Adapt and Recover

"Adapt and Recover" which tells about two boys growing up in the 1970's in which was still known as the Ridges Estate. Michael and Lizzy Fox live in Oakwood Avenue they have friends who live across the road; Connie and Bob Harris. Both of their sons Roger and Ronnie play together and go to the same school. Infact they are inseparable. This story takes you through their childhood together and their desire to be Royal Marine Commandos after Lizzy, Rogers mother buys Roger an Action man toy for Christmas. As young boys they join the Army Cadets until they reach the age of eighteen where they sign up to take on the hardest training regime in the world. see the boys grow into men as they are sent to fight in the Gulf War in 1991. This is a story of friendship and comradery. one that will last a lifetime.

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ADAPT AND RECOVER

Sitting at his computer in his bedroom Roger Fox knew exactly what he wanted to write about. He’d been dreaming about it since his mother had bought him his first action man toy for Christmas. He wanted to be a Royal Marine Commando. He was now in his final year at North Tyneside College. He had taken sports science, along with four other subjects including English, history, Sociology, and psychology. If he passed it would certainly stand him in good stead when he went to enlist. Roger had been training his body since he was old enough to run. He got himself a job working for Alan Burn’s who ran a milk round when he was eleven on the Meadow Well Estate. It meant early mornings but the fifteen pounds a week that he got helped him buy the things he needed so he could train his body to perfection. He drank several pints of milk each day, ate fresh fruit, in fact, Roger ate everything that would build muscles. Roger stood six feet two inches tall and weighed eighty two point five kilos. He was used to keeping his hair short so that the sweat didn’t get into his eyes whilst training. Roger was handsome looking; his square jaw line and thick black eyebrows made him look like Sean Connery known for his role in many James Bond Movies. Known as Foxy to his mates he would be seen running everywhere he went. He ran round his milk round then onto school and then home again. Each evening he would get the weights out from his fathers shed and train with his mate Ronnie Harris who had gone to the same school as him. They both wanted to join up and Roger told him if they were to pass the fitness tests then they would have to be very fit.

He bought a Bull Worker from Tynemouth market and used it every day. Roger went up to Newcastle where he bought himself a pair of Army issue boots and his neighbour Alec Lowe taught him how to Bull them up to a high shine. It was hard work taking a tin a Cherry blossom black boot polish onto a cloth and then adding a little water then working his finger around and around in small circular movements.

This continued right around the boots until a high gloss was achieved.

He asked his mother to instruct him how to iron shirts and trousers so that he was fully conversant with washing and ironing his own clothes.

Roger was always immaculate when he went out anywhere with his friends.

He shaved and showered before leaving to work at the Formica factory which he hated. He worked in the treating bay where the smell of the adhesive they used made him feel sick. Roger had worked for various employers since leaving school. He had been a brickie’s labourer, worked at Barriers in Howdon putting up scaffolding but none of the jobs he did gave him job satisfaction. They were only a means to an end as far as he was concerned. When he returned from his shift he would sit and eat with his mother. Michael Fox his father was a heavy drinker. He had worked all his life in shipyards as a riveter.

In the early eighties under Margaret Thatcher’s Tory Government Swan Hunter went into liquidation and was sold off to private investors along with several other yards.

Michael found himself on the dole after twenty years. Like his son they offered him factory work. Michael lost his temper with them at the job centre when he told them that he was a tradesman not some factory labourer. The longer he was off work the harder it became to find it. He spent most of 

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