Told Exclusively to Tiger Beat by his Father, T.H. JONES
How would you describe Davy as a little boy?
Good, really, but just like all the other kids around (working class) always up to something. Of course I didn’t allow him to run wild and made sure I knew where he was. If he was “missing” after dark, I would send his three sisters looking for him. They loved him.
Can you recall any of the little nice things he used to do for you as a child?
Davy would do anything for his Mother. He ran errands, took messages without being told twice. If his Mother or I told him something, it was right.
When Davy was punished, what was the reason for this and what was the punishment imposed?
He used to get the old-fashioned backside slap. I had brought him a new trumpet, and paying for the lessons naturally I expected him to practice. When his Mother told me he was out playing the game of the season in the street (either football or cricket) I’d make him come inside the house and practice. He didn’t like this a bit.
Do you remember any of Davy’s childhood friends? If so, what were they like?
He had all the kids around as pals and couldn’t get his meals quick enough to get outside playing. Once a rag and bone man came around our neighborhood collecting rags and giving out free gold fish and balloons in exchange for the rags. A pile of rags dropped off the man’s cart and David picked them up and ran up the street giving them back to the rag man and collecting a gold fish in a jar for the man’s own rags.
How did Davy get along with his three sisters?
He loved them but said they nagged him and were always watching to see if he got into any trouble. He used to say to me, ‘Hurry up week-end, Dad. We’ll go fishing to get away from the girls. Ehhhhh!’ But he really loves them all.
What was the happiest day of Davy’s childhood?
I think every day was a happy day for David except school days. But he was a very happy child; never ill, always ready for a game and waiting for the weekend to go fishing. A very special day for him was the day he got his first pair of long trousers. He used to think long trousers would make him taller.
What was the saddest day of Davy’s childhood?
We had a lively family, three girls and one boy. And we all suffered a great loss when, after a long illness, his dear Mother died five years ago. David loved his Mother very much and I know he misses her very much. I’m very sorry she isn’t here today to see his success. I believe she watches over him even today. He even says she does.
What foods did he especially like and dislike?
He will ask for Fish and Chips as soon as he comes home. Also Potato Ash, which is a grand Lancashire dish. Potato pie and cabbage and ribs and Yorkshire pudding are his other favorites. I’ll have to get about 6 bottles of sauce in as soon as I know he is on his way home.
Who was his first real crush? What was she like?
A little girl in a school play dressed as a fairy. All the girls at school loved Davy but I really think football, cricket and swimming came first. He is a good ‘mile runner’ and would have run very well if he had gone in for it as a sport.
When did Davy first show signs of his dramatic musical talent?
I rehearsed the script of Tom Sawyer and David as Tom after seeing how he could memorize the words of that grand play. I thought then David would make a good actor. He used to entertain old age pensioners with his Auntie Hilda and his sister Beryl playing the piano for him. His mother used to have David singing while she played the piano for him. Those were happy days in our own little house when we had those concerts. We always had a piano and whatever musical talent Davy has must have come from his mother.
When Davy was ill, was he patient about staying home in bed?
We had a job keeping him in bed when he was ill. He was never really ill, but he did have the usual measles, chicken pox, etc.
How were his grades in school?
Up to about ten he was slow, but after this he made good progress and was always in school plays or Sunday school shows. He was Tom in “Tom Sawyer,” “Aladdin,” “The Cat” in Dick Whittington, so you see he was learning early for his vocation in life which turned out to be acting.
Did he dislike any particular subject in school?
No, but arithmetic bothered him. I had to help him with it. David was better passing the ball at football or bowling at cricket than passing exams at school. You got no credit for being in all the school plays, although the teachers liked him.
What type of games did he play with the neighborhood children after school?
The usual football, cricket, swimming. I used to take him boxing in a gymnasium. He was a good little paper weight and had one ‘fight’ at New Market. Yes, he got a good hiding, but didn’t mind with gloves on and the experience in a stable racing must have toughened him up a bit.
What was a typical Sunday in the life of your family?
The girls and David went to Lees St. Congregational Church and then on to a pavilion at Woodley Cheshire for the day. We had happy times there in the country with all our friends. The kids ran around the field and surrounding beauty spots all day nearly every Sunday in the summer.
Next month Davy’s dad answers more personal questions about Davy Jones’ early years. Part 2.