This is a new category -'I nearly met.' It could be very useful to future writers and biographers gathering info. Take it away Robin:
In fact, I nearly met him twice. About thirty years ago I was reliably informed that back in the late fifties, long before the Stones had been born, he and some mates used to practice in the front room of the home of our neighbours, the Barton’s, in Woodland’s Park, a new housing estate in Joyden’s Wood, between Bexley and Dartford. I must have been about six at the time. The Bartons were our friends, but I knew nothing of rock music, or R & B, as Jagger and Richards would have called it.
I don’t think you will find this particular bit of trivia in any account of Jagger’s early life, but Stone’s fans will know that for a few years in the late forties/early fifties Mick attended Maypole County Primary, Dartford Heath, which also happened to be my old school from 1957 – 62. Obviously, I didn’t meet him there , but fast forward to 2001, when prior to its being demolished to make way for new executive-style homes, Maypole hosted a reunion of alumni. Having discovered well in advance that this was to take place, I tried to contact the Stones management people with a view to persuading Mick to revisit his old school. After all, as I think I argued, ‘This could be the last time ‘. The great day arrived. I moseyed up Old Bexley Lane with hope in my heart, really expecting the great man to make an effort. Everyone was there—old schoolmates, some of who I actually recognised, and also some teachers, including the weird Mr T, who used to sit me on his knee (but that’s another story)—and there were old photographs too, possibly one featuring Mick as a boy.But no sign of the Stone’s frontman. Chatting to a few of my contemporaries I found that I was not the only one to be disappointed that evening.
I discovered a few weeks later that on this special day the Stones had been on tour in the States. Not really an excuse, I felt at the time. Mick could have sent a message. Today, the alma mater of Sir Michael (and indeed Keith), is now no more. Anonymous new housing stands on the site. The sprawling Bexley Mental Hospital, which had stood bang opposite, is also fancy executive homes . In my time, and undoubtably in Mick’s, patients used to sneak through the school gates and chat to the children. I wonder if Mick got a song out of that….[R.M.R]