One of the most popular pre-Grove activity was "Knacker Drinking".
Being of the age where most of us looked too young to drink in the local watering hole
or even "The Neptune", we were forced to seek other means of obtaining alcoholic beverages
So if you were a spirits person, the most obvious off-licence was your parents liquor
cabinet. It was out with the empty Coke or lemonade bottle and it was a little bit
of this, a little bit of that repeating the actions until your bottle was full,
always being cautious not to take too much from the same bottle so as not get reefed by
the folks!. And for those who weren't of the liquor-cabinet persuasion and had a paper
round to subsidise the purchases, cans from the "Offy" (off-licence) were the order of
the day. So if you had an older brother who you could blackmail, maybe you walked in on
him choking his chicken or something. Anyway, if he could be persuaded to make the
necessary purchases on behalf of you and your mates, you were 'truckin'.But if he
threatened to beat you to a pulp if you told anyone about his wanking habits, you had to
look elsewhere for an obliging senior. Perhaps one of your pubically superior class mates
would get away with his fake I.D. and look after your alcoholic requirements. Once that
hurdle was overcome,you needed a venue for the consumption of your illegally acquired
substances. And one of the haunts of choice would be of course, St. Annes Park. Yes,
Location! Location! Location!. It had it's many advantages. It was close to the school,
so you didn't have far to walk,even if you couldn't!. The trees were a great shelter from
the rain and the Gardai! And taking a piss wasn't an issue (again, I can't talk from the
female perspective). For our motley crew it was either on the pitches across from the
Texaco garage or in the trees just down from the school on Sybil Hill. As time went on,
there was always somebody's parents slightly more open-minded on the issue of under-age
drinking than your own. Which is generally where most of the group ended up as the cold,
wet Wintery nights approached. I remember we used to head up to Shero's gaff or Mozz
Kirby's bedroom for a sing/scoop-along with anyone who was of a similar musical persuasion
to ourselves.Those were the days...Those WERE the days!