On the dole
When I left school at 18 the first thing I did was to sign on. To sign on was, in other words receive social benefit. That dole money was a lifeline to people who had nothing. For me it was another roll of film I could buy. In Cumberland Street where you had to get your welfare was a depressing place. This – you can have any colour you like as long as it’s battleship grey – building was never empty. All sorts of working class life walked through its doors… kids crying with young mothers, school leavers, smack heads, the odd punk or new romantic.