Judy goes back to Barfield.
Locksford/Barfield, Cheshire. 1963-64.
Tommy was surprised and worried by Judy's hostile response. “No, listen, Judy,” he said. “I’m sorry for being so abrupt, I really am. But you have to face up to the fact that people talk. Gossip spreads quickly in this small town and to some, it doesn’t matter if the gossip is true or not. You need to be aware of that. If Rachel has anything to do with it, it has already started. You are a dear friend to me, to everyone. I love you as a mate Judy; everyone I know loves you. I am so very sorry if I upset you.”
Judy turned her head away and looked out of the side window.“Look, Tommy. The baby is Kenny’s. The timing is right for Kenny, but it was much too early for that other man to be the dad. Not only that, after he went, he left me a present of a used rubber on the bedroom floor.” After a short pause, Judy gave a sniffle before continuing. “I wish I was dead.”
Tommy brought the van screeching to a halt. He grabbed Judy and pulled her towards him kissed her cheek and looked into her eyes. “Don’t you even dare to start thinking like that. You have a baby growing inside you. Kenny’s baby and that is a gift to cherish. It will all work out in the end, I’m sure of it. Kenny loves you, just give him time.”
Judy moved back over. You say everybody loves me, but I’m not so sure. What I am sure of is that everybody loves you, you are everyone's friend and I have never heard anyone speak a bad word against you. You are a special friend to me, Tommy. You are a rock and I love you for it.”
“Okay, that’s enough now or you’ll have me blubbering."
Judy laughed at the thought. "I don't think that's gonna happen," she said.
"Right, let's go to the petrol station for your money, and then we'll go to your Mum's at Barfield. I've often wondered, what happened to your Dad by the way?”
"He ran off with the milkwoman ten years ago."
"That's a novelty. But I'm sorry to hear that."
It was not long before Tommy’s van pulled up outside Judy’s house in Barfield.
“Do I look all right, Tommy? I don’t want them knowing I’m upset.”
“You look fine, pretty as ever.”
They got out of the van just as her brother Steve was leaving the house.
“Oh, having a royal visit are we then?” Steve said.
“Something like that," Judy said. "Where are you off to?”
“Football down at The Swan. I’m a bit late so I gotta go but will you still be here when I get back?”
Steve looked at Tommy. “How are you doing, Tommy?”
“Fine thanks, Steve. Yourself?”
“Yeah! What are you Ken and Judy’s chauffeur now?”
“Sort of, I was coming this way anyway and Kenny’s gone off to Liverpool.”
Steve walked off and Judy smiled at Tommy. “Thanks for not saying anything,” she said.
Tommy gave a laugh. “I’ll leave that to you.” They unloaded Judy’s bags into the passage. “Well, that’s it then. Let’s hope I get to see you soon.” Tommy went to the van and got a pen and pad. He wrote a telephone number down and gave it to Judy. “That’s the number to the foreman’s office at the locomotive depot. You probably won’t get me there but you can leave a message. If you need me just call and I’ll come over. If there’s a problem or even if you just need a shoulder then call the number.”
“Thank's Tommy, I really appreciate that.”
“Judy!” her mother called from the doorway. “What’s going on?”
“Give me a minute, Mum, I’ll be in, in a minute.” Her mother went back inside. “Well, better go and face the music.” She gave Tommy a tight hug and kissed his cheek. “Thanks for everything.” She smiled, walked off, and went inside.
* * * * *
After the football, Judy’s brother, Steve was drinking in the Black Swan with a few of his friends. A stranger in the bar looked over as Steve laughed loudly at one of his pal's remarks. Steve saw the young stranger looking at him and shouted across. “What are you looking at?”
“Nothing mate, I didn’t mean nothing.”
Steve walked over to him. “I’m not your fucking mate. I've seen you in here a couple of times, haven’t I? Think you’re a tough guy don’t ya?”
“No, I only came in for a drink, not a fight.”
“Fight, you want to fight me do you?”
One of Steve’s mates came over. “Leave it, Steve.”
“Shut up you.” He turned back to the stranger. “Let’s go out to the car park and sort this out.”
“I don’t want no trouble. I’ll just leave and go home.”
Steve pushed him. “Go on then, you coward. Piss off out of here.”
The man left his drink and walked out but Steve followed him outside. “Still think you’re a tough guy?”
“I’m not a tough guy. I don’t want a fight.”
As the man turned to walk away Steve hit him with a savage blow to the side of his head, immediately flooring the man. He jumped down on him and grabbed him by the throat to hit him three more times before his friends pulled him off. They coaxed Steve back into the bar while a couple of them helped the man up and helped him on his way from the car park.
One of Steve's friends spoke up when he came back in. “There was no need for that, Steve, his face is swollen up and he’s covered in blood.”
“Shut up you pansy or you’ll get some as well.”
* * * * *
Months passed and one Saturday Judy walked into the Ring O’Bells. She was blooming and her baby bump was showing through her frock. Kenny was sitting with Tommy and Badger and there were a few more of their friends in there. Kenny completely ignored her but Tommy gave her a smile and she sat next to him. Judy looked past Tommy. “Kenny, why won’t you answer my letters, why won’t you talk to me?”
Kenny acted as if he hadn't heard her, as if she wasn’t there. “Fancy going up the snooker club lads?”
She realised that there were too many people there and she felt they were all judging her. The last thing she wanted was to make a scene or make a fool of herself. “I can’t go on like this, Kenny.” She walked to the jukebox and put a Cliff Richard record on. She looked back but Kenny was looking away. Tommy was looking over, she felt the teardrops forming in her eyes and knew she had to leave. After the musical introduction to the song Judy turned and walked out.
All day, I’m walking in a dream, I think about you constantly.
Just like an ever-flowing stream, your memory haunts me constantly.
Tommy got up. “You getting the beers in, Tommy lad?” Kenny said.
“No, I’m going to see if Judy’s all right. That’s okay, isn’t it?”
“Do what you like.”
Tommy got in his van and caught Judy up. “Come on, get in, I’ll drop you at the bus terminus.”
Judy got in without argument. “Don’t take me to the terminus; drop me at the cosmetic factory.”
“There’s someone there that I want to see.”
“You’re not going there for a row, are you?”
“No, there’s someone in there who’s ruined my life. I’m gonna smash her all round that factory.”
“Yeah, and you’ll get yourself arrested.”
“Well, I do."
“She set me up, Tommy. She got me drunk and let that bastard take advantage and have sex with me while I was out of it. I don't know what to do, Tommy, Kenny won't even talk to me. What can I do?"
“I don't know, Judy, but I know what you can't do. You are in no condition for brawling.”
Judy looked across at him and gave a big sigh. “Maybe you’re right. Perhaps I should wait.”
“Right, and stop upsetting yourself because you're upsetting me as well. Just think of the baby.”
“I think of him all the time. And I am gonna love the baby to bits because I know it’s Kenny's.”
“That’s better. That’s the Judy I know and love. I’ll drive you home.”
“You don’t have to do that, Tommy.”
“I know, but I want to.”
It was an hour and a half when Tommy got back to the bar. Kenny and Badger were the only ones still in there. Tommy looked at Kenny. “You really should speak to her.”
“Speak to who?”
“You know who. Let’s stop being silly.”
Kenny glared at him. “Leave it, Tommy!”
Tommy thought that with the absence of the usual and friendly “lad” after “Tommy”, it might be best to take a step back. “I’ll get the beers in,” he said.
* * * * *
That night in the Kings Arms young Brian Conway was celebrating his sister’s forthcoming wedding. He had been in the youth club most of the night but someone had suggested going into the local bar.
By a stroke of bad luck, it was not long after when Sergeant Lovell of the local police walked in to check on underage drinkers.
Brian was shocked to see him, knowing he was a good friend of his father’s at the British Legion club.
“I’m only drinking lemonade.”
“Brian, I saw you with a pint of beer in your hand. Come outside a minute. The rest of you better be over 18 because I’m coming back.” A few of the crowd immediately shuffled out through the back exit.
“The sergeant went outside and looked at Brian while shaking his head. “I thought you had more sense, Brian. What would your father say if a court summons came through the door for him as well as for you.”
“He wouldn’t be happy.”
“No, Brian, he wouldn’t. Because your dad is a good friend of mine, I'll let you go with a warning. But, if I ever catch you again, you and your dad will be up in court. Do you understand?”
“Yeah,” Brian said. “I was only celebrating Linda’s wedding.”
“Your sister’s wedding is not until next Saturday and even then that’s not a good excuse for stupidity. Now get off home.”
“You won’t tell my dad will you?”
“I might do, away you go. And remember, if there is a next time you won’t be so lucky.”
Brian heeded the warning and reverted to spending time at the youth club and the coffee bar.
The wedding of his sister Linda to her fiance Bob went ahead and despite the sergeant being a guest, Brian managed to sneak a couple of bottles of beer.
It was only three months later when the happy couple were moving into a private rented terraced house in Barfield. Linda soon became friends with Judy, an unmarried mother, who lived alone with her little boy.