BNC Text G4R

Zeppelin raids, 1916: conversation with Gilbert Bromley. Sample containing about 7755 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C195

PS21W X f (j. hammond, age unknown, interviewer) unspecified
PS21X X m (Gilbert, age unknown, leather trader) unspecified
G4RPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
G4RPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 091802 recorded on 1986-06-11. LocationWest Midlands: Walsall () Activity: Conversation with Gilbert Bromley

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (G4RPSUNK) [1] Okay, well now er I er le tell you straight up?
[2] I do said this before hadn't I?
[3] Erm that erm about erm ... me father coming down from the top of the [...] ah ah well, this was January the thirty first, nineteen hundred and sixteen and er ... me father had been up to look after the horses, pigs etc you know, and about eight o'clock he came back and said to my mother that there was a big fire out at Wensbury Me mother and all of us went up there, and er we could see these blazing buildings over there, and er mother immediately said that's no fire, that's the Zeppelin's, and er that's what it turned out to be, of course .
[4] So, course ... a bit later we all went off to bed and er ... well I, the next thing I remember were was er me father coming grabbing out to me and me brother, and chucking us more or less out of ou get off downstairs and get under the table!
[5] And er, as there were seven of us you can imagine [laughing] that was a bit of a [] problem.
[6] But anyway, that's what we did.
[7] And er, ... we stopped there for some time and nothing happened and me dad says Gil!
[8] Go and put that lamp out in the street, cos there's one about fifty yards up the road.
[9] So now, of course, Gil immediately goes out, climbs up the lamp and just pulls the thing and [...] it.
[10] Well, about, I don't know how long ago but we were stuck under the table for [laughing] some time [] and er eventually we could hear this whirring noise like, you know and er ... I, I was a bit more daring than me brothers and I sneaked out and went out to the backdoor,an and looked up and there I could see this er Zeppelin in the sky, you know!
[11] And it, knew it was a Zeppelin because that was the only thing we knew [] heard of like, you know.
[12] And er, then all of a sudden I opened a sort of a door up in there, the light flashed down like somebody with a big torch you know.
[13] Course [laughing] I immediately darted back [] in the house and told me dad and well, and er ... he says er, you can look out for some trouble then now like, you know and er, ... nothing happened.
[14] After a bit, me dad went out to see what was going on and all of a sudden there was such a crash, and erm then there was two more like, you know and er we heard what, what we assumed was somebody's house tumbling down but it was our stable unfortunately.
[15] They'd hit right on the corner of the stable and er me dad went to go out.
[16] Well, we thought he'd gone out, but apparently he must have got to the door just as the bomb landed, and the blast blew the door backwards, er the door inwards, knocked me dad backwards and at the back of him we had a cellar, but it went through this, the cellar door and although it turned round before it went down the cellar, he finished up down there because we didn't know this til after a while that ... me brother wou didn't offer to go out, so I went out think, to find where me dad was you see.
[17] And er, er, the next thing I remember was er, er being picked up by somebody off this pile of bricks and the doctor told me that it was a gas, some sort of gas has come out of it which had overpowered me like, you know.
[18] And er,
j. hammond (PS21W) [19] Gas out of the bomb?
Gilbert (PS21X) [20] Out of the bomb, yes.
[21] And er, of course, I, I'd soon all right like, you know but er, it was at, but of course me dad wasn't there.
[22] Of course I didn't know that cos I'd conked out with this gas you see.
[23] Apparently they either found me dad down the cellar or he recovered and come up the cellar like, you know.
[24] It hadn't really hurt him, only a number of bumps like, you know.
[25] Well, of course, when daylight came and I ... of course it was midnight see when that happened and early in the morning and er, oh there was a, crowds of people coming.
[26] Course we was feverishly trying to chip the bricks and things off the horse then how, what had happened because we'd got two stalls for them, and there was pigs in the one side and the horse in the other one, but of course when we eventually came to it, or they eventually came to the horse, he was dead, been killed standing up there like, you know and er, poor old pigs was all dead as well and ... as I said, about a hundred fell and two or three [...] would been blown [laughing] sky high.
[27] We never saw no more of them. []
[28] But er ... I suppose ... in a lot of senses it could been worse.
[29] It could have been the house you see.
[30] And the funny thing was, it broke every window in the house except the ones nearest to it.
[31] [laugh] And those remain just the same as they were before.
[32] But the frame I think was a bit dodgy but it, we, we never had to have anything done at it.
[33] So it showed the difference how they put them up then to what they [laughing] put them up now [] .
[34] And, of course, the stables, that was all it, flattened down like, but that was only ... at the most ... twenty yards from the house.
[35] Them were more or less joined on you know.
[36] There was as shed in between but that's all.
[37] And, of course, the toilet used to be outside, that was quite all right , all those building.
[38] But erm, course, we er ... you didn't er ... think about that part of it then like, you know.
j. hammond (PS21W) [39] Did your father receive any compensation of anything?
Gilbert (PS21X) [40] No compensation, but I, I mean I'm talking about after government or anything like that.
[41] But the people were very good.
[42] I couldn't tell you what, but they collected ... quite a lot of money for us and er, and er, er, they were holding things there, er people were holding boxes at the bottom of the gate like and er
j. hammond (PS21W) [43] Is it neighbours [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [44] It, well, it ought, see there were so many people come to see it, but there was thousands you know, at different times like, you know.
[45] Oh yes, yes, perhaps and, and everybody would, would come up.
[46] I don't know how much they gave, but I do know that it, it, it came into a, a few hundred pounds which is a lot of money in those days you know, when you're talking about nineteen sixteen.
[47] But I can't remember what it was because obviously, at that age, you don't bother about money do you like, you know.
[48] But erm ... as I say, they did er, the people did but you never got nothing off the government for it and er, ... I've always said it, he must have been a much better man than I thought he was because er, er, to go as I say from what it was in those days to start his own business and that.
[49] And that he had that house built, er, like er, before he got in it and it was paid, built and paid for like, you know and that.
[50] I think, when I think it since, I think he must have been a remarkable man to work and slave like that.
[51] He was always at work, always Sunday.
[52] Now, cos I mean don't forget originally we used to take milk out twice a day, morning and night, because you had to fetch it from the farm.
[53] They got no coolers or anything like that, fridges, and nothing of that you know, and er, you'd got a, we used to ... fetch it in the morning ... and we used to supply ... Massey's ... Lavender's in ... and two other, two or three other little places.
[54] We had to make [...] and we used to have to take this milk, [laughing] I used to take it about [] five o'clock in the morning.
[55] And I, I had a little truck and run it down from down into .
[56] And er, were at Lavender's right.
[57] I used to take about, around about four, four to five gallons, which er, I could er, like erm, carry it down there like to them, you know and er, and then you got out [...] Cos in the ori original days, when I first started as a kid with him, we used to have to take it out morning and night, [...] people, mostly the factory owners and [laughing] we, we [] had er, had er having twice a day.
[58] Well, of course, there was, they got no methods of keeping it you see.
j. hammond (PS21W) [59] You were, you were at school presumably, erm at the time of the Zeppelin raid.
Gilbert (PS21X) [60] Oh I, when I, when I went there the next morning I had to tell all in front of the class and tell all the kids. [laughing]
[61] I did I, yes. []
[62] Yes, I, I was in er, I'm not sure, I, I think I was in the top class in the junior school and er, without boasting, I was a good scholar and I eventually passed to go to the Q M and me dad couldn't afford to let me go.
[63] [laugh] But er, I er, I, I went into from standard four in the junior school to form four in the senior which was standard six.
[64] I passed me own brother by [...] [laugh] in the process.
[65] And er, er, I was only in there one year and then I went into form five for three months and I, I went into the form six.
[66] I was in there nearly three years, or two and a half years anyway and, of course, I ... when I passed to go to the Q M of course , I, I used to do the Headmaster's [...] and all that [...] but they, they couldn't teach me any more because you, you can only have the same lessons as them that have been taught you know.
[67] But
j. hammond (PS21W) [68] Can you remember any of the other things that were happening in, in the town at the time of the first world war [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [69] Not er, no on, on that particular night that erm,tha that the air raid was.
[70] A man had a [...] got killed, and there was a man named out at he lost one eye.
[71] I can tell you that he lived at number ... forty-one I think, yes forty- one if, if you know if you want any confirmation, that is correct.
[72] I, I mean I can tell you the names of the [laughing] [...] [] of all, everybody in them days, round the fleck area like, you know.
[73] But
j. hammond (PS21W) [74] Do you remember anything called the tank bank [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [75] Tank bank?
j. hammond (PS21W) [76] The tank bank.
Gilbert (PS21X) [77] No, I can't say.
[78] I seem to remember,i i i you know, you try to bri you brought something back into me mind through saying that but er ... I, I can't, I couldn't tell you nothing about it no ... no I couldn't tell you nothing about it.
j. hammond (PS21W) [79] Do you remember of the territorials leaving [...] at the beginning of the war?
Gilbert (PS21X) [80] Well I, I didn't remember them no.
[81] I, I knew some of them but I didn't remember them leaving like.
[82] I ye you know being working with me dad on the milk round you didn't have chance to go anywhere an and that's perfectly true.
[83] I never had a holiday for about ... ten years.
[84] Not because I couldn't have had a holiday only that er ... we had loads of milk so we had to go and fetch it from the farms and you gotta have somebody to take it out.
[85] Well nobody wanted them jobs because it was a seven days' a week job.
[86] I used to work seven days' a week and I, I used to play football.
[87] I don't know how I got the [laughing] time to play. []
[88] I used to start me milkround on a Saturday morning at six o'clock and I'd be still running round at, at one o'clock and some of these, two o'clock sometimes, if it was bad weather.
[89] Some of these footballers now can't play when they're resting [laughing] all the week. []
[90] Er, no
j. hammond (PS21W) [91] Would you say [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [92] Ooh yes, definitely, definitely yes, I would say ... you, you know nobody ever expected they could get this far and I, I've heard people say this, you know.
[93] More, more recent than then, because as a kid they don't talk to you about them things do they like, you know.
[94] But erm, yes I've heard a lot of people say that er, they never thought they could get this far.
[95] And I mean these were sens people who I know like since, were sensible people like, you know.
[96] And er ... really ... er they themselves thought exactly the same like, but they were talking about other people telling them you know that they couldn't get this far but they did.
[97] I never expected them to, I'll tell you the truth, but then again at that age you don't think they ever will or it'll ever happen to you do you?
j. hammond (PS21W) [98] Were there any air raid precautions that night at all?
Gilbert (PS21X) [99] Any what?
j. hammond (PS21W) [100] Air raid precautions.
Gilbert (PS21X) [101] No, no.
j. hammond (PS21W) [102] Not before the raid or afterwards?
Gilbert (PS21X) [103] No, I don't ever remember any anyway ... No, I don't ever remember.
[104] I, as a matter of fact, I don't think there was any such things er thought of like, you know.
[105] ... But er, I never heard of them if they did and er, ... I mean I, I used to ... involve meself not in politics or anything like that is the last thing I ever [laughing] thought of [] involving meself in but er, I did er, sort er, well being on the milk round you used to see the people in, because they come to door to bring a jug you see and you, you talk to people and you know they were, er were sensible and they were, were should I say soft or [laugh] had no er conversation at all like, you know.
[106] But er, know I, I don't think I ever heard anybody think about it or say anything about a, an air raid like, you know.
[107] Because er ... as far as I'd concerned I'd never heard of air raids before hand you know, know I hadn't and I was, as I say, I was only nine and a half I know but er, I did use to speak to a lot more people than most, er lads of that age did like, you know.
[108] Cos I, I tell you, I used to go to Hunsdon fetch this milk of a morning and coming back, I'd empty the one can and I had a cal a, a gallon in each can an and er, the first erm, the first call coming back was at that big house on the corner of .
[109] I think it's called [...] or something.
[110] Its on the left-hand side, and er some people named lived there.
[111] I used to leave two pints or three pints there depending what they wanted.
[112] Then he lived about half way and, and er, one or two more he lived at the top house on the right and somebody over the other side.
[113] I forgot their name.
[114] [laughing] Well I'd emptied that one can.
[115] There was only eight pints in a gallon. []
[116] and the other gallon.
[117] I used to come, and I used to go [...] from there just past the top of there was two biggish houses erm ... who was it lived in the one some, somebody named and er and then there was ... er who was something to do at er on [...] and somebody named who was, got a brewery at Dalston and, and they were ladies and proper genteel-type ladies at that.
[118] And, and whenever they knew you've come would you, would you walk through and, and they used to [...] for us every time an tha and that in those days they'd give you a couple of bob which is, it was a fortune to me [laughing] at that age. []
[119] And er, then there was a fellow named and then which was works at Darleston and erm ... and erm nextdoor down, they got a factory at Dalston as well.
[120] And er, and that was, er go and did this before I went to school. [laugh]
j. hammond (PS21W) [121] Do you remember seeing any of the first world war soldiers about while you were working, on your travels coming home on leave or anything like that?
Gilbert (PS21X) [122] No I can't er, I can't tell you that I did definitely, although I, I've heard a lot of them at times but er, I'm not sure.
[123] We always keep the home fires burning and them sort of things like, you know.
[124] The lads used to sing them like when er, but as I say, it wasn't anybody ... only just the kids round as we played about with you know.
[125] Because in them days er I, I think most of us [laughing] had to, had to do some work. []
[126] You didn't have time to er ... to go and er, and play too much.
[127] Well I, we didn't because me nor me brother and that.
[128] I'm afraid I was a bit tougher than me brother.
[129] I had to take his part although he was older than me. [laugh]
[130] But er, I suppose I had a happy lif well I know I've had a happy life.
[131] I've enjoyed it, if, if it wasn't easy like, you know.
[132] Cos people often [laughing] used to say [] to me because I'd, I'd played everything you could play except golf, and, and er, and I, I, people used to say you did two men's work and you ... I, I met a chap one day, this was an instance, I'm not trying to blow me trumpet don't think that at all.
[133] But er, I met a chap this one day, he says well I, I saw you this morning taking milk out, he says I saw you this afternoon taking coal out, he said I see you tonight going playing tennis.
[134] [laugh] And it was true, I did and er, and I did reasonably well at most of the games that I play but er ... I played cricket for St John's and ... I played when I was in the army [laughing] at this last [] time and er, and erm, you, you know it's I, I think if you make up your mind and you're fit enough.
[135] I, I'll put that first see, because I, I was always fit.
[136] I never know what it was to, [laugh] not do anything, go, go to the doctor's and be bad or anything like that.
[137] The first thing I never went to the doctor with when I, I tumbled off the wall down [...] [laughing] cut me head open and [] that's the only, and then after I got used to playing football [...] they must've, have put a steel inset into your head the way I head that ball.
[138] [laugh] But
j. hammond (PS21W) [139] [...] did you play any games that were connected with the war in any way?
Gilbert (PS21X) [140] No.
j. hammond (PS21W) [141] Pretending to be soldiers or anything?
Gilbert (PS21X) [142] No, I never saw lads er, er, the game that seemed most popular with us, I don't know whether you have, it's nothing only really hopping across the road.
[143] Lancashire they used to call it and, we used to, they used to set one on at first and then, as he knocked, if he could knock one off his feet onto his two feet, then he had to help him to [laughing] knock the others over as they come in close [] and er, I know they don't sound nothing like, you know, now but er, in them days we use to think it was great.
[144] [laugh] Only because it meant knocking the others over like, you know.
[145] But er, no I can't never, er, remember anything like that you know.
[146] Kids
j. hammond (PS21W) [147] The summer time was introduced in the first world war, do you remember that [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [148] Er, I can't say that I, I, I, I know they did do that yes, but I can't say that it er ... it interfered with us much and I can't er,ev ever think of anybody, you know wh ... sort of talking about it like in any respect.
[149] No I can't.
j. hammond (PS21W) [150] Do you recall any types of food that were different [...] difficult to obtain [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [151] [laugh] Well again you see, I, I, with us keeping our own pigs which we always did, we were always better off than anybody else and er ... we er, we, you see when we kept these pigs, we used to ... either buy or, or breed some young ones see.
[152] Well when they was feeding these up, you could have one for yourself as long as you let the government have one, see, and er, er, of course the next [...] to feed a pig up, see, but er, I mean if you could fed them properly you could erm, ... perhaps get one ready in er, six to nine months you see, and er, which would be a, a good bacon pig like, if you fed it er, correctly.
j. hammond (PS21W) [153] How heavy would that be?
Gilbert (PS21X) [154] Well er, probably about er ... in them days they used to call them twelve score and then so it'd be twelve, two's or something that's two hundred forty pounds I suppose like, you know and er, but most of the people er.
[155] See a lot of people used to save us their peelings and bits like that.
[156] Well all these people, we would always let them ha when we killed one we would share it out amongst the people who had given them, like er, I don't say every time but occasionally we would do that and we'd let them have a piece of pork you see, which we could legally do see.
j. hammond (PS21W) [157] This was during the war [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [158] That's during the war yes and er, of course this is the first world war I were referring to and erm, the people appreciated this and we used to give it to them like you know.
[159] I mean some of them wanted to [laughing] pay [...] [] but I said no you helped us to feed them so, this, this were me dad's idea you see, he was always very fair-minded me dad was.
[160] But er, ... we did, and we, we, were thanked on a, in a numerous ways as well with people who was able to get things that we couldn't get like, and, and they give them us like, you know in return.
j. hammond (PS21W) [161] Did a lot of people keep pigs during the war [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [162] Well, no I don't say a lot, but more people than they did in peace days even then you know.
[163] They had, but they found it difficult because you'd gotta, gotta get a licence to keep them you see.
[164] You could keep them a as long as it was a reasonable way from the street as you might say and, and were fortunate because our pigstys had been built years before and they were ooh, suitably fifty to sixty yards from the main road you see, but [laughing] I used to laugh [] at that when we, when we were having these pigs killed.
[165] You'd see all the kids there peering through the cracks [laughing] in the, in the gate stand [] cos they used to squeal blue murder you know and er, I know it's er it's
j. hammond (PS21W) [166] Who used to kill them?
Gilbert (PS21X) [167] Pardon?
j. hammond (PS21W) [168] Who used to kill them?
Gilbert (PS21X) [169] Oh we had a butcher to kill, kill them.
[170] We, we always, we were lucky we ha knew a man named he lived on and he was a butcher in his rights, his own rights you know, just like and, and but er, me dad's brother or somebody knew him and, and he used to come and do it for us like, you know.
[171] And er, he was a good clean butcher, what I call a clean butcher, you know.
[172] I mean in, in he didn't leave it all over the yard and all that you know.
[173] It all washed down and that and we never had any trouble.
[174] Course the inspectors used to come and examine them you see er, like
j. hammond (PS21W) [175] After they've been killed?
Gilbert (PS21X) [176] After they'd been killed, yes.
j. hammond (PS21W) [177] To make sure they were all right to eat them
Gilbert (PS21X) [178] That's, that's it.
j. hammond (PS21W) [179] Is that why they come?
Gilbert (PS21X) [180] Yes , yes.
[181] They used to come and er, and they'd come and er, and, and sometimes they'd [...] oh would want a, a little bit off there like, you know and I'd say oh well, the people who's helped us to feed them they're gonna have a bit like, you know.
[182] But er, I didn't believe in, well it was me dad's pigs of course, but I was there at the time as well like, you know.
[183] But
j. hammond (PS21W) [184] How did you manage to keep the meat, erm, without refrigerators?
Gilbert (PS21X) [185] Oh er, we'd got a cellar and it was a real good'un, you could er leave it down there, salt, salted you see.
j. hammond (PS21W) [186] Oh yes.
Gilbert (PS21X) [187] And er, not brine, salt.
[188] It's the same type of thing but it's
j. hammond (PS21W) [189] Was it just ordinary salt?
Gilbert (PS21X) [190] That's right.
j. hammond (PS21W) [191] rubbed in or [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [192] Yes, rubbed in, yes and er, er of course we'd do that with the hams and we'd do it with the shoulders of the bacon, cos
j. hammond (PS21W) [193] And how long would it take [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [194] Ooh [...] twelve months like that, as long as you get it dried properly at first you see.
[195] And er, and, and yo you can do it to keep it.
[196] We did occasionally get the flies blowing them like, you know, but as long as you get it, got it in time and cut it down and cut it up straight away it was all right like.
[197] We never seemed to have much trouble anyway.
[198] We, as long as you could use the shoulders and the hams, the other part would be quite all right, oh yes, you got the bacon there hanging up sometimes longer than twelve months, mm.
j. hammond (PS21W) [199] Come in very useful.
Gilbert (PS21X) [200] Oh yes and er ... what I, I didn't I, say I told a lie.
[201] I didn't deliver, to tell a lie, but I did tell you a slight wrong thing.
[202] When I left school I wouldn't go on with me dad at first, I said I wanted to play football and me dad didn't want me to play football and he said you can't do a milkround and play football.
[203] Well I went and worked in a factory for about nine months I suppose, and the man himself, cos it was casting, brass castings, the man himself says, he says look son, this job's no good to you I'll tell you that.
[204] He says an which he says you've worked ... so hard, cos I worked for two casters which I shouldn't have done really, but that's how I were used to working you see and er, he said er, I said well me dad keeps asking me to go and work for him, and he said well ... I'll tell you what I'll do with you, he says you've worked so hard for us, this bloke came from Bloxford you know He says you've worked so hard for us, he said we'll agree to you going with your father, er for a month and see whether you like it, and if you don't like it, come back and we'll give you your job back.
[205] An it don't matter who we've set on we'll stop him.
[206] Cos, you used to work for the castronery had to pay you see, not the firm.
[207] You had to, we worked for the castronery at the back.
[208] They had to pay you see.
j. hammond (PS21W) [209] What did you used to do?
[210] What was your job?
Gilbert (PS21X) [211] You, well you, these [...] and things see, they, they was all sort of er [...] furniture particularly they used to make a lot of.
[212] And er, that was in very big demand in those days and of course us being the whatsernames, they, we used to have these things.
[213] Th there was sort of decorations on the saddles and things like that you know, and er, er, they had this firm and it was up of course, well, and it, to tell how far it was I had to be in by seven o'clock and I used to run it all the way.
[214] Not because I was made to be late, but I, I, I, I'd, me mother had made me cos she said you gotta come home to your dinner and there was no buses there were trams in them days, but I'd got to get into the town.
[215] I could, I used to run it down and er, and that's the only reason me mother would let me, but they was pleased as punch when I stopped and went and worked for me dad again.
[216] Well again, I, I, I had to do it as a kid but [laughing] I didn't [] afterwards but er, I er, tell you about this chap and I even went back and told him.
[217] I says I'm gonna stop with me father and they said well, we're sorry to lose you but we know this trade's know good to you and we hope that you'll stay with your dad and, well I did, I stayed with me dad until, as I say after I come out of the army and they wouldn't let me increase me coal trade.
[218] And
j. hammond (PS21W) [219] How many customers did your dad have?
Gilbert (PS21X) [220] Oh I er, I dunno there was, course there was m there was me, me dad, me brother and meself ... er ... oh I suppose it's hard to say.
[221] Well I used to serve about ... I used to serve close on 200.
j. hammond (PS21W) [222] What did you used to take the milk out in?
[223] Was it horse and cart?
Gilbert (PS21X) [224] Yes, yes, horse and cart, yes, and er, and me brother ... course we had er bought another horse by then.
[225] Me brother used to go, he used to do erm ... er this street, funnily enough I used to do ,,, and And er, I done down I served nearly every house an and down the side streets.
[226] Me brother served here,, ... and just round there and erm, then he used to do erm, up Wood Green an an and we used to serve down er We was only milk people who went down.
[227] There weren't many houses, but there was a few when you got to the bottom, see.
[228] Er when I say a few, about twenty perhaps, thirty, and er, of course, it was ... then me brother got the order for the [...] canteen as well see.
[229] So it was quite er, a bit to do like, you know.
[230] But he didn't do quite as much as me I don't think like.
j. hammond (PS21W) [231] Did you have to fetch the milk fresh each morning?
Gilbert (PS21X) [232] Oh yes, but it wa was down er ha had it from until they had to close down.
[233] That's er, where is now.
[234] All there.
[235] And there was er, he, he, used to have some fields up Wood Green as, as well that he turned the cattle into.
[236] Those over, still over the bridge like now, you know and er, where the brook comes through, but of course there was no, er, there was no houses at the back end you see, it went right
j. hammond (PS21W) [237] [...] few changes round here then?
Gilbert (PS21X) [238] Ooh gosh [...] and me dad yes, he used to do er, er, er, just a, he didn't do, do too many but he, he had, like a sort of a push truck like, you know and he has to go up and that, that only round not too far and he, he like to do it I think more.
[239] We could've done it really, but it kept him in with the people like and er.
[240] Course he, he used to know a lot of them round there, because there was more houses at the top of than there is now and all round there you know.
[241] Quite a few old ones up there there was, even up on the left-hand side.
[242] Er ... I would say, about eighteen to twenty close up to the top.
[243] Cos they were all small ones you know, like some [...] up Dalston.
[244] I mean there was houses in the street and there was like these courtyards at the back of them.
[245] [laughing] That's right. []
[246] [...] You know you wouldn't know there was houses there if you didn't go up there and see mm.
j. hammond (PS21W) [247] Was the football ground [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [248] The what?
j. hammond (PS21W) [249] The football ground [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [250] oh yes.
[251] I played on [laughing] there a good many times. []
[252] Yes, oh that was there mm.
[253] But er ... yes there, there was er,th that was,wa was the football club was there all along like, you know ... There used to be, that one what's still on, on [...] but that used to belong to the L N S then, they had er, a good football team.
[254] Some of me lads, as I told you, as well they went to play for them like, you know.
[255] When they got a bit older.
[256] But er
j. hammond (PS21W) [257] What was like in those days?
Gilbert (PS21X) [258] er, it, it, it's er, it more or less finished, er when you went over the bridge like.
[259] There wasn't a broadway of course, you must remember this before I tell you see.
[260] Er there was down , and, and, farm was on the right and it went the back [...] where old is around there.
[261] That was all his fields you see.
[262] And of course was a very prominent ma er the chemical people, that was the hunt he was concerned with ... with it.
[263] And er, he erm ... he, he was quite all right.
[264] He was the sort of, liked to be looked upon as the local squire.
[265] I mean if he saw me or anybody who he knew, hello young [laughing] that sort of [] thing like, you know.
[266] And I always remember me and me sister, Sylvia,sh they're all dead except me now so, er seven of us like, you know.
[267] And er, a lot of them were younger than me, but I don't know why but I've lasted lo [laugh] But anyway,m me and me sister we always used to, we'd say to me dad when we went to fetch the milk with me dad.
[268] Course we were only kids ourselves like, you know.
[269] So ... shall we go and sing a carol?
[270] So we went this one [laughing] Christmas [] I'll always remember it.
[271] And er, dad was at the farm and we, there were ba paths that went up to the house see.
[272] So we went, which was the backdoor to Started onc singing Once In Royal David's City you know, cos I knew he, he liked that.
[273] And er, ... he come to the door.
[274] Can't you read!
[275] ... Yes ... Well why are you singing carols?
[276] Well it doesn't say anything about singing carols.
[277] It does on the front door he said.
[278] I says well we haven't come by the front door, which we hadn't of course.
[279] We'd gone round that back door.
[280] [laugh] He opened his [...] and gave us a couple of bob.
[281] [laugh] Anyway, I always remember another one at the same time, that same Christmas.
[282] We, we went up to erm ... [...] top of And er, we, we earned mo more money in carol singing [laughing] we had in anything else. []
[283] And er, we went there and ... knocked the door.
[284] We started singing a carol.
[285] ... Er ... what the dickens did we sing, The First Noel I think.
[286] Well we finished that and the door opened and er ... Do you know Once In Royal David's City?
[287] And I said oh yes Mr I said know all the carols.
[288] Me an me sister, we thought we were [laughing] [...] [] then he says come inside and sing it for our, somebody, you know.
[289] I don't know what his name was, but I was only a little kid like, you know ... We, we sung that ... He give us half a crown each, [...] He said do you know on, on the I said oh yes.
[290] He said would, would you put this card through the door for us.
[291] We've, we've forgot to send them a card.
[292] So it give us another shilling each.
[293] [laugh] I mean,it it, you know us kids, I mean this was a fortune to us, but I, I don't mind telling you me dad had it off of us [laughing] when we got home. []
[294] Says that's gotta go in your box. [laugh]
j. hammond (PS21W) [295] You said [...] wasn't cut through.
Gilbert (PS21X) [296] Oh no.
[297] That's right
j. hammond (PS21W) [298] What was there then?
Gilbert (PS21X) [299] It, it was just fields.
j. hammond (PS21W) [300] Was it?
Gilbert (PS21X) [301] That was were they use t and, and it had turned off down er, down where it is now er, down there.
[302] We used to serve all those houses down the bottom there, round there.
[303] Wel and there was more than there is now like.
[304] And er, er, then t to the brook where he, it is now.
[305] You,th cos the railway men used to make the path, cos the terrific amount of railway men used to work down at [...] and most of our round consisted of railway people and most of them had come up from Wales and places like that.
[306] But anyway, er, you was saying er,th there then was a path which went eventually up to erm, the Boar's Head on, on, the and there was a path across those fields all the way, a walk up there.
[307] We used to go and walk round there a
j. hammond (PS21W) [308] So you could walk from right round [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [309] Yes, right to, to and, and you could even go on farther, but I don't think I ever went any further [laughing] I didn't have time. []
[310] But yes, that was what,wh what it was.
j. hammond (PS21W) [311] And they were all open fields across there?
Gilbert (PS21X) [312] Yes, and, and this path was at the side of the fields like, you know, that, went just on the edge like, you know.
[313] They ne they didn't, nobody used to, well as far I knew, nobody ever caused trouble in the kids in, like in, on those sort of things.
[314] I could do me [laughing] own wack [] of er, playing about like, you know.
[315] Like tying a bottle on the door and sticking it on the window [laughing] and knock the door [] and they had to come, crash the bottle would go.
[316] Used to think that was a glorious [laugh] But er, not what they do now like, you know.
[317] I mean, like some of the kids do now, I think it's terrible, you know.
[318] But er, yes that was, that wa tha tha that finished there like er that was the finish of the, of all the traffic there until th Course you can't visualise it now without being broadway.
[319] But erm
j. hammond (PS21W) [320] What was the bridge like itself?
Gilbert (PS21X) [321] Well, ... it, it, it looked very similar, not quite as good as it is now but er, it wasn't no where near as wide of course.
[322] It, it was like on only the one half roughly about what the bridge is.
[323] But it was in reasonable condition like, you know.
[324] But certainly not good condition cos it wasn't used by much, of course being a dead end see.
j. hammond (PS21W) [325] Mm.
[326] What about the centre of the [...] itself?
[327] What was that like in those days? [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [328] It, ooh yes, it was quite busy, it definitely was busy, and, but er, ... it, it, it was in very similar in what it is now, but the shops were all different like, you know.
[329] I mean they, people er, the hairdresser's for instance, they seemed to be there for evermore [laughing] [...] [] at the far end, towards I mean er, er, and then there was half way along on the other side and
j. hammond (PS21W) [330] What sort of shop was that?
Gilbert (PS21X) [331] They were both hairdressers those were.
j. hammond (PS21W) [332] One men's and one women's?
Gilbert (PS21X) [333] No, they were a both men's.
[334] I don't think [laughing] women had [] their hair done then, did they?
[335] [laugh] Not that I can er, remember.
[336] The, the first ladies' hairdresser's was some where up where there is one now, where and whatsername is now I think erm ... I do whatsername, towards like, you know.
[337] Er ... cos his mother lives down now I think, yes.
[338] Well,tha that was the,th th the first ladies' hairdresser's as I can ever remember.
j. hammond (PS21W) [339] Was there a [...] shop [...]
Gilbert (PS21X) [340] There was a, a toba a tobacconist on the corner of erm, of itself, like.
[341] A, a pretty big one.
[342] A chap named, ooh, Harry , he used to keep it for a long while, and er ... then of course,th the post office was on the er, opposite side of the road to where it is now.
[343] That was about the, I would think the fourth shop from er, sommat like that.
[344] Because er, I used to serve them with coal and Miss her name was and er ... er th there was erm ... a sweet shop about tow by that fish shop which was er, er a fish shop even in those days, fish and chip shop even in those days.
[345] I'm talking about opposite what they call you know.
[346] And er, there was a bloke I used to play football.
[347] I, I don't think he played for Walsall, but he played for Bloxford Strollers.
[348] He, he was quite a decent footballer, quite a nice chap really.
[349] And er ... then there was a, a fella named he used to keep the sweet shop and it was a, a sort of a high-class sweets like, you know.
[350] They used to, it were very nice shop in those days and er ... then of course the next door to that fish shop, the other half going towards was .
[351] These people who lived in ,ha they had a shop in as well.
[352] They had like ... well for the sake of saying, pigeon co for food and even ... poultry food like, you know, such as er, well they used to call it Sharp's and mix it up like into a mash, you know.
[353] But er, that was there though, with their affairs.
[354] Then was next to them.
[355] Then there was a, the paper shop where, somewhere near where it still is now.
[356] And er ... ooh what was the name, there was a grocery shop and then there was a, a confectioner's right on the corner of erm ... er is it called, that leads off in, into It only, only a short street, there's no houses in it actually.
[357] Well, that was then, that was another confectionery er, place like.
[358] When I say confectionery, cakes and things like that, you know.
[359] Oh there was quite a few and then on the other side there was er, the old reading room where the erm ... er, building society is it now, what's there?
[360] And oh, on the corner of there was er, er ti whatsername er ... what do you call them ... these things what sell curtains and stuff like that?
j. hammond (PS21W) [361] Drapers.
Gilbert (PS21X) [362] Drapers and things like that.
[363] Oh that was there for years, donkey's years when, I can remember when I was at school, going to school and it was still there ... quite a number of years after I left school.
[364] Oh [...] that's all right.
[365] Oh yeah and this chap inherited the money off his mother and father and er, I don't know whether he drunk it or whether he gambled it away, but he lost the business so that, and that was the beginning of the breaking up in my er opinion of the fleck shops like, you know.
j. hammond (PS21W) [366] Do you remember the trams going down?
Gilbert (PS21X) [367] Oh [laughing] yes [] I wa as kids er, I used to, I could always get in with the, the conductresses.
[368] I, I of course, I suppose going round with milk I'd perhaps got more confidence th cos I had to take milk whether I wanted to or not, see and we if we got down there and there was two or three of the conductresses down the fleck and er, jump on a Dalston bus cos I'd got to get to like, you know.
[369] So er, you, you can ring the bell for the custom er, people to get off and on like, you know.
[370] And I had [laugh] [...] but I was soon off when I got at well just past there to pull up there.
[371] But you could jump off them while they were going, so I,an
j. hammond (PS21W) [372] [...] very slowly, did they?
Gilbert (PS21X) [373] Well, not too slowly no, but er, they er, they er kept on going like there was a continuous flow of them, you know, all the while.
[374] Aye, they seemed to be following one another up the road.
[375] But of course nobody had cars you see, in them days.
[376] That's what you've got to think of.
[377] And er,we oh usually I could get on there for a, you, you can get erm ... I think it was a four-way ticket for threepence down the town.
[378] I don't know whether it was a return, I forgot that but er, it, it was, it was four for four rides for threepence and er, [laughing] that's if you're down the town you know, that's quite a few [...] really, for threepence. []
[379] And er, er,an an and as I say I had, like, this was only coming home from school like, you know.
[380] But,a another one they used to call a fatty [...] [laughing] I can remember that even now. []
[381] She was very pleasant as a matter of fact.
[382] But, cos I knew a lot of the dra the drivers because er, they were local people like, you know.
[383] One or two lived, even the top of on the other side of the road, houses are down now but, er, there was, there was three cot which we call cottages which er, much smaller than the others, but they were still very useful and nextdoor to there ... there used to be a, a chap named, oh nextdoor but two.
[384] There used to be a chap named They used to work on th on the trams, and they used to, used to seem to work in families like, you know.
[385] They had er, perhaps ... two men'd on the, the trams and sons'd follow them [laughing] like [] you know.
[386] Ah, then they er, these sort of jobs seem to run in families.
[387] But er ... ah yes, as I say, there was some happy times and there was some ... tearful times no doubt. [laugh]