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 My Background:  -  The Boring Bit (!!??):
Steve J. McWilliam in 1998Born on 25th April 1950 I was immediately a big noise within the community! Being born 7 weeks premature I was red, incubated and cried incessantly, the latter being a 24 hour feature for the next 2 years. School began at the age of 4 in St.Theresa's in Norris Green, Liverpool, though memories are short except for being hit on the head by a thrown stone in the playground and dashing around the church splashing the holy water.

The following year we left my Nan's (Grandma's) house in Norris Green and moved to Maghull - out in the countryside as it was then. School was now Lambshear Lane Primary and it was here that my interests in natural history were expanded by being put in charge of the Nature Table in Mrs McMahon's class. This involved keeping the table's exhibits tidy and looking out for seasonal subjects to be included in the display. My major memory of this time was the class breeding through some Yellow-Tail Moth caterpillars. The caterpillars were great, but when the moths emerged the following year I can still remember the excitement and the wonder of the pure white silkiness of their wings and the amazingly hairy, bright yellow tuft at the end of their tails.

Horizons were further expanded by Mrs Ford, another primary school teacher, who was most interested in the doing of physical things. It was she who introduced us to dancing and rudimentary gymnastics such that we formed, and I joined, the school dancing troupe and the gymnastics team, both of which performed during various parents evenings and other functions. This provided my first opportunity to wear a kilt (for the dancing you understand) and to find out how cold P.E. benches can be without trousers on.

Other strong memories from this period include: my mum finding a blazer pocket full of snails; hauling trees along the roads of the housing estate for bonfire night (these had been cut down to make room for future housing areas); my mother going frantic because I was sitting in a field surrounded by bulls (I thought they were cows and, anyway, they were quiet and friendly with me!) - I refused to go in for my tea and she was too frightened to get me; going for long walks in the summer along the disused railway track; falling in the Leeds & Liverpool Canal; learning to ride a three-wheeler and then a bicycle; riding to Formby on a child's push-scooter and getting a ride home late in the evening in the back of a Morris Minor (scooter and all) from two little, old ladies; building dams in the local stream; being lonely on summer days as my sister had gone off to Southport with her friends and their parents; breaking a neighbours large front window (accidentally of course); the birth of my brother whom I pushed in his pram at breakneck speed around the school yard; and finally going to Grammar School following the 11-plus which occasioned many tears at the leaving of the primary school (from all the leaving pupils) and also from those children who did not get through and were going off to Secondary School.

Grammar school was a totally different kettle of fish (or do I mean can of worms!).

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