"I was born in 1950 which means that I was a teenager in the so called "swinging sixties".
This was not quite as glamorous as it may sound.
Indeed it wasn't until 1961 that we moved to a house that actually had electricity!
Previous to that my family lived in an old semi detached farmhouse labourer's house. As I said there was no electricity and lighting was provided by gas. We had the old gas mantles and they were very delicate so lighting them with a taper was a very difficult operation best left to grown ups. There was no running hot water and it goes without saying that the toilet was outside about a hundred yards away with hardly any roof left. Can you imagine having to use that on a cold winter's night...no we didn't either! Bath night was a once a week family occasion in the old tin tub. The house was certainly semi detached - the end wall of the other house had literally fallen down. We were evacuated twice by the fire brigade who immediately condemned the property. However despite it's obvious shortcomings I remember being very happy there and though dark, the house always seemed warm and friendly. We lived next door to a timber yard and as my dad sometimes worked for 'Chippy' Schofield, we were never short of wood to burn. Incidentally bread toasted on a fork over an open fire is quite simply the best toast there is.
However the council had to provide us with accommodation so they pulled out all the stops to make one property habitable on a new building site and we duly moved in - the only inhabitants of Moorland Avenue.
This is not quite accurate as there already existed an old Moorland Avenue but this was always known locally as "Hollywood" because of the number of "stars" who lived there. That is another story for another day!
When we moved in we had no carpets but at least we had electricity and I remember my sister and me being enthralled by the light switches, switching them on and off to our amusement and annoyance of mam and dad.
Over the next few years our lot improved - carpets, nice furniture and eventually a telly.
And then in 1963 the Beatles appeared and so began the "Swinging Sixties".
Now to say that my village Gildersome was caught up in this new phenomenon would be a slight exaggeration to say the least. But we did have the most wonderful music of any era before or since and we had the Beatles which meant we had to have the Beatle Cut!
Our village, as every other small village in the old West Riding of Yorkshire, was self sufficient so we had our own barber's shop and incumbent barber - one Clifford Pitts. Clifford or 'The Barber' as he was universally called had a small shop attached to the local village pub (another story or stories some day!) and of course he cut men's hair only - unisex had not yet been invented. He opened on Saturdays only. He was a cloth cutter at one of the mills in his day job and this constant practise with the sharp shears ensured he was well qualified to cut the hair of the men of Gildersome.
So off we went as thirteen year olds, down to the barbers.
The barber was well used to generations of teenagers asking for different styles through the decades from the teddy boy quiff to a D.A. (ask your dad!) so he was certainly not phased by a request for a "Beatle Cut please barber". "Reet lad" he'd reply and set to work pausing only to dispense 'something for the weekend' and tips for the next race to passing males.
The trouble was that no matter what you (or anyone else for that matter) asked for, he always cut your hair exactly the same - short back and sides.
"That doesn't look like the Beatle Cut barber " you might dare to suggest....."It would if they came in here lad!" was the succinct reply!
Happy days indeed and we still have that glorious music to bring it all back to life."
The 'enigmatic' aspect of the title came about because the mysterious lady unexpectedly 'appeared' in the painting of her own accord as sometimes happens with watercolours but she certainly brought the painting to life for me. And she gives us all an opportunity to hum along to that glorious track from the Beatles...bet you're already doing it!