February 7: the first of my class betrayals

When I passed through Burgess Hill (just outside Brighton) on the train today, I was reminded of an old school friend of mine, Iain Bell, who left primary school aged ten to go and live in Burgess Hill or as his Scottish mum called it sunny Brighton. He was probably not my best friend at St Joseph’s. That honour probably fell to Christopher Hylands, but Iain Bell represented an alternative strand in my friendship network, less edgy than Christopher Hylands who lived on the Offerton estate. Iain Bell lived in a relatively posh house on Curzon Green. Christopher Hylands and Iain Bell didn’t get on. They fought for my favour. One Sunday morning, on a visit from sunny Brighton about a year later, Iain Bell appeared at my house. For some reason the question of jam butties came up. My brother used the term and my mum said we should say jam sandwiches and not jam butties. This was all in aid of Iain Bell who was a Southener now and posher than us. I was called upon to adjudicate. In the first of my class betrayals, I plumped for jam sandwiches.


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