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|Bitterne Parker: Paul Jenks|
|Sunday, 05 October 2014 00:00|
The Qs & the As
What’s your link with Bitterne Park?
I was brought up in Dimond Road and went to the local schools.
What’s your earliest memory of the area?
I just about remember going up to the derelict brickfields where the new school was being built to play Pug Sticks, long whippy sticks used to hurl lumps of clay long distances, ideally onto the back of your friend’s head. I also remember the deafening noise of the BAC 1-11 airplane as it flew past.
How could the area be better?
Because we are the “wrong” side of the river people tell me that traffic into town can be bad. Not sure anything could be done about it and in any case I don’t notice because I am normally on a Bicycle.
Oh and whilst we’re on bikes could we flatten out Bond Road?
Tell us something we probably didn’t know already about Bitterne Park
At full moon about 10% of the local population turn into werewolves but everyone is very nice about it (this being Bitterne Park) and there is rarely any trouble.
Anything else you can learn by tracking down a copy of the excellent “the story of Bitterne Park” by John Edgar Mann. Rare as hen’s teeth now but sometimes comes up on Abe Books or Ebay.
What’s good about the wider city?
The proximity to the Forest along with good restaurants, theatres and the often overlooked art gallery.
‘For most people in Southampton in their 20s, buying a home is a pipe dream.’
Southampton: points for improvement?
More affordable homes, both for rent and sale.
What’s your passion in life?
Housing. I spend my time trying improve the poor quality homes that too many people live in, and getting more homes for rent built. For most people in Southampton in their 20s (even those in full time work) buying a home is a pipe dream.
How do you put bread on your table?
Badly. I have had some great jobs over the years which have given, and continue to give, a lot of satisfaction but I’ve never been very good at finding well-paid ones.
What has your career taught you?
The person shouting at you the loudest is not the one who needs your help.
What really gets your goat?
Nimbys and bigots.
How do you relax?
Reading and films, but mostly in a pub.
What’s your favourite dish?
I love lots of different things: Asian; Spanish; but if I had to pick, I’d say a roast dinner. Chicken usually.
Which is your favourite pub?
The Butcher’s Hook is a great addition to the area; the fantastic range of beer in the Guide Dog is often a draw, and the South Western is always worth a look. But my local, the pub I always think of first is The Junction Inn St Denys. A proper local.
What are you drinking?
Perridge Pale from the Flowerpots brewery. Dry, hoppy and the sort of strength that means you can have a few. A desert island beer.
What do you listen to?
I am not a great fan of country & western, although even then there are exceptions. Pretty much everything else will find a place in my music collection.
Can you recommend a really good read?
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. A gently sarcastic classic.
What’s a great day out?
Watching a rugby game in Wales. For reasons it would take too long to explain I am a Welsh rugby fan.
What scares you?
The rise of the far right pretending to be democratic, claiming they are being “victimised” for their views.
Tell us a secret
As a teenager I climbed the clock tower and was taught some new words by the policeman who was standing at the bottom. I also ran a holiday company in southern France called St Tropez Singles. It was every bit as bad as it sounds.
Tell us a joke
We’re all in it together.
Finally, what would be another great question for other Bitterne Parkers?
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
Thanks so much for taking part!
Tune in next time when another Bitterne Parker answers our searching questions. But before then, do you know a Bitterne Parker we really should feature? If so, please nominate them by emailing us using the contact form, and we'll do our best. No promises, mind.
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