Childhood memories with David Penrose

MEMORIES David Penrose
MEMORIES David Penrose

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David Penrose, 61, was born in Scotland but now lives in Havant. He’s been nominated for best amateur actor in this year’s Guide Awards, thanks to his role in Brief Lives at Havant’s Bench Theatre. Here he recalls his foundest memories.

· What is your earliest childhood memory?

When I was about three or four years old I got my foot stuck in the garden gate. I remember that well because we then moved house shortly after.

· What do you remember about your birthdays?

My birthday is in May and I’ve had 61 of them so far, so I should be able to recall one in particular.

I do remember my 21st birthday very well because it was then that I decided I no longer wanted to be a solicitor. I did my degree, got that finished, but decided what I actually wanted to do was become a drama teacher.

· How was school?

School was OK. I went to an all boys school, which was fine. The only thing I regretted is that I lived 15 miles away, so travelling to and from school was difficult.

· What did you get up to with your friends?

All sorts really. We did lots of plays because I obviously enjoyed drama. I never played any sports though, I was never a sporty type. I mainly just remember working on a lot of productions.

· What toys did you play with?

When I was quite young I had a huge Meccano set which was very old. It was my dad’s originally. I particularly remember a huge train set made from all this Mecano. I also remember playing with puppets a lot with my friends when I was about 10.

· What did you watch on the TV?

The usual really I guess – cartoons. I remember having this fantasy in the late 1950s that one day I’d be able to watch Popeye in colour, which obviously came true a couple of years later.

· What music did you listen to?

I got into classical music quite early. We didn’t have a record player until I was about 10.

· Any clothes that stand out in your memory?

I was made to wear a kilt to a wedding when I was very young.

· What was the naughtiest thing you did?

I had this science book for kids and tried out an experiment with hot water and fruit juice in a milk bottle and another one with cold water. Anyway, the bottles ended up smashing and part of the sink got smashed. The sinks were enamel back then.