Andrew Collins

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Teenbedroom1_3

RT-room

Lucky for me that Andrew Collins, writer and 6music radio presenter regularly took pictures of his bedroom and kept a diary when he was growing up, as a picture of a teen’s bedroom pre 1990 whatever is a rarity compared to today’s constant stream of digital documentation. I love this glimpse into Andrew’s teenage bedroom, it reminds me of some of the boys bedrooms I spent time in when I was growing up. It was taken in 1982 when Andrew was 16 going on 17.
He said,  “My bedroom was in Northampton, where I grew up. I’d shared a bedroom with Simon, my younger brother, for 14 years and in 1981 my parents had an extension built which meant I got my own room for the first time: a massive deal! I loved it because it was still relatively new, and it was mine. We were never allowed to have locks on our doors as teenagers, but there was an unspoken etiquette about knocking before entering. So although it wasn’t exactly private, it was still a sanctuary of sorts, and I had been allowed to paint a mural on my door, which you can’t see in the photograph, but was basically a life-size cartoon of me, which seems pretty narcissistic looking back! It was not a huge bedroom, but I could set up my drum kit at the end of the bed, and did, occasionally, much to the chagrin of our neighbours, no doubt.In the early 80s, twelve-inch vinyl was all the rage, and extended remixes, so I would have danced to one of them: Sound Of The Crowd by the Human League, or Nowhere Girl by B-Movie, either would have gone well with hair spraying my enormous fringe into place.
My younger brother, Simon, and his friend Kevin, two years below me at school, used to sneak into my room and play my records at lunchtime. I discovered their treachery when I found my stack hi-fi still switched on when I got home from school one day. This is the fate of all older brothers. I shopped Simon to my parents and they told him off. In retrospect, I admire him for doing it. I became good friends with Kevin after Simon had gone off, at 16, to join the Army. We bonded over a love of The Cure.”
When I asked what he would save if his bedroom were on fire in 1982, he said, “I would have wished I could save my drum kit, but that’s impractical, so it would have been my 1982 diary, which I still have and offers a fascinating insight into the life of a provincial 17-year-old obsessed with the opposite sex and pop music.”

Teenbedroom2_2

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