chapter  10
Pages 8

You are not allowed to bring in shampoo, soap, etc. as you have to buy it from Risley. We were given prison clothes and a meal consisting of cold beans, one sausage and some potatoes, and then shoved into the sweatbox for half an hour whilst they tried to fix us up with a pad. We were told it was full today and some of the new inmates might have to sleep over the hospital complex. Dave was sent to A Block and Gary to the young prisoner’s section. The rest of us were put in B Block. Me and Ray were put in a recently painted cell and found that there was no freshwater jug, or bucket for overnight use. We made our beds and sat talking about the strike, etc. and then went to sleep when the lights were turned off at 10pm to the sound of chirping crickets. Saturday 25 August Woken up about 8am by the wardens and go to have a wash. Me and Ray have to lend some soap off Mick as our canteen order hasn’t arrived yet. The fly-infested toilets are crowded with inmates all trying to get a wash and trying to empty the slops. The stench is enough to make you throw up and there never seem to be any disinfectant available. It’s a wonder there are no fatal diseases floating about. After our wash we go to fetch our breakfast which has got to be seen to be believed. It consisted of half of a tomato and a piece of bacon (or was it fat) about two inches in diameter. I refused the porridge which looked like wallpaper paste (some of the lads use it to stick up pictures in their pads). We were then locked up for a couple of hours so after discussing what to do we decided to go to sleep as there is nothing else to do. We then went to exercise for an hour which consists of walking round in circles in a yard which stinks of urine. We talked to a couple of the inmates who said we hadn’t ought to be in here. The majority of them are behind the miners and encouraged us to keep it up and don’t let them get us down. We are locked up for the rest of the day so the hour exercise is the highlight of the day. We go back to the cell and go to sleep. I am woken up as I’ve got a visitor. It’s my girlfriend, Dawn. We have to talk through a sheet of plate glass and have to virtually shout to hear one another. It’s nice to get a visit in this hell hole as it gets you out of the cell for at least half an hour. Ray also gets a visit from his brother and sister which gives him a lift. They tried to find out if it was all right to visit Ray by phoning Stoke. The police were their usually helpful selves and told them to phone the operator before they would look it up in their books. We fetched lunch next which consisted of a piece of fish, a few roast potatoes, spoon of peas. And a lump of rice pudding and a cup of pea and gristle (ham) soup, which has done amazing things

to my digestive system. This was given to us before we had visitors. We had salad for tea which consisted of: one piece of lettuce, one tomato, two pieces of cucumber, one piece of luncheon meat, one spring onion (uncut and unwashed), one piece of rancid cheese, and a cup of tea (which contains sugar). You either have sugar in your tea or you get no tea at all. It’s a good job the visitors bring food in else I will be able to crawl under a snake with a hat on before the end of the week. Ray’s visitors brought him a chocolate cake which we’ll have tomorrow for his birthday. It’s slightly worse for wear after being opened and searched for strange filling, objects, etc. We are now sitting here waiting to be let out to go toilet. We can’t decide whether to go up the noggins head for a drink or to the local disco, after a discussion we decided to stay in and read instead. Ray’s birthday Woken up to the sound of banging doors and jangling keys. Ray got out of his bed and went to have a wash in the flypit (washroom cum toilets) closely followed by me. On entering the washroom, I thought the tide had come in. The flypit was three inches deep in water, whilst having a crap and watching the inmates over the small door of the toilet, I was hit by an incoming wave of dirty water, which proceeded to fill up my shoes and soak my trousers which were around my ankles. On entering my pad, Ray was uttering obscenities and saying that he wished whoever has swiped his ‘snout’ would catch cancer and die choking. Somebody had entered our pad and pinched his V20Z of tobacco. A nice start to his birthday. Billy came in and told us a few things about his cell mate. We then went down for breakfast which was: one sausage (half cooked) and rounds of bread, one cup of tea (bromide?). We are then locked up till chapel which me and Ray declined to go to. A lot of lads go to chapel to get out of their pads. The pad is opened and we go to Mick’s pad for a chat and hear a rumour that some of the inmates are to be moved to Strangeways. Some of them aren’t very pleased to hear this and talk of barricading themselves in their pads before they would go there. Dinner is called so we ask a warden to open our pad (which we locked after the last experience). On coming out he starts singing ‘Only you’ and saying ‘fancy having a record at No.l and then ending up in here.’ I decided he’s just a pisstaking bastard and ignore him. Dinner was the usual ‘Cordon Bleu’: cabbage, slice of gone-off ham and coconut pudding with custard, a cup of funny tasting orange. I was enjoying the pudding and custard until I found some big chunks of yellow unmixed custard. Me and Ray decide to have a party tonight for his birthday and eat his cake and drink

the can of lager which me beloved brought in for me yesterday. We also discussed getting pissed on the winegum that he has got, maybe have a couple of rum ones and a port one to top them off. At about half one we go for association and have to sit there for two hours bored to our craniums. We get to read today’s newspaper, even if it is a Tory rag. That must have been today’s highlight of the day. Went down to fetch my can of lager which is dutifully poured into my plastic mug. Just in case I slash my wrists with the empty can. I get to my pad and share it out with Mick, Ray, Willy, Antony, about two sips each. After we get tea which was beef?, chips and carrots also, lo and behold, we got a lump of orange stuff which I was told was melon (actually it was quite nice) and declined to have tea and instead had lemon crush. Ray’s been rolling his own fags for over a week now and they still look like pieces of rag hanging out of his mouth. After a couple of hours’ sleep it’s slopping out time so I wash my hair in expensive shampoo (Head and Shoulders which cost a fortune in here), after that we are locked up for the rest of the night. Me and Ray decided to have a feast and get stuck into two harvest crunch bars and a bar of original nutty crunch. I think Dawn has decided I should become a health food nut. It says on the nutty crunch bar that it is low on cholesterol, so if we survive the food in this place we aren’t likely to die of a heart attack. Had some shortcake with currants in and a cup of tea for supper.