Play / pause Hopscotch


  • Joan Ochuodho
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


When you arrived at Halton,

what struck you or rather what struck me

as a person was just the sense of discipline

that was there because we were looked after

by junior NCOs.

They were the course instructors and things.

My junior NCO at the time,

I remember his name very well

was a young man called Corporal Stangroom.

And the first thing they did was call out names,

so, so and so, so and so,

and everyone yeah, up here

and I think when he got to my name,

he stopped because my surname is just complicated

and straightaway I thought that must be my name

and he looked at me

and said well, I can't pronounce your name,

I'm gonna call you Hopscotch.

Do you have a problem with that?

And I thought no, not really

because at the time I didn't think quickly enough

to say do I have a problem with him

calling me Hopscotch?


And I thought back to the fact

that actually in my own country

people struggle to pronounce my surname,

so I've never really had hangups on my surname

'cause some people do

and then from then on,

I was actually called by people who joined up with me

at that time, the majority of them used to call me Hops.

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