Friday’s Child - Martin Bradley

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This week’s Friday’s Child is Derry teacher Martin Bradley who has recently retired from Thornhill College.

How would you describe yourself?

A hard working but very lucky person who, despite not having any really plan for my life, ended up with a great family, a job I loved and the chance to enjoy my retirement when I have my health.

Happiest childhood memory?

Christmas in the late fifties, sitting round the fire with the family listening to Harry Belafonte sing “Mary’s Boy Child” on our old and very big valve wireless as we drank lemonade and ate Christmas cake.

What was your first job?

Selling spuds and vegetables round Derry from a van owned and driven by Jim Harkin. We knocked on doors around the bog, Creggan, even Springtown Camp. pay was 15 shillings (75p) , happy days. My first real job was in Dupont, where I worked as a lab technician for 9 years.

Favourite book?

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

Favourite film?

“The Searchers”. classic bit of film making from John Ford and John Wayne’s finest performance.

Favourite TV programme?

I haven’t got one as I don’t watch TV. I gave up on it a long time ago and never feel the need to turn it on as I much prefer the radio.

Favourite method of relaxation?

Toss up between going to the cinema to walking round the two bridges. I used to run it but am now restricted to walking as my right knee has given up the ghost.

Who would you most like to meet?

I would have loved to have met and talked to Neil Armstrong.

What makes you angry?

The amount of time, effort and money that is spent and mostly wasted on the over the top event that weddings have become today.

What makes you happy?

The noise and excitement generated by a full house at the Brandywell when Derry score a late winner.

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

Probably having to write this because of the slagging I might get, although the day I was playing in goal for Ivy Swifts and I let a forty yard back pass slip under my foot and into the net must rank up there with the worst of them.

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

Probably losing my right eye in an accident in 1971, although I don’t think it hindered me in any way, as my life and career worked out very well. it does make reversing the car very stressful at times though.

What is your greatest fear?

That I will end up alone and doubly incontinent because modern medicine won’t allow me to drift quietly into the night.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

Christmas night 1968 when I met Attracta Simms at the Stardust. a close second would be getting the job in Thornhill College in 1981.

If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

Depending on how much I won, I would keep a million and give the rest to Attracta as her greatest wish is to win the lotto and give it all away to make everybody she knows happy and secure for the rest of their lives.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

A backbone for all our politicians so that they would have the courage to tackle the difficult things such as creating jobs, looking after the elderly, the sick and the young, building the infastructure we need and deserve etc instead of posturing around picking the easy fights over flags and emblems.

If you could write your own epitaph, what would it be?

Here lies an ardent Derry city fan - still waiting for the new stadium.