I remember this day so clearly. I’d been on about having roller-skates for ages but Mom wasn’t happy. She told everyone I was ‘accident prone’ and she was right. I was forever falling down the stairs, falling off my bike. Once I even fell through a window. Luckily we lived close to the hospital and its casualty department.
Here’s the entry from my school diary about my Dad finally giving in and buying skates for me.
And it wasn’t long after this that Mom was proved right. I didn’t tell her the accident was caused due to me inventing the skateboard. She assumed I’d fallen off my skates (plural as there were two, one for each foot). I didn't tell her I'd fallen off one skate because I'd balanced a short piece of wood over the top of it and set off from the top of the steepest hill near home (also quite close to casualty) and expected to reach the bottom intact. I didn’t. I soared and then fell. Two black eyes and a broken nose.
Many years later someone decided to fix the flat wood to the skate-wheels and made a fortune.
The picture shows the shop counter. Note the large glass ash-tray, front left.