Feltham Made Me is a unique oral history web serial novel, the story of three Feltham School lads who grow up together in the suburbs in London, covering the seventies right up until the present day and made up from a patchwork of quotes.

Music features very heavily in the book. in Feltham Made Me our boys get into punk while they're at school and bunk off school to see The Jam. In the eighties they form their own band and fall out badly - but re-unite against the back ground of the nascent acid house scene.

It works like a War and Peace of our time, but instead the Napoleonic Wars we have a background of punk rock and acid house.But the cultural reference points  are all mere shifting scenery to the real story - about male friendship and the strains put upon it over the years.

Each installment goes up weekly here on www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk on a Monday, covering a different era. Things kick off this week at Primary School in 1973.



HERE WE GO WITH DERMOTT & JERRY
 
JERRY ZMUDA
Ever since I can remember I've been obsessed with talking animals. That's why I loved cartoons. I would try and teach Ruben, the family Labrador, to talk. Id say to him - Come on Ruben - if you learn to talk we can go and have adventures like Scooby Doo.
But Ruben just stared back, panting. Never said a word.

DERMOTT COLLINS
Basil Brush was ace. Morning, noon and night there's me trying to make my laugh sound exactly like him, 'coz I wanted to be Basil Brush.

PETER WYATT
I was never one for staying in and watching cartoons. I was an outdoor kid. Football. I was always playing football. Until I cracked my wrist practising my overhead kicks. But once it mended I was straight outside again, playing football.

JERRY ZMUDA
I was eight when I noticed Dermott for the first time. We were in Mrs. Dalrymple's art class and a kid had opened a cupboard door. An avalanche of Janet and John books slid out. The books were called Here We Go, and on the cover was a picture of Janet and John sitting on an inflatable horse waving.
Quick as a flash, Dermott says
They're falling out saying Here We Go. And he mimicked the wave.
For some reason I found this achingly funny, and Mrs. Dalrymple could not stop me from laughing. From then onwards I just knew I had to hang around this kid Dermott.

DERMOTT COLLINS
Jerry laughed at all my jokes. All of them. Even the bad ones. So it was - Yeah OK, you can be my friend.

PETER WYATT
I never knew Dermott and Jerry in them days, they were in cosy old Sunbury on Thames and I was on the other side of the big smoke in Rayleigh, Essex.
It amazes me how Dermott and Jerry can go on about their primary school days in so much detail. I hardly remember anything, it was such a horrible time. But something always sticks out - Dad taking me to Upton Park to see West Ham, and Dad pretending he personally knew all the players as they ran past. I mean, I may have been eight but I wasn't stupid. I remember him telling me how one day we were going to live in a big mansion, with servants and a Rolls Royce. We are going to be joining the jet set! I wanted to believe him, and I really did for a while.

MR. HEYWARD (primary school teacher)
The joy of seeing children discover the world, to see their faces light up with wonder - it's one of life's great marvels. The learning curve is much quicker, much steeper in their younger years. They start off the term barely able to read, and within months they're reading fluently - understanding new words. That's why I became a primary school teacher. I soon wish I hadn't.

DERMOTT COLLINS
Loved primary school. I totally loved it. Up to that school gate, strutting past Mr. Trent with his megaphone giving me the eye 'cos he knows I'm trouble. Seeing all them kids running around in the playground. Would think to myself - It's Show Time! - and off I went.

To read the rest of the opening chapter go to the Feltham Made Me site [CONTAINS STRONG LANGAUGE]