There was the time when I came home from work late one evening (on Thursdays, JJ was open until 8pm) to find Ty completely passed out on the kitchen floor, 2 empty prescription bottles and capsules and yellow pills strewn all over the floor with the inevitable assortment of empty booze bottles. I could not rouse him, so I went to the corner telephone box (we could not afford a working phone) and called 999. An ambulance arrived not long after I returned to the house. They took him to a hospital A & E. I think I rode along in the ambulance. Maybe even the coppers came.
I remember when I got to the treatment room where they were working on him I could hear groaning and gross retching. They let me go in and sure enough they had a red rubber N/G tube down his gullet into which they were no doubt instilling ipecac and or charcoal. I had brought the pill bottles and later found out it was Valium and Penicillin and Tony had gone to town swallowing as many as he could with ale. He later told me that he figured if he took lots of Penicillin at one time then he would recover (most likely from a chronic chest infection) quicker! Now you know and I know that an intelligent man such as Tony (and believe me he was a smart man) would know that taking a fistful of Penicillin at one time, would do nowt. I know that it was a futile cry for help from a tortured man. Of course when I told the medical staff what obvious history I knew about this man and that I believed that this was indeed a cry for help, they responded that even though they believed me that was not much they could do to help him as if he wished to he could leave in the morning he was free to do do, which was exactly what he did! I know that it was not their fault and that it would take a mythical medical team with herculean effort to actually help Tony deal with his demons, not to mention his alcoholism.
There was the time when Ty actually was allowed a 2 day visit at Vic Park with his darling little son Timi, who was about 4 at this time. I don’t recall how the following all came to be but when I came home from work one afternoon during Timi’s visit, I was met by a couple of coppers who were talking with Ty’s mother. They asked me if I was Ty’s girlfriend, to which I replied yes! Tony had been arrested and was in jail for at least the overnight! I don’t remember what his crime was although it most likely had something to do with drunk and disorderly! …. and believe it or not, not knowing a thing about me, they asked me if I would be responsible for little Timi! What could I say, but yes. So I looked after little Timi until Ty’s return the next afternoon.
He was a very sweet little boy and I thought he perhaps had been witness to his dad’s drunken disorder that day. Poor little soul! I had been a paediatric nurse looking after sick babies for a year, but I had never had the total responsibility of caring for a little boy before! I decided that I would take him to the main local drag, Victoria Park Road, and buy some great nosh and some comics for him. We went to the local bakery and I told him to pick out whatever cakes he wanted. This gave me a genuine excuse to pick out some fresh cream tarts that I adored. We then went to the newsagents and I bought him some comics and sweeties. I fed him supper of course, we read and then we watched the telly while we munched until he fell asleep.
We got on together very well, even though I was essentially a stranger to him at the start. Somehow, I got a message I don’t really remember how? maybe Bill came to the door to tell me?? that I had to meet Ty the next morning with little Timi at Bill’s stall. I guess he had gotten out of jail and contacted Bill who did have a home phone. I remember taking little Timi in a taxi to Petticoat Lane to Bill’s stall to meet Ty (I think Bill must have bailed him out). The cabby made some comment to me how cute little Ted was and he looked just like me….awww, that was nice and I beamed…
Anyway, I was happy to care for little Timi and felt sad that this dear, little boy had to be witness to ugly, perhaps many, scenes when his father was soused. He was a real sweety. I am sure Ty was contrite, but I don’t remember much about that, although he did thank me for looking after his little son. I also don’t recall the fallout, although I am sure there must have been some, especially from Ivy (and I don’t blame her one little bit)!