Childhood Memories with Karen Currie

Karen Currie
Karen Currie
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Karen Currie, 50, is a company director from Hayling Island is also a pole fit instructor, running lessons in Waterlooville and Chichester. Karen plans to launch classes in Portsmouth next month. Here she recalls some of her fondest childhood memories.

· What’s your earliest childhood memory?

I remember standing on my grandad’s feet as he danced with me. He was a great dancer with a great sense of fun and dancing was a passion we shared.

· What do you remember about your birthdays?

As a child I was always allowed to choose a treat as a way to celebrate; things like going to the cinema, having a sleepover or pamper parties when my mum would do everyone’s nails and hair.

· How was school?

I was a reasonably able student and for that, plus being short and quite shy, I was bullied quite a bit. At 14 I developed epilepsy which made students and teachers a bit fearful of upsetting me. It was only when I got a few wake-up calls, with terrible exam results and a stiff talking to by my mum, that I turned things round.

· What did you get up to with your friends?

As a young girl I loved playing with dolls, but as I grew older I enjoyed going out to socialise.

· What did you watch on TV?

I loved Top of the Pops but my favourite programmes were Dallas and Dynasty. As a family we watched the classics – The Two Ronnies, Only Fools and Horses.

· What music did you listen to?

I grew up listening to The Carpenters. I developed a ‘70s love of T Rex and David Bowie, then became a New Romantic.

· What toys did you play with?

I loved playing with dolls. Reading was an early passion and I was lucky to have a pogo stick and stilts.

· Any clothes that stand out in your memory?

One of my favourite outfits dates back to when I was eight. I had a blue-and-white two-piece silky trouser suit. The worst outfit ever was a white ruffle shirt with black PVC mini skirt and beige thigh high boots.

· What was the naughtiest thing you did?

I was around 16 and persuaded a friend to join me on a jolly jaunt to London to find Sting when I should have been at school. We trawled London all day and got chatted up by a stranger who invited us up the next week to go to a party.

We managed to leave London, having not found Sting, only to return the following week to meet our stranger. Fortunately for us, he was a nice guy but that incident remains one of my most ridiculous decisions.