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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could both strip the rifle down clean it and put it back together in less than fifteen minutes. Both Ronnie and Roger were excellent shots they missed nothing.

They brought home the odd rabbit or hare from the fields up the railway lines once used to carry coal around the country the lines were now no longer used and another rail link was being used to carry the mail around the country. Even at a young age Roger could see the decay of industry setting in and vast unemployment became a reality. One in every four people was unemployed now and teenagers roamed the streets of the now called Meadow Well. A local councillor in his infinite wisdom had decided to change the name of the Ridges Estate to the name of another Neighbouring farm. He thought by changing the names of every street and re-modernising the houses it would obliterate the stigma that had been placed amongst its people. He was wrong. The community lost their identity and with it their spirit. New breeds of kids were coming. The shell suited teenagers with baseball caps and expensive training shoes roamed around the estate on BMX bikes. Their anti- social behaviour became common place. They stole cars and sped around the estate in them looking for a chase off the coppers. The smell of burning rubber filled the air as the tyres burned on the ground when the engines revved up. Places became no-go areas. Even girl gangs roamed the streets too looking for trouble.

Many older residents tried to rally round and address the problems of burglary and anti-social behaviour. A community centre was built at the bottom of what was Laburnham Avenue. Many shops had been ram raided on the estate and looted.

Gangs of teenagers stole cars then drove right through the shop windows; they took what ever they could get their hands on and then ran away.

Speed humps in the roads and concrete posts were introduced to stop cars driving through the shops. Many shops now had metal shutters installed in an attempt to save their business. There was graphetti sprayed all over them and it made the place look like a ghetto. Rubbish mounted the streets because bin men were being pelted with rocks. Even the emergency services were under attack. Firemen were being sent hoax calls and ambulance drivers assaulted as they went about their work. Even the doctors who called in for home visits had to be escorted by a policeman. Drugs were now being sold freely on the streets by unscrupulous dealers who used school kids to peddle their gear.

Roger and Ronnie’s parents fought a bitter battle every day to stop their kids from being sucked into a world that they didn’t like. Lizzy joined the community group along with Ronnie’s mother Connie and her husband Bob. They held monthly meetings with police and local councillors to try to rejuvenate the estate. The main problem was unemployment; now there was one in every three people out of work.

 Kids played truant and their parents were at a loss to control them. The government under Margaret Thatcher introduced the ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order) where if a child was seen in a certain area and was arrested the ASBO was slapped upon them. They were not allowed to go within a mile radius of that place but all it did was move the problem onto someone else’s doorstep. Gone were the days when you could leave your front door open during the day. The elderly were afraid to go out at night in case they were attacked and robbed. The once close knit community was gone and neighbour fought against neighbour. In 1983 the government introduced the YTS scheme (Youth 

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