Chris Greenman

Chris Greenman

Interviewed on

Listen to the interview:

Download a PDF transcript of the interview
(186.76 KB )

Adobe® Reader® required.
Get Adobe® Reader®


So what was the connections things about?

It were just to do with um… like is there any activities around and like that to in Todd for anyone like used for um, say fourteen up to eighteen anything for them to do and is finding jobs and stuff like that really cause it was, for cause it were connections, were for job seekers allowance so I’m trying to find a job, and they just said do you want to come in for a an, there were about four of us, or it were all tape recorded and they were just asking questions, like is there anything to do for using Todd. Is it, how easy is it to get a job where can you find a job, where is the nearest place, right and stuff like that really so, we were there for about I think we were there for about an hour and a half doing that right.

Well that’s part, some of those questions I’ll be asking but a bit later on, um the first thing really is, I do this with everybody is I ask your full name and where, and when you where born.

Yeah, Christopher Michael Greenmen, I were born in Halifax General hospital.


23 of the 6th 1989.

Right, um where do you live?

9 Aukim Road Todmorden.

Have you always lived in Tod?

No, I lived in Halifax when I were born for 3 years and I have lived in Wales for a, lived in Wales for a year and a half.

Oh and ur, when did, when did you live in Wales?

Ur when I was in year eight in high school, so I would have been about thirteen fourteen.

Right, why did you move to Wales?

Ur I used to have big rows like that with my mom so I went to live with my dad lived down there with his girlfriend, and I went to live with him, so cause my mom couldn’t handle me at home so I went to live with him, to like calm me down and I lived down there and then after a year and a half came back up and lived in Tod for a bit, still go down and visit, like visit old friends and stuff like that.

Yeah, did you like it in Wales?

Yeah, um I was there for my last four weeks there and my dad walked out on his girlfriend, and I didn’t want to stay there, so I ended up moving in with a mate, and like they adopted me into the family and I lived there for four weeks. And I like go down and visit them occasionally.

That’s nice

So it’s not to bad really I have a good time and that seeing old friends, yeah, and people like that.

Where about in North Wales was it?


Right, where’s that near, any where big?


Right, near Rhyl, Right

You, how did you, how did you compare that then with like Halifax and Toddbiden [ph], so how does it compare?

Ur it’s a lot different cause it’s, it’s like country, it’s like a farmers town really it’s quite, it’s quite small it’s not much social about but there is if you know what I mean, like a small village, like a farmers village, you get tractors and trucks cattle trucks coming in and out and stuff like that, and I got, well I got brought up in country side so I used to work, work on a farm when I were really young with my mate and um I just, I just enjoyed it really it was in the country I had been brought up in the country it was enjoyable.

Do you think you would like to kind of live that kind of life when you get older, would you think like to be a farm worker or farmer, or do anything like that work I the country side?

It has been a thing yeah I mean, I’m in the building trade at the minute so, I’m following that through, and then, well I’ll see what happens when life comes along really, take it as it comes and see what happens I mean I won’t mind doing it yeah when I get a bit older into that sort of stuff when I’m buying on houses like that, when I get a bit older, and, so, so we will see what happens.

So what kind of, you’re in the building trade, what kind of work do you do?

Well, we do everything really, we do plastering, brick work, apart from plumbing and electrics we do flooring joinery everything really.

Right, how long have you been doing that?

Ur I did start when I was fourteen through work placement from Tod High, and I was there for just short of two years and I left, and then I started gain about six weeks ago, so I have been there for quite a while really.

Do you like it?

Yeah, very much.

Is it like an apprenticeship, or…

Not at the minute but I’m looking into it cause I don’t know but maybe college courses can start really, cause my boss, his brother is head of, well he’s part of brick work thing called in college, so I can get in through that but I just like I said don’t know when I can start, so I’m going to look into it more really right, cause there is a lot there that at college now, doing the brick work course and that guy comes like very other month or something and so I will talk with him and sort it out.

Alright, how long would you have to do that course for?

Um, I think it’s for, I did start it, but I quit the job I think it’s for about a year and a half two years, something like that. It’s a short course but it does get you qualifications and stuff like that.

Right, right, see when um, cause so when you were three you moved from Halifax to Tod.


What was it like in Todd when you were younger, what kind of house did you live in?

I lived up Cornholme, which is just a bit well it’s not, it’s near Todd. I lived up there and ur well about two minute walk there was a park there and like I used to work on a farm, I used to go up there a lot and we used to do a lot of stuff up there like [inaud] season doing that the sheep, sheep sheering, collecting cattle for like taking them to the slaughter, and that doing that sort of stuff really.

So what, when, how young were you when you started doing all that?

I started going up when I was about four like getting in to it all, going up and seeing what it were like and I started enjoying it started driving tractors and driving cars up there as well cause they’ve got like a gravel track, and it’s private land, and we just used to drive about on that and go on mountain bikes and stuff, on the weekend.

Whose farm was it?

It’s a guy called John Dib, he’s, I used, I’ve known his son since I was three, since I moved over here, and we got along ever since we met each other we have always gone up there and he he rents out a land now, he doesn’t, he doesn’t have his own bit any more he rents them all out to people, so they can use it for there cattle and sheep, right, and that.

Do you know what the farms called?

Er, I can’t remember… I can’t remember what it’s called, it’s something to, it’s something to do with Wimbles, it’s got the name oh, Cold Cliff Wim Farm, aah right, that’s what, Cold Cliff Wim Farm I think cause it’s got all windmills on it yeah, on the land yeah.

Right, so what kind of house did you live in, in Cornholme, what was it like?

It was um, it was ur two bedroom house for a while, like ur just a, I can’t remember what you call it not detached when you got a full row of houses, like a terrace, yeah, like that, it, it was just a normal street with a main road at the end of it, it were two bedroom, and then we got it converted into a three bedroom, but we were, it were my grandma and granddad’s house they moved out so we could move in, they got a different house and then, we moved out of that one down to where we are now, and my grandma and granddad moved back into it.

Right, right, so do you have any brothers or sisters?

I have got one sister

Is she older or younger?

Younger, she’s fifteen

Right, so does she still live at home?


Do you get on with her then?

Well, ye, you have your brother and sister fights, so yeah.

Right, okay, umm… so what school did you go to?

Er, I went to Cornholme Primary School for, for first bit and then after that I went to Todmorden High School till well, just year seven before I moved down to Wales, then I went to a high school down there.

And when you came back, did you go back to Tod?

Er, I went back to Todd High, it was half way through year nine and then I got my placement ur just in year ten I think, and half way through it I got sick of school I didn’t like it, I didn’t like going. I was on replacement three days a week and then two days of school, but I just decided I couldn’t be bothered with school anymore so I just went to work instead and then ur… they chucked me out of school, and they wouldn’t let me back in, and I went to year Acorn Centre for school, one day a week on a Wednesday, I worked Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday, and Acorn Centre on a Wednesday to do Maths and English.

Right, what what didn’t you like about school?

I don’t know what it was I just never liked going, yeah; I got on with everyone I just didn’t like the teachers, I didn’t, I just didn’t like school.

Yeah, yeah well fair enough, can u remember any of your teachers?

Yeah, a few of them.

Yeah, who, who are they?

Ur, they were my science teacher Mr Thornton, my maths teacher there, well I knew a fair few teachers that weren’t my teachers but I knew them, there were Miss Lehman, Mr Harewood, Miss Place… Mr Armstrong… Miss Lapish… Mr Ward, Mr Jerdon, Mr Cameron, there was a fair few.

Yeah… did you, I mean did you like any of them or dislike any of them particularly?

I liked Mr Harewood, cause he were, he were one of them relaxed teachers, he won’t let you do anything but he would to a certain extent, and ur he were a good teacher. I didn’t like Mr Thornton he was, he was just strict all the time, and you couldn’t do anything without getting chucked out of the lesson or something like that. There were, there were a few of them that were alright at times and sometimes they were a right pain really…you have them every day really different things. My form teacher, I didn’t like him at all. I always, I always, I always ended up getting kicked out of lessons and all so, that was one reason why I didn’t like school as well, cause I was always getting into trouble and getting kicked out of lessons and getting sent home so, I couldn’t be bothered with it any more.

I mean, why were you getting sent out because, where you messing about or with your mates?

I was just, just misbehaving really I just teachers I didn’t like them so I just used to do stuff that didn’t make them right happy really. [laughing]

Right, did you have like a favourite subject, was there anything you did like about doing…

No, not really no, never liked doing I did like PE but I didn’t because you never got to do what you wanted to do. It was just, the teacher always used to say look you doing this and I just couldn’t be bothered doing PE, right, I was never really into that sort of stuff at that time. So I just didn’t do any work a single lesson really, that I liked.

Right, are you into sports now or anything like that?

I play football on Sundays; I play like five sides with my mates on Sundays, and I, well I used to not so long ago, I used to like bang a car racing up on my mates farm, we just buy a cheap car and we race it about, trash it, and then get rid of it and get a new one and do it again really. Right, that were fun but he’s moved now so, we don’t really go up now unless he’s over in Tod.

Right, right you were, you were saying earlier about you did this connections interview and they were asking you about things you could do in Tod for people your age. What is there for you to do in Todd for people your age?

There isn’t much you can do really cause I mean see your kids like say fourteen year old and you’ve got a Astro Turf but, I mean they’ve closed all the parks off to do with flood defence so you can’t, there’s no football nets to play football and like that. And the Astro Turf fourteen year old kids you’ve got a book it, fourteen year old kids can’t get twenty six quid really to book it for themselves so, so it’s a bit hard really for them. But there’s nowt really even for people our age, there is no where to go, there’s nowt to do, no activities around like that youth clubs [bang] just not right good really.

Have you been to it, is there one a youth club there?

Yeah, I used to go to them but there never really interested.

What did they do there?

Just like um… My uncle used to work in one of them, doing music technology like doing, like doing on decks and stuff like that, downloading music and copying it and re mixing it and stuff like that really, but I soon got fed up with it, and just decided not to go anymore Right, so. But just people like my age just used, there’s’ nowt for you to do, there’s nowhere for you to go.

If, if you had, if you could ask, tell people like you know people in authority…uh, what kind of things would you want them to try and provide then?

Just more activities really more for people to do. More, places like what, to go, I don’t know, more football fields and help and re open the park and like put some football fields on the park, something like that. Right, so kids can go on there and other people can just go on there and play football, rugby, cricket whatever sports really. I mean they have got the park, and there’s, there’s like a dirt track that goes around and you can go on the side on your bike, on your push bike, it’s not really that big either, you don’t get enough excitement from it, be better if they like built a track around it, like it went all way round the woods and through the park and stuff, and they have got a skate park as well but , I mean not many people like skating but a few people do so.

Have you ever tried skate boarding?

Yeah, I was never any good at it so I just gave it up, right, I was never any good. I just kept falling off all the time.

Oh, well I think um, I think most of them do until they… some how or other crack it really; you know it takes a long time doesn’t it.

Yeah, I prefer mountain biking really, right, but I prefer to do that.

Do you do BMXing at all?

I used to, but I; I had a bike crash once on a bike, so I just gave it up after that. I just didn’t want to do it anymore, in case it happened again.

Yeah, um… At home, what kind of things do you do at home then, I mean do you have like other games or toys or things like that, that you have?

I have got a Play station; I play on Play Station a bit. Not, not that much really, it gets boring after a bit, and I like listening to my music and I read my magazines that I buy and listen to music, yeah, and stuff like that.

What kind of games did you play on the play station?

Like racing games, football games, shooting games, yeah, a variety really. Don’t put it in if I don’t like it and I won’t play it.

Yeah, so what kind of music do you like?

Oh, not, not many people like my kind of music, it’s like, it’s I don’t know if you have ever heard of MC, yeah, and dance music, I like a lot, I like Indie Rock and all, I like um…. I like some rock and roll.

What kind of bands do you like?

Er, Arctic Monkeys they’re alright, Kaiser Chiefs, Ordinary Boys, Jamie T, The Streets, they’re good, I like rap as well, like Fifty Cent and Eminem, Yeah, Doctor Dre, I like them as well. Right, and a fair few DJ’s as well, I like them, it’s something I want to do as well, is learn how to play the decks as well, oh right, do stuff like that.

Is it; is it an expensive thing to do?

Yeah, it is, yeah, it’s quite expensive.

So, do you know anybody who’s got the equipment?

Yeah, I do… I’ve not been up yet to his house though I don’t see him very often so, and I don’t have a number to contact him so, so I haven’t been up really, I don’t really really see him. But he has got all the equipment, and there used to be a lad that worked with us, but I didn’t know where he has gone. Yeah, he’s, he’s he left at the time, I don’t know if he’s got it.

In the Acorn Centre, um… could you go to them and ask them to buy some in and a group of you can go in and maybe try it.

To be honest though I don’t get along with many people in Tod like so, Right so if I ended up having to going to one of them some of them would end up happening, and it won’t turn out very nice really.

Right, right, so why don’t you get on with them, what’s that about?

I don’t know they just, like I walk, I walk through the centre and then they just like, they either, they either getting drugged up or drinked up yeah, and just picking fights and then, I’m not into that sort of stuff anymore, I have, I have been there done it, got the T-shirt, yeah, it’s not my sort of thing growing out of it really. Yeah, I can’t be bothered with it, yeah.

Right… um, what kind of things do you do then like as, in in your family like your mom and your sister and that and, and even with your dad, is like on birthday’s and Christmas and … on holidays what kind of things do you like to do on those sort of the days?

Ur… Christmas sometimes we go up to my grandma’s house which is my dad’s dad, ur my dad’s mom and dad and ur sometimes we go up there for Christmas with my dad’s brothers as well, they go up there and sometimes we have it at home. It all depends really what’s happening where we having it, and if there is enough room.

What kind of things do you do for Christmas then, I mean?

I’m, I’m not really, I’m not really a big fan of Christmas so, it’s not my kind of thing, you just usually have your dinner and have a couple of drinks chit chat and then go home, right, it’s like messing with the stuff that you got… really.

Is it, what are the birthdays, are they similar?

Er… not really, you see, you see really on my birthdays now, I just me and my mates get a few beers in and like sort of a party thing, playing music and playing on computer and have a few beers, nowt special.

Nice, nice…um… do, what, I’m thinking about what’s Tod like as a, as a place to live cause I don’t know it all that well really, I mean what’s it like?

Um, I’m not a big fan of the place really but, like they say move out you come back. And that’s what I’ve done I’ve moved and I’ve lived somewhere else and I’ve come back, but all my family lives in Todd so, well around Todd that’s the other reason why I live in Todd cause all my family, most of my mates are in Todd, people I’ve grown up with, live in Todd, so that’s the only reason why I’ve not moved. If they weren’t in Todd, I’d be living in Wales now so, if I didn’t have that much family and friends in Todd then, yeah, well I’d be out, yeah.

Ur, but as a place what’s it like as a place, I mean is it like, is it an easy place to get work then, I mean is that a good thing?

No, it’s not, it’s not, I tried, I couldn’t, I couldn’t get a job for six months I had to get a job in Mytholmroyd, that was the closest place I could find one, there’s just, they’re knocking all the mills down and building new houses, town houses and they just closing every place down now really there’s ESSO Garage closes um, Mun’s Mill that’s closed down been knocked down and they been building houses on there, and ur there’s a factory just near Lidl, that’s been closed down, it’s not been knocked down but it’s been closed down. Just knocking everywhere down, so you can’t get a job anywhere yeah, and building houses everywhere now.

But I mean in the building trade, wouldn’t that be good for you?

Er, it is and it isn’t. I see you get a fair few jobs, but I don’t know really.

Do you not like the fact that it’s changing then?

Well I mean I’ve got a job now, but for other people that need to get jobs it’s difficult for them. I mean I’m sorted now, I’ve got myself a job I’ve finally cracked it and it’s just difficult for other people who are looking for work when, I say you’ve got kids leaving school soon it’s in May, June so they will be looking for jobs and there’s just nowhere to go in Tod really to get a job.

Yeah, right so, is it hard for people, are you saying that people like your age that it’s really hard to find work?

Yeah, yeah people who have just left school or have just got in to college and stuff, I mean some people go to college for after school or some people stay in sixth form. Yeah, and or some people just leave [inaud] as soon as they can, and then they go out there looking for work and they just can’t find it, it in Todd, they have to go to Halifax, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Rochdale, Burnley, they have to travel to get to where they need to go, they need to travel a far distance by relying on buses and trains yeah, every day to get them to where they need to go.

Right, what are the people in Tod like then, I mean are there a lot of, like characters, are there people unusual kind of people there or are they just, what …?

Er… we’ve got your different places really, there’s like, there’s all youths, all the like fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year olds, they all have there places where they hang out, and then you’ve got, you’ve got all the people which live in different bits, and you’ve got the Asians which have there certain bit where they live it’s just all, it’s mixed up everywhere really, there’s a fair few different characters, you got your youths, you’ve got the older generation, you’ve got people like mid thirties and that, and there’s a few, you get the youths all hanging around the market and that, people walking past but, they get a bit, they all getting, they all getting pissed and that, people walking past, not like I want to walk past there, just in case something is said.

What do you think of older people then, I mean people you know who are older than yourself, whether they are thirty or, fifty or eighty or whatever, what do you think of older people?

Er… I do tend to think that cause where I live on the avenue where I lived there is a fair few old people that live on there when I was younger fourteen fifteen we always used to play football on the street and they’d always come out moaning at us and stuff like that so I just, I never really got along with people of that age, cause they always used to moan at me you know playing football and used to get the police and stuff like that, I just couldn’t be bothered with it anymore so, ur I don’t know really, it’s hard to say.

Do you think they have like different values than than you, sort of thing?

Well, I don’t know… I don’t know really.

Um, has it, has Tod… changed then a lot from when you were say when you were eight or nine or ten to what you are now, has it changed a lot?

Yeah, it has er… everywhere is getting knocked down, and houses has been, people have changed, things have changed around, people are moving in , people are moving out, people from all over the place are moving in to Tod, people are moving from Todd and out.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing or?

Er, I suppose it brings, like a new generation into Todd it brings different people, different characters into Todd like, where just behind the high school they’ve just built a load of big houses, and they, and they worth, I think the last time I saw one, one were going for ur.. half a million so it brings like a fair rich generation into Todd as well, and that I think they are just trying to change it make it more… like a communal place really where more people are coming in from say I don’t know say Manchester, London and all that area, from all around, yeah, UK really, brings different people from everywhere, right, but then again loosing jobs for other people though, cause they knocking factories down to build new houses.

Yeah, Yeah… right, do you…, do you know any um… like old sayings, or you probably don’t know any old sayings, I’m thinking about young sayings, the kind of language that you use, do young people use a different sort of language than, you know someone my age say?

We use a lot of like slang and, there’s a like say I’m talking to nowt but if I was talking to my mates there’d be a lot of slang there’d be swearing in it, and stuff like that really different ages use different language, like certain words you’d shorten it yourself and pronounce it a different way, than what other people would so, it’s yeah it’s different. See you’d be talking to someone like say I met someone like yourself on the street or something like that I wouldn’t talk like I’d talk to my mates, I’d change it, yeah, you talk to your mates different to what you would to other people really.

Yeah…where does that slang come from then, I mean does it come from?

I don’t know it just, it just, I think it’s through like when you texting on your phone you, you tend to shorten words, you don’t spell it fully, you don’t use proper English, you just spell, you just shorten it like say, I don’t know say you put text back ur no, say you put wouldn’t, you’d put w.u.d.n.t, you wouldn’t fully spell you’d spell, yeah, it in slang shorten it you’d take some letters out.

Yeah, so you talk like that as well then?

Yeah that’s, you pronounce words differently and all, yeah, you don’t say it fully you pronounce it different.

Can you give me an example?

Er, I don’t know really it’s hard, unless you talking to your mates, yeah, I say I do, I do swear to much when I’m with my mates I do, most in every sentence has got a swear word in it like, I just can’t help it, it just comes out, ur I don’t know it’s hard when you not with your mates…er I don’t know I just can’t.

Is it, is it do you think it’s because, because you are with your mates and everyone does it you do it, that you do it, that’s that’s why you use that kind, those sort of words, you swear a lot and because everybody does it, and you have to do that like to fit in, or is it just, is it just normal?

It’s just, who, where you hang around and who you hang around with really it’s you kind of just brings it out of ya you don’t, you don’t make yourself do it, you just start doing it, yeah, like my sister goes to school in Rochdale, she she started talking like they do over there she’s kind of picking up words from over there like they do right, cause she goes over there, when I lived down Wales, I started picking up that accent as well, I started pronouncing words different than what I did when I lived in Todd, yeah, so you just, it brings it out of ya you don’t force it out, it brings it out of you, yeah, when you talking. and you hanging, when you hanging with them for so long you just start, you act different, you talk different and everything like that.

Yeah, yeah, so you were saying earlier that you don’t get on with a lot of people, um do you think that’s because you like growing up and there’s staying the same, or what is it you think?

I used to be, I used to be like a what they call a chav these days, I, I used to be like that when yeah, I was 14, 15, and but when you like that and you dress like that you’d judged different, people judge you differently they think, they think you’re a mug, yeah, they think you’re gonna well do something bad, or something like that so I changed, I changed from that not so, well just half way through about being sixteen, I thought I can’t be bothered with this anymore with a baseball cap and a hood up and trackies and at, so I couldn’t be bothered with it so, I just decided to dress differently and it’s kind of worked in my favour really.

How, how has it worked in your favour?

You get, when you like say walk into a shop or something like that, you don’t think people are always staring at you all the time thinking what’s he going to do next is he going to take something and put it in his pocket, or is he gonna come up and start threatening me or shouting and bawling and stuff like that really, yeah, and like say, I don’t know say you walk into a pub as well you, you don’t get told to turn around and walk out the door straight away you can go in and socialize and stuff like that, you don’t walk in get judged and get told to get out.

Yeah, so it’s, it’s a bit like getting a bit of respect back, yeah, isn’t it? And just from the clothes you wear, yeah, that’s it really. Right it’s interesting yeah I know [laugh]. So did this, was this something you just decided for yourself or did someone like say to you?

I just decided for myself cause I was sick of getting judged that way, yeah, sick if getting judged as being a thug, mmm, so , mmm, I just thought I can’t be bothered I will change now, I will change the way I dress and act, really.

Your mates are, are they like that as well, are they still like dress like chavs or are they different?

Some are still and some aren’t, some of have kind of gone the same direction really and some haven’t, some have stayed the same act the same.

Do you think it’s something that you pass through at a certain age?

I don’t know, cause my mate he’s, he’s nineteen, he’s nineteen and I’m seventeen and ur I did it like before he did so, I don’t know if it’s to do with the age, yeah, or whether you just get sick of it after a while or so, or you realize what, what’s exactly happening, yeah, you realize what, how you getting judged and stuff like that.

How did you get into it in the first place wearing hoodies and all the rest?

When I moved back to Tod, yeah, actually yeah, when I came back to Tod I just started as they call it a rebel really, I rebelled against everything, yeah, started doing stuff that I shouldn’t have done and wish I never did do mm, and get into trouble and all, and then all of a sudden this as they call it a chav style came along, yeah, it just, it just clicked on and I thought yeah I like that and I’ll start wearing it, and then after a while I just got fed up with it, right, so that’s just, that’s really how I started wearing it.

Do you kind of er, the style that you wear now I mean I know you’re in your work clothes, yeah, now but I mean when, when you go out with your mates and you get dressed up have you got a particular style, do you call yourself anything?

I just call it casual me really, I just casual wear, jeans T-shirt and I like say a normal, like a coat or a jacket, a normal jacket not like a Adidas tracksuit jacket, yeah, like that, that’s it, I don’t know like a Fred Perry cut Timberland coat or something like that, not a tracksuit jacket, yeah, trainers as well, certain types of trainers which you go into a shop and you’ve got like your chav trainers and your casual trainers.

Oh, what, what are chav trainers, what kind are they?

They like Nike Air Max with the air bubbles Nike Air that’s a popular one really, right, and er the Adidas le trainer, they well they use to be a Reebok classics, they are like the chav one really.

Right, so what, what kind do you wear now then?

Er, at the moment I’ve got some Lacoste ones but they’re a bit they are flat soles but they are a bit naked and the police have got my other ones so I need, my best trainers really, right right, so I’m still waiting to get them back some Adidas ones.

If you were gonna like give any advice to like young kids who are say like twelve and thirteen who you know, if you were walking through Tod and you see them like hanging out at the market or maybe mixing with the kind of things you used to do could you, do you think you could give them any advice?

Just really don’t go the same rout, route that I did taking drugs getting drunk at an early age staying out late, rebelling all the time to everything, but even though I did rebel and stuff like that I’ve got a decent job but what are the chances of that happening to every other person that does the same thing really, yeah yeah, it’s not a hundred percent guarantee that it’s going to happen to you, yeah, I got lucky really, yeah, so it doesn’t happen to everyone.

Yeah yeah it’s true, er do you think have any like um special talent or anything like that?

No no not really.

Is is that is there nothing that you, you you really into then like that you think you really good?

Er… I love driving, yeah I love driving and my mates say I’m good at it I’d I started I learnt when I was, I learnt when I was ten and I carried on I’ve carried on ever since on on this farm that I used to go up to, I used to ride a motorbike but I, I prefer four wheel to two, yeah, …I’m into the whole modify car seen as well, right, with the big alloys, right, the bumpers and the body kits I’m into that sort of stuff now.

Can you, are you a good like mechanic or body work person or anything like that?

I did work in a garage but I didn’t like it, but I think work really is who you work with, it’s not what the job is it’s what you make it really, if you get along with the people, where I’m working now I get along with everyone fine we have ours, we have laughs and jokes but, it’s partially to do with the work yeah cause you don’t you don’t want to be stood there in a crap job all day for the rest of your life, and you want something that’ll benefit for you, and if you get along with everyone then it works in your favour as well as in everyone else’s, if you don’t like your job then, well you need to sort that out really.

So I, the people you work with are they like your age or?

No they well there is a lad that’s on an apprenticeship he’s eighteen he’s a year older than me, and ur my bosses, my bosses is about I think he’s fifty something I don’t know, and then there’s two other lads, ones forty something and the other one is twenty, twenty six I think so there’s quite a mixed aged really, there’s five of us on the job and there’s a whole variation ages from young to middle aged to older.

Yeah, it’s quite unusual really to, yeah, have such a mix yeah, do you think you’ll stay in Tod once you, say you say you, you stay at this job and you get your, your college and say in a few years time, what do you think you’ll do?

I don’t know cause I, I want to when I get a bit older as well when I’m in to say my mid thirties I want to sta, well maybe before my twenties I want to get dumper licence and digger licence and there’s a place where I used to live and it’s, it’s a big a big place that do that sort of stuff , yeah, where in in Wales called it’s called Ruthin Brothers, it’s a big company, big construction company that use dumpers, diggers all that sort of stuff, yeah, and ur when I get a bit older and I’ve past that I want to learn how to, get me a STV [inaud] licence and just well, drive a wagon really, right, I used to go on my dad’s when my mom and dad used to be together, I used to go with my dad on, doing deliveries and stuff like that but that was only in a seven and a half tonne wagon, we used to like go down London and Glasgow Newcastle, Manchester everywhere delivering all sorts of different stuff I enjoyed it as well, and I’ve always loved driving so and I always will do I think.

Yeah, so you think that’s the kind of direction you’ll go, even though your, your doing well in this job you’re doing now?

Get my get my building, get my brick work qualifications get that done with do that first a few years and then get my dumper license.

Is it hard to get that?

Er, I don’t know I’m gonna, I’m looking into that as well as other things but um I’ve been told it’s a bit of a money lack, so I’m going to be doing this brick work course to get that bit of cash to save up to get it, and then I’m going to be doing my brick work course er, doing my brick work still, fully qualified brick layer and I’ll be a fully qualified dumper driver, and then when it get’s a bit past that and I can’t be bothered with the bricks any more I’ll go out and buy my digger licence and start training for that and get that done, when say I pack in brick dumper, and digger, go for my HGV when I’ve saved up the cash for it all now.

Right, have you got a driving licence now?

No, I’ve been banned, I’ve, I’ve had to send it back I didn’t have a full one, I had a provisional, I got banned from driving so, I can’t drive now till March 2008 so, it’s quite a long time to go.

It’s a good year or so isn’t it?


So, why did you get banned?

Er for aggravated twok, for nicking a car and dangerous driving, oh right, I shouldn’t have done it I, but you doing think at the time.

Yeah, so what was that like when going through that whole process though all that police stuff what was that like?

It’s a pain, you have travel back and forth police stations back and forth to courts and I’ve been put on a referral order which I have to do community service, I‘ve got twenty hours of community service, it’s a pain really cause with me working I have to do it on weekends at it takes my weekend off me, so I couldn’t I’m doing community service when I could be out with my mates going to Burnley or playing football or something like that.

Right, um…I’m just thinking, is there anything that I haven’t asked about that you’d like to say something things you have opinions on that you’d like other people to know about?

Er, not that I can think of no, not really no.

Right okay, well I just thought I’d give you the opportunity to say something if you wanted to. Um, I’m just thinking now… Let me just check the time on this, alright…um, how how do you get on with your parents now then?

Er I don’t get on with my dad but, I don’t, I don’t like my dad, oh right, I’ve, I get, I do used to get on with my mom but we doing now we sort of really connected now, cause she helps me and I help her like really so, right, but ever since, I mean my dad lives in Australia so right, it’s not really a easy place to get to, I’m not fond of long flights either, yeah, I mean I, I went to Greece in September that were four hours and that were too long so, he wants, he wants me to go over when he gets enough money to pay for it but I don’t really feel like going over cause I don’t like him and I don’t like his girl friend either, I’ve never got along with her so.

Right, is this the same girlfriend as before then?

Yeah, yeah, he’s had, they getting married soon and all so.

But I mean when, you went to live with your, you must’ve like them at sometime cause you went to live with them.

When, when I lived with them it was, it was a different thing really cause I did like him when he was together with my mom but I just never liked his girlfriend, his girl friend always used to wear the trousers in that relationship whatever goes whatever she says goes so I couldn’t like ask my dad for anything if I’d, if I ask my dad I’d have to ask her and all, and I don’t think she liked me either so, right , so I always used to rebel against her as well, I never liked, never got along with her so.

Do you think there’s no way you can ever make it up or anything?

Not really no, [laugh].

Right, well you never know you know time, sometimes time heals wounds as they say, yeah, sometimes it doesn’t it just depends. Right, um okay well we can go on forty five, fifty minutes now there about um, so unless you got anything else then I’ll we’ll, we’ll we’ll stop there, is that there, is that okay?

Yeah that’s fine.

Yeah, is there um is there anything that you’ve said on there that you were like don’t want me to use at all?

No, you sure, you can use it all yeah.

Yeah, okay how does it make you feel talking about your life like that, what do think about that?

It feels good to get it out I mean I do, I have got it out before like but it just feels good to like get it out your system cause it makes your it builds up inside and you just feel frustrated and angry you just feel, you want to get it out and talk to someone about it and like say this is going to go on years and years and years people can look at it and see from my perspective what it was like in my time, yeah, and see if it’s different to when there life is then, yeah that’s great, I know I could look back at it in thirty years and look at myself , yeah, and see what I was like then compared to like in the future.

Yeah, what do you think er, it’s I know this is a difficult question it’s but right no win like it’s January 2007 what do you think will be are the big things about today like in ten years time, what do you think will like disappear or change all together, is there any big changes on the way?

Oh, technology really, that’s the that’s the one that’s kind of been ever since like 2000, technology has just been on the up really, everything is changing, everything is getting high tech, yeah, like say factories as well are all closing down but it’s like robots are taking over all these factories and when you got robots building your cars now and like cars as well are not like they use to be, you got all this technology and now like fifty fifty , fifty percent of your car now is, if it breaks down it’s to do with all technology that’s in and not the engine, it’s to do with technology not mechanical it’s tech, yeah, the electro, the electronics really, you’ve got all these electric push buttons starts and that, that’s it, technology is just taking over manual labour really if you want to call it that, that’s what it’s doing.

Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing really?

Er, it’s a good thing in one way and a bad thing in another, if you get what I mean.

What’s good about it then?

It’s good cause well I say it makes, it makes life easier for some people but yet it makes harder for others.

Right, what how how does it make it harder?

People are loosing there jobs over technology taking over theres, shutting factories down because well to more houses as well, yeah, more houses being built everywhere, cause more people are coming in from other countries and stuff like that I mean yeah it is good, but it’s not, that’s the thing about it it’s just all gonna, one day it’s just all gonna go bang.

You think?

Yeah it’s just gonna hit us, yeah, one minute somebody is just going to hit us and it’s not going to be, it could be good or it couldn’t.

Yeah, what the technology is it just going to go crazy you think?

Yeah, technology is just going to take over everything, you not going to be able to well I don’t know, it’s just going to take over [laugh] I reckon, whatever you try and do. technology is going to be there.

Right, okay…er well; we’ll call it quits then yeah, um… I’ll turn this off.


It’s the twentieth of March 2007 and I’m interviewing Chris Greenman.

Okay Chris, I know I’ve interviewed you before but I’d like to go back a bit to before the first interview and talk a little bit about why you had to go to the Youth Offending Team, and what happened to you – how did you get in trouble the first time?

I don’t know how it all started really, it just – one night we were out with a few friends and we were at this house party; we’d all had a bit to drink and we all left, we all went us separate ways, and some of us were still stood outside and then these two lads came back up that we knew, and said ‘oh look we’ve been out – we’ve seen this car, we’ve got some stuff out of it’ and then I went with them but we didn’t go to the other car, we just went walking round wondering what to do cos we had nothing to do, and then all of a sudden we just decided for some reason, I don’t know why – we’d had a bit to drink – we just decided ‘well let’s rob a car’ thinking we’d get away with it and we ended up seeing this car on Cross Lee Road and we had to get some stuff, so we went to my house and got some stuff to get into the car and we couldn’t in with it, so my mate decided to like break the window, and we got inside it and…well we just drove it off basically, not thinking that we were gonna get caught and just carrying on as normal, thinking it was us own car really. I mean, it wasn’t the right thing to do really when you look back and think ‘you should have thought before you had, I mean that’s what – with this Youth Offending thing going on, that’s what’s been trying to – trying to back my drinking and thinking before I do stuff really, so yeh – and then… I got done for, I got a reprimand for that – no not a reprimand, a referral order which were ten month and I got…I think it were twenty hours all together Community Service and I did three to four hours in the park and then I’m doing this now for the rest of it, and I got another two month extension for…oh that were for Section 1 which is Possession of an Offensive Weapon and a Section 5 which is like a Public Order, Creating Nuisance outside if anyone were to walk past would they be scared and bad language and all that sort of stuff, and then it went quiet for a bit – nothing, I didn’t really do anything wrong, and then one day – same again, at an house, getting pissed, having a few drinks with t’lads and then…this one lad, none of us – none of us liked him in the first place – and he went outside and we were all gonna go somewhere else again, and this lass – this lass started beating him up and – well on the statements it says that they were messing about, but I don’t know – I wasn’t there, I was still inside the house and…someone came running inside –‘oh this person’s doing this’ so we all went outside and then my mate started doing it and then he ran off; the lad that were getting beat up, he ran off down Tod and then I chased him with someone else and we got on to t’back of t’bus and, well started laying into him really, and then I got sent to court for that and I had to…I had to pay the guy two hundred and fifty quid compensation, then I got put on a tag for three month and I have to be within my house between the hours of nine p.m and six a.m.

The offensive weapon side of it – what was the offensive weapon?

They call it…the coppers class it as a wooden cosh; it were like a rounders bat really. Someone gave it me, I don’t know who and I don’t know why I had it and I don’t know where it came from, just someone gave it me.

Is that because you were drunk so you didn’t realise?

Yeh – that I didn’t really realise someone just – I just put it in my pocket and carried on as we were.

So you didn’t use it or anything?

No – well I got it out and than I just put it back in my pocket really so I didn’t use it.

So when you got arrested for basically beating up this guy, was there two of you beating up on him then?


On the bus?


How come you went after him – why didn’t you just let him go?

That’s what we’ve been trying to work on really – why it is, and well mainly – well the police have been saying and I’ve been saying and my mum and people I work with – it’s all really, every time – all these offences have been committed when I’ve – well, alcohol related really, so we’ve just put it down to that so now I’m cutting down on the drinking and maybe stopping, I don’t know yet.

When you were on the bus and you had a go at this other lad, how did you get caught, I mean how did the police find out?

Well we were on the bus – the busdriver wasn’t on – he was in the office and there’s a button on the side of the bus which you press to get in; there were no-one else on the bus, just him; we walked on to t’bus and walked to t’back and he were just sat there and we started beating him up, and then everyone else came down so we got off the bus and then we all started ranting and raving and we tried getting back on the bus, but the bus driver were coming and I think it were the bus driver that phoned the cops I don’t know, and we all went round the corner for a bit and then we came back, a few of us came; I crossed the road to go past the other way so I didn’t get to see him, but one of the coppers noticed me and I ran off basically, and I managed to get away and I got home, then later that night the police came to my house – they didn’t know I was in, my mum didn’t know I was in and I’ve got a lock on my bedroom door so I locked that so they couldn’t look in the room, but then my mum noticed that the key was still in the other side of the door which stupid me left in there, so if I hadn’t have left that in there I wouldn’t have got caught, but then I had to open my door otherwise they were gonna break it down and so on and so forth, and then I got took to t’police station and then I were there for about fifteen hours.

So you were locked up in the cells – what was that like?

It’s just…well it’s like being put in a cardboard box really, you’re just staring at four yellow walls for fifteen hours with nowt to do, just sat there waiting for your – waiting to get interviewed really, and then sent off.

How did you feel in that fifteen hours – what was it like?

It just – it just drags so much and you try and get to sleep, you try and get to sleep to make the hours go by and you’ve got a copper opening the little – there’s like a little flap like that and they bang it when you’re asleep to wake you up, to see if you’re alright, like every fifteen minutes so you can’t hardly get no sleep to make the hours go by, it’s just not nice really.

So what were the police like – were they kind of like okay or were they really bad?

The coppers that took me there, I know ‘em so I mean I get on with them well – I know ‘em, so we had a chat and stuff like that but then they went and these other two came – one of them dealt with me, the other one dealt with my mate who were there, and they were not nice really. l mean I usually go into t’cells with my glasses on and this copper said ‘oh you can’t in them’ I said ‘yeh but I usually do’ and he says ‘well yeh – this is my rules not theirs’

So after that, when you got interviewed, how did they do that?

They take you into – it’s a small room, you’ve got a table, four chairs, there’s two coppers sat in front of you and then there’s you, and then if you want a solicitor then there’s your solicitor sat next to you, and they put theses two tapes in the machines and then there’s like a piece of paper in front of them, what they read off to say who they are, what they’re department they’re in and all that and then you have to state your name and address and date of birth, and then the interview goes on for as long as it goes on; you get interviewed about what happened, what part were you in it.

Could you remember it?

Sort of, yeh. I mean it is quite interrogating cos, especially like cos there were four of us that got arrested and I was the last one, you could say summat then you could slip up and not realise – they could have said summat else and then you couldn’t have said what they did – summat totally different and then they’d have to go away, do it all again and then you’d have to get put back in the cell and then come back and do it again, so that’s even more time in the cells and waiting.

When you were let out, did they let you out after that – did you go home then?

Yeh, me and my mate got let out at the same time so we went into town and got summat to eat cos we were starving and his mum and dad picked us up and yeh, then we went back home after that.

Was that in Halifax then?


What did your mum say to you when you got in then?

Well she weren’t in when I got in but when she got back, she – well she weren’t happy really, I mean she’s like ‘what you doing, what you playing at, mix your drinks, you’ve got to stop drinking’ – what mums really do.

How long did you have to wait to go to court?

I had to – it were a week, it’s usually a week, two weeks before you go then it’s usually only on a Wednesday but they tell you to be there for a certain time and you get there, then you could be – like say, they told me to be there for eleven and I didn’t get seen till quarter to five, so you never know how long you’re gonna be there. But it got adjourned and then I had to – cos they had to do a report then I had to come back, and they told be to be there for quarter to ten but cos we’d been there for so long last time we did get seen at half eleven so it wasn’t too bad.

What’s it like in court – what happens?

Well it’s not like you see on TV, it’s not like that – not in the Youth Court anyway that I know of, and you just go into a room and then you’ve got your magistrates all sat at the back, there’s three of ‘em, then you’ve got another woman sat in front of them, or man, then you’ve got your solicitor if you’ve got one then someone who reads out reports and statements, then cos it’s a Youth Court you’ll have your Youth Offending Teams sat in the corner and then you’re sat, like that’s the magistrates there and you’re sat there, then like your parents sat there or your guardian next to you.

And when they read out all the stuff that you were supposed to have done, I mean is that like – did you agree with it?

Yeh, cos I knew I’d done it so there’s no point in lying cos you never know if you’re gonna get put away with it; it you don’t, then you just make it worse for yourself.

Do they kind of like sentence you just there and then or do you have to wait for them to work that out?

They do go off into another room and then they say – they go through everything and what’s been said about it and I mean, the Youth Offending Team wrote me a report up saying that I’d been doing really well and all that sort of stuff, then they come back in and they can sentence you there and then or they can adjourn it, like mine did cos it needed a report cos I had a load of other offences, so they re-sentenced me for all them past three.

So what sentences did you get?

For this one? Yeh. I got a three month tag, I had to pay the lad two hundred and fifty quid compensation and I got a twelve months CRO which is a Community Reparation Order.

So what do you have to do for the Reparation Order then?

You have to meet with someone from the Youth Offending Team once every week it is at the moment and then it’s like that for so long. You have certain appointments and you have to go to them, and after so long then it gets changed to like once every two week and then once every month, but if you do really well you can go back to court and see if you can get it shortened as well if you do really well.

How long do you have to wait for that?

I think it’s about half way through it.

So what things are you talking to the Youth Offending Team about – what sort of things do they want to try and do?

Well I think there’s one thing about anger management, that sort of thing, about the drink – alcohol thing, and there was, cos one of the offences was a car theft, I’m supposed to be going on a…crash course sort of thing where you can sit in a car that’s crushed up and actually sit in it while the firemen cut you out of it, and experience it, and they show you videos and put you through your paces really – ‘this is what could have happened’ to try and make you not do it again.

How do you feel about that – doing all that stuff?

Not proud of myself really, I mean if I went to get another job and it’s gonna be on a record so then it could affect my chances of getting a job really as well.

Cos you’re working now aren’t you – how has this affected the job you’re doing now?

They don’t seem to mind – they do mind yeh, and they do give me advice and stuff like that and tell me I’m stupid and all that, which is good really cos – well they drill it into you.

So they’ve kept you on have they?

Yeh – yeh, they were fine with it – well they weren’t fine with it, but they’re fine with keeping me on.

So the sort of – the curfew that you have, is that not affected your working routine?

Not at the moment, no – but we could be working in Manchester and while my curfew’s on I’m not allowed out of my house before six in the morning and, well I’d need to be in Tod centre for half five to get picked up to go to Manchester, but that ends tomorrow, but I’m on a different job tomorrow.

What ends tomorrow – the job?

The job in Manchester – they finish tomorrow, the other lads

Oh I see. So you’ve been through quite a lot really haven’t you – what was like the worst bit do you think, for you – what was the worst part of all that? Was it getting arrested or being in jail, or having to do all this kind of reparation stuff afterwards?

I think the two most pain in t‘arse really is having to be in at nine o’clock every day – that’s every day Monday to the Monday after; it’s just every day for three month, and having to sit in the cell for fifteen hours, so it’s really getting arrested and having to be in because of the tag.

So this tag – is it like a radio tag?

What they have is – you have a box about so big in your house, you can put it anywhere in your house, and it’s got two aerials on it and it’s got a phone on top, and then that’s plugged in; it cannot be touched once it’s been put – in it’s got a spirit level in it or summat to see if you’ve messed about with it or anything, and there’s a phone on it – like say you have to go to hospital or you get arrested, you can ring straight through to the office and say ‘look I’m not gonna be in on my curfew because of hospital, arrested or whatever, and you can get the emergency services on it as well cos there’s the phone on top, and then it’s just like a bracelet on your ankle and…they have different sizes so it’s not too tight and it’s not too loose that you can pull it off your foot, but there’s no way of getting it off without breaking it, and if you break it then it’s classed as breaching it and you’ll have to go back to court and then it could get more serious.

I mean, can they tell if you break it?

Well yeh they can, cos when they come to take it off they notice it’s been taken off, or say you never go out of your house between – your tag never says that you’ve been out of your house between them hours, then it might seem a bit obvious and they’ll ring you up or something.

So I mean, how do they know? Say you left early one day, or you stayed out late one night and then came out – say you came home at ten instead of nine, how would they know?

The two aerials – there’s like a tracking device – they can’t tell where you are but they know that you’re not in. It goes through to their system and then I’ve heard that – I’ve been told that apparently it’s nothing to do with the police, but I’ve been told that they ring the police to say that you’ve not come in and the police come looking for you or something, and you have to go back to court again and get it re-done again.

So the confinement thing, being whether it’s in a small cell or being in your house without being able to go out, that’s the thing that’s really bad for you – the fact that you’re

Yeh – just in the same place all the time. You have to be in so early and you’re in one box room for fifteen hours.

Have you talked to your other mates – have your other mates got the same thing then?

No, they didn’t get anything for it, I don’t know why, but one of my mates that hangs around with us, he’s been on tag before and he told us all about it and stuff like that, but there’s only been one who’s been on tag before – he was on it for…I think he was on it for four month.

So this lad that went on the bus with you to beat up that other lad..

It weren’t a lad, it were a lass that came on t’bus with me. There was a lad that beat him up as well.

And nothing happened to them?

She got…cos she’d never been done before, I think she just got a caution and a fine I think, cos I’ve not spoke to her since cos I’ve not seen her – she’s not been allowed out, and my other mate, he just got a caution.

So why did that fight start in the first place?

It were summat to do with what he said, I don’t know if it’s true or not cos I weren’t there but it were summat to do with what he said, which I don’t wanna say cos it’s not my business, but it were summat to do with what he said to my mate and all of a sudden that just kicked it off.

So how do you think you’re doing on like controlling these things- anger and the drinking and what have you?

I have been drinking lately – I’ve been to a couple of cos it’s been a fair few birthdays this month, so I’ve been to…and there were a funeral as well and we went to the pub after that, but I mean I’ve been staying in. I go to t’pub for a couple of hours and then I get in before my curfew, and then a couple of my mates come up to my house and we have a few cans at my house, but I mean it’s just a pain in t’arse really cos you have to be in at nine o’clock and you’re at the pub, you’re having fun and everything like that and then you have to leave just cos you have to be in.

So you think you’re gonna change your ways?

Yeh, definitely – I mean I wish I could take it off now, but that’s the thing – you’ve got to have it for the three month, but I’m definitely gonna change now; I can’t do with having another one of them on, but this is like my final, final warning – that’s it now, if I appear in court again then that’s it – I’ll be going – I will be going to prison.

Do you think you would?

I will be – well that’s what the court said anyway, cos I’ve had so many offences, this is like the…cos I’ve had the Referral Order and now I’m on a Community Reparation Order – that’s like the last one.

Well that sounds it could be a bad thing for you.


Cos with being locked up in a confined space, it wouldn’t be very good would it?


Well I think that might be about it, unless is there any other part of it that I haven’t asked about?

Well, just…to youths out there, just don’t go for it, just don’t do anything that I’ve mentioned, cos it’s not good – it’s not good for your reputation, it’s not good for when you get older and just everything like that – it’s just not good at all, so don’t do it.

Do you think you’ve got into it because of like your mates, you know the sort of…the people that are your age – did you do it because they were egging you on and you wanted to fit in and everything?

No, I think it’s…I think it’s just to do with a part of growing up. I’m not saying everyone does it, but some people go through different changes in life and I don’t know, it just…it seems as thought you’re growing up and you think ‘well I’ll take the law into my own hands once I’ve had a few drinks.

Well I think that’s about it then really.

About Us

Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

Get in touch

Pennine Heritage Ltd.
The Birchcliffe Centre
Hebden Bridge

Phone: 01422 844450
Contact Us