metal frames they clipped on to; now only the frames remained, though they were eventually removed a relatively few short years later.
Taking the Scott figure from my pocket, I carefully placed him atop one of the frames so I could drink in the surrounding sights and imagine the figure as belonging to the era and area of my boyhood. However, a slight gust of wind blew Scott from atop his perch and he landed head first on the tarmacadamed ground, leaving a very slight, practically imperceptible mark on the trim of the rear point of his hat.
Normally such a thing would have appalled me, and prompted me to attempt applying some remedial administrations to disguise any 'damage' (or buy a pristine replacement), and I certainly considered it. However, as stated, the faint scuff was almost invisible unless examined under a loupe and was therefore scarcely worth the effort of any restoration by me. I could always do it later, I thought, if it ever began to irk me.
I'm glad now that I didn't, for the following reasons. The school was demolished in 2014 and houses and bungalows built on the site. (A new educational edifice was first erected on nearby football pitches within the rather expansive grounds.) Nowadays, whenever I look at my Scott Tracy toy (and the scuff on his hat), I'm reminded of a vanished era when my old primary was still standing, and also just about everything else from that particular period of my childhood. (One memory leads to another, you see.)
Isn't it amazing that, as an adult, simply standing a toy figure on top of a frame for a litter bin which existed when I was a boy, can connect me to an earlier point in time when my former neighbourhood was still as it had been and not what it has since become? Well, I think so anyway. If you can relate to that in any way, feel free to comment.
|In this old photo from around 1984, the bin can be|
seen in the bottom left-hand side of the picture