When i - True Stories, Memories & Events in the World of Clough
Amsterdam 1967

In the summer of 1967 our band the Ray Norman Combo were still resident at the Palace Hotel and Casino playing for dancing in the Casino Cabaret Room. During the cabaret most nights as it was our break we would walk across the car park to the Palace Lido where there was also a summer show to watch the various acts, the girls dancing group that year were from Amsterdam, and there were some real beauties.

As the season progressed Ray and myself made friends with a couple of the dance troup, Ray's girl was the lead dancer, Eileen, and my date, Elsa, had the less glamourous job as the costume girl, dressing and repairs. Ray and myself both got on really well with the girls and at the end of the season they invited us to visit them in Amsterdam at any time.

We never thought seriously that we would ever see them again, our plans after the season were to go on holiday to London, visit the clubs, see that sights etc. Anyway, after a couple of days in London we both decided that we didn't like the place all that much and certainly didn't want to waste any more of our holidays there.

On the spur of the moment we thought, ahh, Amsterdam, and had a flight booked within the hour to Schiphol airport, Ray had Eileen's contact details handy so it was arranged that she would meet us at the airport and we would stay at her mother's house in a village about 15 minutes drive to Amsterdam city centre. I had not met Elsa during the trip yet as she lived in the city, but it was arranged that we would all meet up the next day.

Eileen's mother's house was really lovely but quite small so the sleeping arrangements were that I would kip down on the settee in the lounge and Ray {lucky sod} would share Eileen's bedroom. This was my first experience in understanding how the Dutch were a good deal more open minded than parents would be in the Isle of Man. Ray had a clearer picture of this the following morning, he was in the bath with Eileen when her mother popped her head round the bathroom door and asked if Ray would like a cup of tea.

Amsterdam was a fabulous city and the girls gave us the full tour, canal boat out into the harbour, town centre, huge hurdy gurdy type machine with a man selling chips with mayonnaise, the walk by the canal with the ''ladies of the night'' sat in the shop windows offering their services, and a visit to a night club where the clientel all seemed to be smoking peculiar cigarettes, I have never smoked so they were of no interest to me.

Elsa invited me to her home, an apartment in the city to meet her parents, her mother was lovely and made me very welcome, but her father I think wasn't keen on his daughter going out with a musician, and even worse a bass player, he was sat in a darkened room watching football on the telly, his local team Ajax, he looked at me, grunted, and that was it, back to the Isle of Man.

Miss Georgia USA & The Dog's Home

A famous pub in Douglas was The Dog's Home, a truly great place for a night out, thinking about the Dog's Home has reminded me of this occasion in the late 1960's. Jimmy Maddocks and myself had rented a cottage in Glen Vine as some where to ''party'' with our girl friends after nights playing with the Ray Norman Combo at the casino. I had met this beautiful American girl {Carla Lane} who was staying on the island for the summer months, she was a previous USA ''Miss Georgia''.

We had a great couple of months and then she informed me that she was going back home, however, she wanted me to marry her and go back to the States with her, I was speechless at first, and then asked, what would I do in the states? her reply was, you wouldn't have to do anything, my parents have a huge house and a farm in Georgia, stunned, I then uttered the immortal words ''BUT I HAVE THE BAND'', and that was it really, Carla went back home alone.

Ten years later I was serving in our music shop in Victoria Street when Carla walked in, stunning, fur coat, diamonds, enough ice to sink the Titanic, but a little bit ''rounder'' than I had remembered her, but still beautiful. She was visiting the island with her husband and had popped in to see me, we went to the Dog's Home to reminisce and have a drink or two, lovely lady. 

Cliff Richard & The Settlers

One summer afternoon in the late 1960's Cliff Richard walked into our Island Music Centre shop in Strand Street, Douglas looking very relaxed and cool in his moccasins, and asked if we could let him have a P.A. System for the evening for a ''religious'' concert he was giving with The Settlers folk group at the Villa Marina in Douglas.

We had a portable W.E.M. system handy with a 200 watt amplifier, Shure microphone, and two speaker columns, so he said this would be fine. As it happened my mate Robin Kelly, who a few years later we were to start the Kelly Records recording studios together with, was the sound engineer at the Villa Marina at that time, Robin had to struggle with the outdated ''tannoy'' sound system in the Villa, he was annoyed that Cliff had nipped into town to hire a system but understood why.

We set up the equipment for Cliff and he was happy with it and it all sounded great, on the night I was hugely impressed with Cliff's obvious commitment to his religious beliefs, and that of the Settlers folk group, the night was a huge success. My impression of Cliff was that he was a genuinely nice person.

Jygsaw - Belle Vue Hotel - Pt Erin - The LP

It was the start of 1971 summer season at the Belle Vue Hotel in Port Erin and John Nelson and myself had written a couple of songs for the band to try out, and they went down very well, the songs were {Girl from San Marino & Summer Love }. 

The manager at the time, Mr Robertshaw, said he liked the two songs and why didn't we make a record that we could sell to the tourists during the season. Nellie, {John Nelson} myself, and the band thought, yes, good idea, a single 45rpm would be great. However, Mr Robertshaw was thinking LP, he could make more dosh out of that, so it was agreed that Nellie and myself would write more songs to fill the LP, and this all had to done, written, recorded, and published within a couple of weeks.  

So, to start I went home and wrote the lyrics for another 11 songs, then back to the Belle Vue with eleven sheets of paper which I gave to Nellie to put tunes to, and copies to our vocalist Dave Saunders, who had to learn the words. Over a period of just over a week the band rehearsed the songs and then into the studio to record them.

The ''studio'' however, wasn't a proper studio, just the back storeroom of Ray Norman's and myself's music shop, Island Music Centre, this was on Prospect Hill opposite the Isle of Man Bank.

The recording machine was a Grundig Reel to Reel home recorder with two speeds, we used the faster speed of 7.5 i.p.s. for hopefully a better sound, for mixing we used a small 4 channel mixer about the size of a kitchen toaster borrowed from our mate Robin Kelly at Hintons TV, and 4 cheap dp4 microphones we had bought at the local TV and electronics shop, T.H. Colebournes.

This meant that 1 microphone was for Dave Saunders for the lead vocal, and the other 3 mikes were spread around between the band. Anyway, we bashed on with the recording one Sunday afternoon and that was it, one Jygsaw LP, we were not completely happy with the results as it was all a bit rushed, we all thought that we could have done a little better.

Nelson & Clough {follow up thoughts to above}

People often ask me, why didn't Nellie and myself write anymore songs after the 13 songs on the Jygsaw LP, well, the short answer to that is, there is no short answer.

In the early rock days on the island Nellie was ''Phantoms'' and I was ''Suedettes'', we didn't really get to know each other until we met up in the Jygsaw at the Belle Vue in Pt Erin. I was always a fan of Nellie's guitar playing and really liked the instrumental numbers he had written when he was with the Phantoms, particularly ''Treasure Island'', a great tune.

Anyway, back to the Jygsaw. As mentioned in earlier posts Nellie and myself had experimented writing a couple of songs for the band, ''Girl from San Marino'' and Summer Love'' , Nellie wrote the tunes and I wrote the lyrics {with a little imput into the tunes}.

At the request of the manager of the Belle Vue we agreed to write another 11 songs so an L.P. could be produced to sell during the summer season, that was it, our song writing ''partnership'' lasted a total of 4 weeks at most, sad really.

For some reason we never got our heads together after that to write more songs, despite being friends for years, and sharing times in other groups, The Nelson Sound being my favourite of those. Even though we played together on a regular basis, due to other responsibilities, marriage, work, living in different parts of the island, etc. we never wrote another song together.

However, I never gave up writing songs, and over the years I have written dozens and dozens of them, I have boxes full of lyrics stored away and on my computer, most with tunes. The very first song I was involved in was with Ray Norman when we had the combo, Ray had written lyrics for a song, it was called ''Im A Dreamer'' , I put a tune to it {Latin American Style} and we played it at the Casino most nights in the summer of 1967.

After a bad motorway accident in 1985 I packed in playing and writing music, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. In 1987 I moved to Spain {Mallorca} and set up my frozen food business importing and selling Manx Ices, amongst other British produce.

One Sunday morning I went to a ''Car Boot Sale'' on a piece of waste ground near the town of San Agustin, this is where I lived. I spotted a Spanish guitar priced at 500 pesetas, about £2.50, so I bought it, I hadn't touched a guitar for two years, but as soon as I had played a few chords I was into it again, whatever it was that I had for two years that had stopped me playing was gone.

The first song I wrote sitting in my shop in San Agustin was for the Salvation Army, they had an office in San Agustin just down the road, the song was called ''Sally Ann'' .

Apart from Nellie I have also written songs with John Harrison {Suedettes & Phantoms}, when I was writing lyrics in the shop in San Agustin I would FAX them to John at the IOM Steam Packet Co. offices, John would stick tunes to them, we have a few really good songs that John has recorded in his attic studio in Onchan, very talented bloke John.

Hard Luck Story: I had a song accepted by a comedy duo who were starring in Blackpool {Les Dennis & Dustin Gee}, the song was called ''Two Friends'' and they had booked into a studio to record it, unfortunately Dustin died before the recording, very sad. Since then of course Les Dennis has become a household name on TV.

Anyway, thats it, I still strum my guitar everyday, and the latest song I wrote was in January 2019, so I am still at it when the mood or the inspiration clicks in, I still scan through the box loads I have though from time to time, occasionally editing and tweaking the odd lyric.

Villa Marina Gardens Room:

The Nelson Sound:

In the mid 70's The Nelson Sound, who's members at this time were, John Nelson-Guitar, Gary McDowell-Drums, Ken Jones-Vocal, Anne Smith-Vocal, Jimmy Maddocks - Keyboards, and myself on Bass, were booked by the local town councillor at the time {Dominic Delaney} to play in the Villa Marina Gardens Room for the summer season, mainly to play for dancing, but also as backing band for the Cabaret Star that had been booked for the season.

The cabaret star turn was a comedian from Liverpool named ''Al T Cosy'' , the opening night was a huge success and we all thought Al was the funniest man we had ever seen, the audience were rolling about laughing, he really was a talent.

The next night however we were all brought down to earth when Al turned up for the show as pissed as a coot, he could hardly stand up, and that was bad news for a stand up comedian. He was terrible and the packed audience were nearly silent, he went down like a lead balloon, we in the band were so embarrassed we didn't know where to look, anyway, thankfully he staggered off and left us to try and resurect the mood with a bit of rock n roll.

Unfortunately this night set the tone for the whole season, when Al turned up sober he was brilliant, when he was drunk it was a disaster, and we never knew what to expect each night, it was like Russian roulette and the season was a nightmare for all concerned. So much so that Dominic decided to close the Cabaret a week early and buggered off to Spain or somewhere on holiday, what he failed to realize and honour was that we had a musicians union contract stating our terms of payment for the season.

Dominic or the Gardens Room management still owe the band about £420.00 which we are still waiting to receive 40 years or so later. John Nelson and myself tried on many occasions to get the money owed but without any success, and the local Musicians Union were no help at all. Sadly, John Nelson and Ken Jones have both passed away so I have not taken the matter any further..

There were a few bright moments during the season, one was the ''Opportunity Knocks'' auditions with Hughie Green, this programme was big on UK TV at the time, we did our audition to cheers from the locals but Hughie wasn't impressed, he said it was a good band but nothing different, fair enough comment.

There was one very sad moment that has stuck in my mind though, regarding a young lad about 8 or 9 years old who played guitar. Hughie pointed out to his father in a very polite manner that his son's guitar was out of tune with the piano that was needed for accompaniment during the audition, unfortunately the father lost his rag with Hughie shouting that his son always played the guitar in that key and would not change it, Hughie had no choice but to cancel the young lads audition and the chance to show what he could do. Hughie was not to blame, he tried everything to make the dad understand that the guitar had to be in tune with the piano, but it was not to be.

Sound Engineer:

Gaiety Theatre:

Using the expertise for sound recording I had obtained working with Robin Kelly at ''Kelly Records'' I applied and was accepted by the Gaiety Theatre manager, Bob Wilkinson, for the post of sound engineer at the theatre.

This was at a time when the summer seasons in the IOM were still quite busy, and I had a fantastic time meeting and working with a fabulous range of artists and performers that were booked to appear.

My favourite memories are of Norman Wisdom, Roy Castle, and Des O'Connor, there were many more of course but these stick in my mind as being real gentlemen, no ''big star syndrome'' just genuinely nice people. I have a letter from Norman thanking me for my efforts.

Roy Castle had a very difficult time at the Gaiety as his young son at the time had fallen off a cliff and was seriously injured and in Nobles Hospital, but being an artist the show had to go on, it was heartbreaking for him but he would get on with it, each night at the start of his act he would give a short report on how his son was doing, and then get into his act. He was wonderful and thankfully his son eventually fully recovered.

The Douglas Carnival was on and the Gaiety had a float, the people on the float were myself on sound, with a Honda Generator to power the amplifier for the microphone, Roy Castle on Trumpet, with his drummer providing the beat, and a few of the Gaiety Dancers, great night..

Palace Lido:

There were good times to at the Palace Lido as sound engineer and part time DJ.

Floyd on Food:

The TV Chef, Keith Floyd, was giving a demonstration for the Isle of Man W.I. And the Lido was packed with ladies in Laura Ashley dresses and big hats. At one point Keith asked for someone to assist him on stage and there was a stampede

One lady was chosen and she happily took her place next to Kieth on stage with a huge smile on her face. Keith handed her a cucumber and asked her to finely slice it and put the slices on a plate, this she did for about 10 minutes while Keith continued with his cooking demonstration, finally he got back to her, picked up the plate of sliced cucumbers and threw it across the stage saying, ''I can't stand the bloody things'' The lady was not happy and quickly left the stage, apparently he had a cruel sense of humour and was a bit of a git..

The Junior Pugilist:

My job at the junior boxing tournament in the Lido was easy enough, I just had to switch the microphone on and off and raise it up and down for use of the referee to announce the various bouts.

The boxers were all young lads I think about 10 or 12 years old, one boy I remember before his fight started was moving around like Cassius Clay, practising all his punches and posing in great style, dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Unfortunately when the fight started he got one early punch on the nose and ran out of the ring crying, don't blame him, it's a tough sport.

The Grumbleweeds:

The Grumbleweeds were a fabulous musical comedy act that often used to perform in the Isle of Man at that time, they were based in Blackpool so it was handy for them. I forget their names but the bloke who looked liked Charlie Drake asked if he could use our recording studio in Douglas to make a demo of a song he had just written, we had a very funny couple of days and the song was called ''I'm Going Bald'' it was brilliant but I never heard anything more of it, and he did go bald..

Russ Abbott:

My friend in Blackpool owned several houses that he would rent out to artists, entertainers, etc.that were performing in the many summer venues in the town, David loved to mingle with these stars, and as a confirmed ''womanizer'' every so often he would mention his various ''conquests'', I think his biggest hit was one of the Nolan Sisters as this was who he would mention most often.

Anyway, he used to love introducing his friends to these various stars and he introduced me to the comedian Les Dennis, The Grumbleweeds, and a range of other artists, and most embarrassingly to Russ Abbott. It was 9am and Russ was relaxing in a small local cafe with his full English breakfast and his newspaper when David appears and thrusts my face forwards as a ''Record Producer'' from the Isle of Man, poor sod, Russ must have been thinking, Christ David, I'm trying to eat my breakfast, but he was friendly enough and very polite, nice bloke, I reckon he was used to the intrusions.    

October 21st 1985 - 1-15 pm {The M6 Car Crash}

A mild pleasant autumn day with the sun peeping through light hazy clouds as I drove south on the M6 motorway after visiting my daughters in Scotland for the weekend. I had swapped my Honda CRX sports car for a friend's mother's car in Blackpool, an Audi 100 saloon car, which I thought would be better for driving the kids around for the weekend in Scotland, more room in the back.

I had an appointment in Burnley for the afternoon but I was in no rush, just trundling along at around 70 mph enjoying the drive, as on long motorway journey's it is normal that you overtake a car and minutes later it overtakes you, and so on, this day it was a Ford Fiesta with a couple of old dears in the front, we must have passed and re-passed half a dozen times.

I had passed Lancaster and was in between Garstang and Preston on the top of a gentle slope, I could see about about a mile ahead and noticed at the bottom of the slope that there was a build up of traffic due to road works and a contra-flow system in place, this was on the southbound carriageway of the M6 between junctions 32 and 33.

I slowed down in the centre lane to around 10 mph and signalled to turn into the inner lane, the car now almost at a standstill, then there was a huge bang, I glanced in my mirror and saw the front of a coach bearing down on me, I thought, shit, this is it TC, I'm dead, however, at the last moment the coach veered to the left and as it hit my car it spun me round and I was now going backwards down the motorway, fast. At last after what seemed an eternity, but must have only been a few seconds the coach came to a halt, I was alive, but then I thought, for how long. The coach had come to a halt with the front offside wheel alongside my drivers door and there were huge flames coming from the coach wheel arch, also I could hear screaming from the coach passengers, I will never forget it.

Earlier, further up the motorway at Penrith I had picked up a hitch hiker, and because I had my briefcase and work papers on the front passenger seat he was sat in the back, with the flames coming up the side of my drivers door I wasn't sure what to do for a moment, I looked over my shoulder and the hitch hiker was scrambling out of the rear window of the car which had been blown out in the impact, quick as a flash I followed him, diving out of the window onto the motorway.

We both ran onto the grass verge and sat there watching the horror unfold, my car was now a burnt out shell, as was the coach, we didn't realize straight away that there were many dead on the coach, they were unable to escape in time.

The fire brigade arrived and soon had everything under control, there was a burning van that contained gas cylinders that were liable to explode, they put the van fire out and then created a ''pool of water'' by using tarpaulins to form a large bath, they then put the gas cylinders in the bath to cool down. We also noticed them throwing a tarpaulin over the remains of the Ford Escort that had shared our journey down the motorway, sadly, the two ''old dears'' had apparently panicked and not been able to release their seat belts and were killed.

I read later that the coach and 13 other vehicles were involved in the accident. Thirteen people were killed and 34 were injured, some seriously. Three of the fatalities were in the coach and 10 in the other vehicles. A family of four were in a car directly behind my car, the coach had crashed into their car crushing it, and then hit my car. At the inquest it was revealed that the driver of the coach had fallen asleep at the wheel and only woken up at the point of impact with the first car.

Has I mentioned earlier we were sat on the embankment, just sat there, stunned, shocked, about an hour later we were approached by a firefighter who said, hi lads, no sightseers. After we had explained that one of the burnt out cars was ours he immediately summoned an ambulance for us and we were taken to Lancaster Hospital. The drive to the hospital was itself scary, I will always remember the driver, he looked just like ''Blakey'' from the TV series On The Buses. He drove like a maniac at high speed and spent the journey time telling us his son was critical in hospital after a car crash, just what we wanted to hear, because of the motorway crash there were traffic jams everywhere, at one junction he drove straight over a grass roundabout, but he got us there safely.

At the hospital I telephoned the kids to tell them I was OK, it was all over the news and they were worried knowing I was on that road. Then I had to telephone my friend in Blackpool to tell him that his mother's Audi 100 was no more.

While I was waiting for my friend from Blackpool to pick me up I wandered out of the back of the hospital and was surprised to find a canal. The horror of the days events had started to get to me now and I was shaking like a leaf so I decided to walk along the canal tow path to try and calm down.

After I had gone a few yards I was approached by this friendly black labrador dog who clearly was looking for attention, I picked up a stone and threw it for him along the canal bank, he chased it and brought it back, this to-ing and fro-ing with the stone went on for about 15 minutes and then he ran off, by this time I had calmed down and felt much better, I have always been thankful to that dog for being there.

My friend arrived and drove me to his home in Blackpool for the night, the morning after I drove in my own car back up to Heysham to get the ferry back to the Isle of Man, I went the coastal route from Blackpool to Heysham though, I couldn't face the M6. It was only when I was on the ferry and had a copy of the Daily Express with the M6 accident as the main story, then I realized how lucky I had been, there was a photo of my burnt out car and the coach front page.

After Effects of the Crash:

At the time of the crash in 1985 the only apparent injuries I had received were the usual whiplash neck injuries that often occur when being in a car struck at speed, however, over the years it became clear that I had ongoing mental issues relating to the experience.

At intervals over the years, sometimes two or three years apart, I would just be going about my daily routine when out of the blue I would collapse into floods of tears, sometimes alone, and at other times when other people were present, the latest episode was as recent as 2016 at an Indian Restaurant in Altea in Spain, I was enjoying a night out with friends when the dark cloud descended, suddenly with no warning, much to their surprise I was in tears for a couple of minutes, I apologised to them and explained, they were very understanding and supportive, I am hoping that writing it down in this account will go some way to preventing it happening again.

Another strange episode was again to happen thirty years later. At the time of the crash I had a TV Business in Douglas, Isle of Man, and just previous to the crash I had supposedly agreed to supply 30 portable TV's to a hotel in Onchan, The Majestic Hotel.

Thirty years later I was out with a girl friend and we were discussing the owner of the Majestic Hotel, the girl said, Terry, the owner told me he was very dissapointed that you let him down and did not supply the TV's, I was shocked, taken back, I still have no memory of the event. All I remember is that I closed the business and moved to Spain.

The Video Shop:

After renting a couple of video films from T.H. Colebourns from their stock of a dozen or so, I thought, there has to be a better way of doing this, and so the idea of ''The Video Shop'' was born. I rented a shop premises on Prospect Hill, fitted it out with the correct video shelving and stocked it with hundreds of the latest movies, it went a bomb from the first day it opened and it was obvious that I would need help to run the place, I gave my mate Ray Norman a call and he agreed to assist with the project.

One of the first problems that we had was that about 50% of the customers joining the video club were using Betamax video machines as T.H. Colebourns were the main island agents for Betamax, and we were finding that when ordering video movies only about 25% of the available movies were on Betamax, 75% were on V.H.S. , and we thought that this situation was unfair to our Betamax clients.

Our solution was that we would copy the V.H.S. Movie Tapes on to Betamax, we had been told that most video shops in the UK were offering this service for Betamax customers, unfortunately it was illegal, breaking copyright laws, and the Betamax copies were classed as ''Pirate Videos''. One day a team of ''video inspectors'' arrived from the UK seized all our ''Pirate Movies'' and half a dozen ''Porno'' movies that Ray had stashed under the counter for special customers.

We were taken to court and fined £700.00 and the headlines in the IOM Examiner the next day read something like ''750 pornographic and pirate videos seized from Douglas shop''. We failed to mention in court that the Douglas Police were our best customers for the porn videos and had several on hire during the court case, no point in upsetting our ex school mates.

The Video Shop Dublin:

Ray Norman and myself decided to open a video business in Dublin at the request of a couple of Irish businessmen, there were three branches, one in Dublin city centre opposite the Halfpenny Bridge, another in Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre near the port, and another in an out of town housing estate called Finglas.

At first we would export the video movies from the IOM via air to Dublin airport, but the duty and purchase tax was ridiculous, nearly 30%, so it was decided to transport them from our suppliers in the UK to Belfast and drive them down and smuggle them across the border.

I was in our Dublin city office one day when this bloke appeared saying he wanted 10 copies of a V.H.S. Master tape he was carrying, I said , no problem and we agreed a price, when he had gone one the Irish lads said to me, do you know who that was Terry ?, I said no, why ? he said it was an IRA man. Apparently the tape contents were an IRA party political broadcast, they would pass them around the main bars in Dublin and at the time that the local TV channels broadcast the official election programme the barman would be asked kindly to play the video, I believe no one ever refused.

It was also suggested to our man in Dublin by the IRA man that when driving the tapes down from Belfast and over the border, it would be better to use a route where NO ONE would stop us or ask any questions, the instructions were easy. ''When leaving Newry on the Dublin Road and about 100 yards from the Customs Post, turn Left into Kelly's Road, drive another 100 yards to a school and turn Right, drive another 500 yards and turn Right again, after another 100 yards you are back on the main road, but across the border''

I duly arrived in Belfast one night on the ferry from Scotland and drove south around midnight, there was nothing else on the road as I approached the border I could see the customs post lit up like Blackpool illuminations, I followed instructions as given and never saw a sole, it did cross my mind though that my car headlights would be in view of the customs post as I was the only bloody car on the road and they could clearly see my every move, anyway, after that Ray and myself sold the Irish business, best let them get on with it in their own way.

Peter Kneale {Manx Radio}

Some years previous to Ray and myself getting involved in the Irish video project I had been dealing with a company in the Republic of Ireland that owned and ran ''Eamonn Andrews Studios'' and the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. In 1976 I had recorded the Mannin Folk LP ''King of the Sea'' using the studios in Dublin.

I was contacted by the director of the company asking if I had any contacts at Manx Radio, the Isle of Man's local radio station, in those days I pretty well knew everyone there but the main man was Peter Kneale.

I asked them what they wanted and they replied that they would like to talk about the possiblity of running the radio station on the Manx Government's behalf with the intention of increasing the broadcasting power of the station to compete with Radio Luxembourg. I put this to Peter and a trip to Dublin was arranged to discuss their idea in detail. I believe there were full discussions between the company, Peter, and the Manx Government, with at one point Eamonn Andrews involved, but the idea was not taken further.

Peter and myself were treated very well in Dublin, a trip to the Gaiety Theatre to see a show, and a very interesting tour around Ireland's premier radio station, RTE Radio Eireann. At this time they had just completed building their new studios outside the city centre in a green field site.

We were impressed, they had basicily just dug a huge hole in a field to house all the sound studios below ground level to avoid noise pollution, the surrounding soil acting as sound insulation, the main offices were situated at ground level.

They told us a couple of stories which could be Irish blarney, but had a ring of truth. When working in Dublin city centre in the old studios the radio station staff would supplement their wages by running unofficial betting shops, when the station moved inland they lost their city clients and could not survive on the radio station wages, so they left.

The other less likely story is that the management were trying to sack one of the staff but nobody wanted to tell him, so they waited until he went on holiday and moved his desk and phone out of the office, hoping that when he returned he got the hint and left. However, when he returned and noticed his stuff was gone, he just went to the storeroom and replaced everything and carried on as normal....

When i was a Taxi Driver:

On my return from Spain I was giving taxi driving a go and for the most part really enjoying it, I didn't often do nights though as the thought of late disco revellers spewing up in the car was not appealing. I liked early mornings through to about tea time. A coincidence though was that the ''taxi inspector'' who had put me through my knowledge test at his office at Strathallan Crescent, started school at the same school in Heywood in Lancashire as I had attended as a four year old. {Magdala Street School}, small world.

Best Ever Job:

It was a hell of a morning, gales, rain, mist and fog on high ground, a typical Manx summers day. I was called to collect a lady at a farmhouse in the hills way up past Strang at 11am, I struggled to find the house but eventually did arriving 10 minutes late. The lady got into the back seat, all hoity toity and posh, she was complaining that I was late and that she had to get to a hair appointment on Douglas prom, I apologized blaming the weather and that was that.

However, I recognised the lady instantly as someone I had known in the rock n roll days, but I said nowt, until she said, do I know you from somewhere? I said, Yes ! it's Terry, I used to shag you on the stairs of our music shop, suddenly the posh attitude disappeared and she was friendly again, just one of the gang, a classic moment.

I have had a few famous people in the cab, the olympic swimmer Sharron Davies and her husband, she couldn't get to Ronaldsway quick enough, she said get me off this bloody island, that's the polite version. Also Steven Fry, very polite, Sefton Hotel to the Nunnery grounds, he was making a movie with Julie Andrews. David Bowie and his personal assistant, again very polite a real gentleman, Castlemona Hotel to The Place in the Park for a meal and back.

Then there were the stuck up bastards from Bairings Bank, sat in the back of the taxi on the way to the airport boasting loudly about about how much money they had made that day, the twats asked me for a receipt so I signed it Nick Leeson, they didn't notice..

Mallorca - That Shirley Valentine Moment:

One of the more special feelings I have had in my life was a few weeks after moving to Spain to live. I was dropping some friends off at Palma de Mallorca airport and watching them go through check-in when it suddenly struck me, I wasn't getting on the plane, I wasn't leaving, I wasn't a tourist anymore, I was a resident in Mallorca, it really was a special moment realizing that I was at the start of a new adventure, a new way of life.

The past was still haunting me though, on the way out of the terminal building I bumped into John Bell, M.H.K. staggering towards a waiting taxi, it looked as if he had had a good sampling of the onboard flight facilities, he was friendly enough of course, he just seemed surprised to see me, maybe for a moment he thought he was back at Ronaldsway.

Mallorca: {The Balearics}

It was 1987 and I was now living and working in Mallorca importing various frozen foods from the UK, including Manx Ices. I had spent 6 months getting all the paperwork I needed from the Spanish Government to allow me to import British Food, all the licences were correct and in place.

Our first wagon load arrived from the UK for customs clearance in Barcelona containing 26 pallets of frozen sausages from Halls of Broxburn in Scotland and Mcintoshes sausages from Aberdeen, mostly destined for selected Thompson Hotels in the Balearics. However, on arrival at the customs we were informed that the paperwork was not correct, I was annoyed at this as we had been over everything with a fine toothed combe, dotting all the i's etc.

We contacted the suppliers and the meat marketing board in the UK by fax and they confirmed that everything was in order, the customs in Barcelona again refused entry so we contacted the head customs office in Madrid, the Madrid reply was ''Sorry we can't help the Barcelona office are a law unto themselves''

At this point our wagon driver had had enough, he got into the wagon and drove it out of the customs pound, and was arrested and thrown in Jail, 30 minutes later they released him and the wagon without a word and he continued his journey on the ferry to Mallorca.

At this time I was living with an English lady in the hills near Palma who had in her farmhouse two art gallerys, one with a permanent display and one that held monthly exhibitions by various artists. One of these artists was the Palma Chief of Police, Inspector Moreno.

One day I was explaining to the inspector the problems that I had with the customs people in Barcelona, he just laughed and said ''Terry Terry, you are doing it all wrong'' , he then went on to explain that the normal practise was to leave ''samples'' of the product at the rear of the wagon so when the customs opened the door there was some loose product on view, they then took a few ''samples'' away for their families, from then on we always had a few boxes of Sara Lee chocolate cakes on board, and never again had a single importing problem. A lesson that could be learned by our exporters today, when in Europe Act European.

The Electric Catholic

To those who have followed my various posts from time to time you may have noticed that I am basically ''non religious'', in fact, it wasn't until my first day at Ballakermeen school in Douglas when I was eleven years old that I was informed by our form teacher that I was a ''Protestant'' , I was brought up mainly by my grand parents and they had never mentioned anything, I do remember though at about six years old going to Sunday school at the Methodist Church in Onchan, I didn't like it so I never went again.

Anyway, fast forward to Mallorca in the late 1980's where I was now living and running an import food business. It was a wonderful place to live and I had settled into the ''Spanish'' way of life, working the Spanish hours, taking Siestas in the afternoons, and following the many ''Fiestas'' , and local holidays and customs, {when in Rome so to speak}

It soon became apparent to me that the Spanish Culture was very ''Catholic'', and the way of life and the fiestas were based around this religion, mixing with local Spanish {Mallorquin} friends I was hugely impressed by their dedication to their beliefs and the beauty of their parades and church services, I was completely at ease about this as I have always believed that everyone should be free to follow whatever religion or god that they feel helps them through everyday life.

However, there was one experience I will never forget that I had in the small town of Arta, a little inland from the resort and beaches of Can Picafort, near Port d'Alcudia.

One summer with the company of a girl friend from the Isle of Man we visited the famous and beautiful Church of ARTA, the church is situated in the town centre on the top of a hill, and there is a walkway of several hundred steps up to the church.

This was midsummer and it was quite hot, around 35C, but we climbed the steps and entered the church, it was cool in the church and very peaceful, I remember thinking that they certainly knew how to build churches, there was a calm and beautiful atmosphere, we noticed that there was an old lady lighting a candle, after she had lit the candle she sat on a bench praying, we quietly left.

Outside the church there were ''ramparts'' that you could walk round with fabulous views from Arta to the Mallorquin countryside and down to the Mediterranean a few miles away, also there was a lovely cooling sea breeze, it was a truly memorable experience.

However, a couple of years later I decided to retrace my footsteps to Arta, this time without the company of my ex Manx girl friend, I was feeling really down and thought that a visit to this wonderful place would somehow cheer me up, it didn't.

I entered the church and it was as calm and beautiful as I had remembered, except that the candles had been removed and replaced with ''Electric Candles'' , these burst into life and flickered when you put a 100 peseta coin in a slot, I couldn't believe it, they had turned one of the most beautiful places in the world into a penny arcade.

As I said at the start, I am not religious, but god only knows what the Catholic Church were thinking, no one in a million years would convince me that putting a coin in a slot can be as spiritually rewarding as lighting a candle, and I am sure that the little old lady, her family, and the locals, cannot be happy about such a crass decision.

The English Breakfast:

As a supplier of ''British Sausages'' to Thompson's Holidays for their 7 hotels in the Balearics, I was invited to one of their hotels in Mallorca at ''Can Picafort'' , this being across the bay from Alcudia in the north east of the Island. Thompsons had laid on a 3 day event which included courses for ''Spanish Chefs'' from their 7 hotels on how to prepare an ''English Breakfast'' , this consisted of Sausage, Egg, Bacon, and Tomato.

The chefs spent 2 days being taught by a chef from the UK, and on the last day of the course they had to serve the breakfast to the invited guests, simple enough you may think, but each item of the breakfast had to be individually priced so the total cost of the breakfast had to be no more than 50 pesetas, about 25 pence in those days, this was possible. 1 sausage, 1 fried egg, 2 slices of bacon, and 1 half of grilled tomato.

So we were all seated on the last morning waiting for the ''English Breakfast'' to arrive, it arrived served in great style by the waiters wanting to impress, however, the Thompson bosses went mad, the chefs had served up the English Breakfast as ordered, except for the inclusion on the plate of half a Kiwi Fruit, the chef thought it would improve the look of the meal, unfortunately the cost of half a Kiwi Fruit was 45 pesetas which doubled the cost of the breakfast, that's why Thompsons went mad. .

The Argentinian:

I had met a beautiful Argentinian lady in Palma, she was probably a couple of years older than me but stunning, she was a psychiatrist so I thought I could be in deep shit, she was divorced from her Italian husband though so the coast was clear. We had shared a few dinner dates and this particular night I had arranged to pick her up at her apartment in Palma at around 7-30, I arrived on time {of course, can't stand being late} and rang the doorbell, Marta opened the door and she was stood there in just the skimpiest of nightwear, I said, I thought we were going for dinner, and she said, ''first we make love, it gives me an appetite''. The sexiest thing a women has ever said to me.

Marta was from Buenos Aires and was from a wealthy family, her grandfather used to work for the Argentian president Juan Peron, as I understand not as a gangster, but an agriculturist, and agriculture has always and remains vitally important to the economy of Argentina. Marta lived in a big house with servants, the whole thing, unfortunately she was very short on doing the basics herself, hopeless at cooking, just about boil an egg, which may be a clue as to why her Italian husband divorced her, probably having a wife that can't cook is illegal in Italy. Also she could not iron clothes, hadn't a clue, all her clothes were very expensive non ironable types.

Marta went back to Buenos Aires on the death of her grandfather and I have not seen her since, I was tempted when living in the IOM again to visit Buenos Aires, but I never did get around to it, Marta told me it is a fabulous place to live.

Seve Ballesteros:

Marta and myself had decided to move away from the heat of the Mediterranean for a while, and I suggested that we try northern Spain on the Bay of Biscay. I was familiar with this area having travelled many times on the ferry from Plymouth to Santander, and Santander is a beautiful city. We managed to find a nice apartment about 5 minutes drive from town in an area called Sardinera, a little way down the estuary from Santander.

Marta had an Argentinian friend living and working in Santander as an accountant, and he had many contacts in the local community, and was a member of Seve Ballesteros's golf club in Pedrena, this was just across the estury opposite Santander. Marta's friend {name slips my mind} had tickets for a golf tournament in Pedrena, The USA verses Spain.

This took place the week after the British Open Championship and really was just friendly get together at the invitation of Seve. The USA team were Payne Stewart and Tom Watson, and representing Spain were Seve and Jose Maria Olazabal.

It wasn't like The Open of course, there were just a few hundred people at most following the golfers round, and lucky me was one of them. As a bit part golfer I was impressed seeing them so close up, and striking the ball so well, Tom Watson in particular was fantastic, however Spain won the contest. I read a few years later that the USA player Payne Stewart had been killed in a plane crash, very sad.

I do remember after this event had ended Marta and myself were invited to a local Argentinian restaurant in Pedrena by Marta's Argentinian accountant friend, the food and wine were excellent, definately the best steak I had ever tasted, and later in the evening after dark her friend took us out into the Santander estuary in a small boat to witness a fabulous firework display, all in all a very special day and evening.

Friends from the Isle of Man on Holiday in Mallorca:

Back to Palma Nova now in Mallorca where I was still busy with the frozen food business, apart from Thompson Hotels I used to supply many of the hotels on the island that had British clients, apparently the Spanish sausages use to explode in the ovens when cooked in mass so the British non bangers were preferred.

This gave me a lot of contacts with hotel owners which helped when I got a phone call from my friend in the IOM, Ken Daly. Ken was trying to get last minute accommodation for the whole family in Palma Nova, but being August everything was fully booked, anyway I said I would ask around the hotels and get back. I explained the problem to one of the hoteliers in Palma Nova with a very nice quality hotel on the beach, ideal for Ken and family, but Ken and the gang wanted three rooms, if possible next or close to each other.

I thought this was going to be impossible but the owner asked me how they were going to pay, I said American Express Gold Card, what he did next shocked me, he grabbed the bookings book and crossed out three British families and put Ken's name in their place, these were probably nice British families who had selected and booked their holiday months before. I asked the owner what would happen to them and he said they would be met at the airport, told they had been double booked, and transported to another hotel in a different part of Mallorca. I pressed the owner again about this and he said that generally British Holiday companies were poor and slow payers and the hotel would much rather have the money in their bank. Anyway, Ken and the gang had a great holiday, I never did mention at who's cost.

Ray Norman and myself had bought a small 2 bedroom apartment in San Agustin between us as somewhere to escape to after a long hard summer season at the Palace Hotel and Casino. It wasn't all plain sailing of course and we had one particular dissaster that was very embarrassing. Our solicitors in Douglas at the time were Kelly, Luft, Stanley, and Ashton, and we had mentioned that we had this apartment in Mallorca that they were welcome to rent.

Anyway, Barry Stanley took us up on the offer and flew off to Mallorca for their holidays, disaster, on arriving at the apartment they discovered that there had been a flood at the apartment above that had brought our ceiling downh, they were up to their knees in rubbish, nothing we could do from the IOM to help so they had to book into a hotel, I flew out a couple of weeks later to sort the place out, I think it was just after this event that Ray sold me his share in the apartment.

Just down the road from San Agustin is the area known as Cala Mayor, one day I was showing some friends around a very nice apartment block in this location looking for a particular flat, but couldn't find it, so I knocked on a door and the famous TT rider Geoff Duke opened it, I said Hi Geoff, as if I had known him all my life and asked if he knew the bloke we were looking for, I don't know who was more surprised. Following the Isle of Man TT from an early age I always have this picture of Geoff in my mind, zipping around Signpost Corner on his Norton {number 1} it was great to meet him.

A few years down the line I was to become a small shareholder in a British Nursing home in San Agustin, The Atalaya. We had ran the place a couple of years when our ''main man'' died of cancer, he was the doctor so we decided to sell the place, we were asking for around £700.000, one day the footballer Graeme Souness turned up wearing a flash white suit and carrying a briefcase, I think it was his solicitor or accountant that was with him, he opened the briefcase to show us CASH £450,000, unfortunately we couldn't sell for that price and no deal was done, that was all he was offering.

Talking of celebrity's Errol Flynn used to own a beach house in San Agustin in the old days when it was just a small fishing village, all that is left of the house now kept as a small monument, is probably about 20ft of circular wall, on this wall Eroll Flynn had a Gargoyle built as a water spout in the shape of a penis, guess where the water came out …

The Timeshare School for Scammers:

In 1997 I spent some time living in Tenerife {Los Cristanos} and had a job renting holiday apartments, this was OK and interesting work, however, I spotted an advert in the local paper saying ''Timeshare Sales People Required'' excellent salary, etc. etc. so I popped into their office in a hotel in Playa Las Americas to make enquiries.

They were holding the timeshare course in a large events room in the hotel, as this was only 10 minutes walk from our rental office in Los Cristianos and handy, I enrolled for the course. It was an eye opener for me, the methods that we were taught to encourage holiday makers to part with their money buying a timeshare property were horrendous, I stuck at the course for a couple of weeks but learning how to con O.A.P.s out of their life savings was not for me.

The main method for recruiting clients was that the ''Hotel Mafia'' would send out ''gangs'' of beautiful and sexilly dressed young women to hand out leaflets for ''Free Champagne'' ''Free Holidays'' etc.etc. The favourite day and time for this was Sunday mornings from 11am onwards.

The girls {agents} would then bring any clients they had snared back to the timeshare headquarters in the hotel, they would seat them at a table with comfortable chairs, free drinks provided, the girls {agents} would then receive their commission of 1000 pesetas in cash, about £5.00 in those days from ''The Boss'' and then leave the Timeshare Salesperson to introduce themselves and start the ''interrogation'' and sales patter. The girls would then head out again into Playa Las Americas to search for more punters.

As a ''student'' I had to attend the interrogation to observe how to process the clients, I was not allowed to say anything, except, good morning, I hope you are enjoying your holiday in Tenerife.

The particular couple who were being grilled at our table were in their sixties, they were bombarded by facts and figures showing them the advantages of buying a timeshare apartment, they could exchange their chosen holiday time to other destinations around the world for just a small fee payable to the company, etc. This went on for 3 hours and I could visibly see them wilting under the none stop pressure selling, they succumbed to the sales hype and decided they would buy a one week timeshare in Playa Las Americas for a couple of thousand pounds.

In those days credit cards and cash cards were not prevalent and the preferred method of payment was by cheque. The sales person then explained to the clients that they would have 7 days to consider their purchase and the cheque would not be cashed in that time, this was an absolute lie, at the end of each day all cheques received were placed in an envelope, handed to a courier who flew back to the UK with them the same evening, to be banked in the company's account the next day, in nearly all sales the cheques had cleared before clients had finished their holidays and gone home.

As I said, conning O.A.P.s out of their life savings was not for me, I went back to renting holiday accommodation {legally} I still do as a matter of fact through my website at:



The Suedettes Story
True Stories from The World of Clough
Terry Clough : The Early Years