BNC Text K61

Walsall Local Studies Centre: interview. Sample containing about 11120 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C616

PS5AY X f (Joyce, age unknown) unspecified
PS5B0 X m (Edward, age unknown) unspecified
K61PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
K61PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 091301 recorded on 1988-02-12. LocationWest Midlands: Walsall () Activity: interview

Undivided text

Edward (PS5B0) [1] My first memories of Walsall Airport were when Walsall Flying Club was in being before World War Two.
[2] If you look from towards , which was a large house in a clump of trees, at the far side was a pavilion which was the clubhouse, they used to hold air displays and pleasure flights, also they had commercial flights.
[3] I've seen them towing [...] across the sky with Beecham's Pills written on them er it was a familiar sight in Walsall at the time, and also sometimes they had a plane sky-writing and they used to write Rinso in smoke in the sky.
[4] The club's planes were usually Tiger Moths in the main, and as I remember the main airport building adjacent to the main road, pre war, were building Swallow side-cars for motorbikes.
[5] Soon after the war started Helliwells Aircrafters, it was known, started an operation for the repair and rebuilding of aircraft for the RAF.
[6] The types which were Boston Fighter Bombers and Harvard Trainers, both were American planes.
[7] Peter was the test pilot used to be testing the Harvards over Walsall, and the engines used to make noises like angry wasps which was Walsall people became to know very well.
[8] I left school in 1942 and got a job at the airport, which at the times we were living in always something exciting seemed to be happening.
[9] Well I remember an Oxford aircraft over-flying the airfield and crashing in blocking the lane and going into the hedge on the other side, into Gingers Yard.
[10] Billingham Woolwork we used to get entertainment nearly every lunchtime in the canteen, sometimes it was a film or live acts, comics and singers and one of the workers named Haydon , formed a small band which he call Butch Blood and the Boston Bashers.
Joyce (PS5AY) [11] Who did this entertainment, was it the workers themselves or did they [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [12] No they used to have organized ENSA concerts and er such like and er, when the Americans started arriving in England in large numbers ready for D Day, the temporary placement depot at Lichfield was a dispersal unit for soldiers sent there.
[13] They sent their big band for a show and it was a really memorable sound as they had fellas on the way over to join Glen in Europe.
[14] An American army sergeant arrived at the airport one day who befriended me and he was in charge of an artillery spotting plane called the Piper Cub which they gave a small corner of the airfield to.
[15] He came in one afternoon and started painting black and white stripes round the fuselage and wings, when asked the reason for this he said it was a new allied marking.
[16] The next day both he and his plane were gone and with hundreds of planes going over, the next morning D Day had begun.
[17] Later in the year, two U S A Thunderbolt Fighters landed after a daylight sortie over France, they were painted in the usual drab green camouflage colour and both had a pink and red glamour girl on the side about twenty feet long, typical of the Yanks.
[18] One afternoon a flying fortress which had come off worse on the mission over Germany tried to land at Walsall, which was much too small to take an aircraft of this size, and the girl in the control box had to find, fire a warning vary light and radio to send him off to Castle Bromwich which was much bigger in those days er it was an airport to take an aircraft the size of the Flying Fortress that's about it up until here I've written
Joyce (PS5AY) [19] Oh right.
[20] What was your job?
[21] What did you do?
Edward (PS5B0) [22] I was only a lad, I was er a messenger boy on the loading deck and I used to have to go down to at Beskett and fetch parts for the planes and er [...] plates, aluminium plates, to be normalized which was a treatment when they put them into the vats and I had to fetch the films as well, from the house that used to be a warehouse for films over in er in by the beacon, great bar! [...]
Joyce (PS5AY) [23] Films what were those for, what ... ?
Edward (PS5B0) [24] They were for the entertainment of the workers in their lunch break er, it wasn't really much of a job but er, I kept applying to go onto the floor to actually work on the aircraft but they, they wouldn't sort of er, I was needed too much in the receiving departments so in the end I left.
Joyce (PS5AY) [25] How would these damaged planes used to arrive at the airport?
[26] Did they come by road or [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [27] Well some of them came by road and RAF trucks, the fuselages, and then there were all ... they started at the top of the airfield in the old flying club pavilion, and then they were er stripped down and stuff was taken off them, checked out, for airworthiness to see whether it was ready to go back on the planes, and then they came down to the back of the top hanger which was then they were all down to the skeleton of the aircraft and they started rebuilding them again like, there were engine shops and the place at the bottom hanger where they used to make the Swallow side-cars was the spraying and where they completed the aircraft.
Joyce (PS5AY) [28] Can you tell me about the buildings that were around the airport?
Edward (PS5B0) [29] Yes
Joyce (PS5AY) [30] Tell me what fronted the main road first.
Edward (PS5B0) [31] Yes the they were much the same as they are now but er, of course the one nearest was the er spraying hanger, that's where they used to build the Swallow side-cars, the main office building there's a large hanger with large sliding doors at the back of there which used to house the erm experimental department for the Harvard Aircraft and erm they used to operate the flight gang from there getting the planes ready to go up to be actually tested, and then the next hanger up was very much er starting from scratch and finishing the aircraft structurally you know.
[32] They had an in, an in and out shop of where they used to recondition the engines er and er I that's about all er.
Joyce (PS5AY) [33] What sort of runway was it?
Edward (PS5B0) [34] There were, there was, there wasn't any runway it was just a grass airfield as there was a lot of them in those days erm this, this is why they, they couldn't get any aircraft of any size in there you see, this is why some of them used to overshoot if they got twin engines before the war erm
Joyce (PS5AY) [35] About how many people were employed there would you say at this time?
Edward (PS5B0) [36] Oh hundreds I would think, all of three hundred people.
Joyce (PS5AY) [37] Were men and women involved in this [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [38] Oh yes oh yes working on the aircraft as well.
Joyce (PS5AY) [39] Mm was that all they actually did during those war years there just repairing the aircraft
Edward (PS5B0) [40] That's right yes yes cos
Joyce (PS5AY) [41] and putting them back into service?
Edward (PS5B0) [42] motorcycle side-cars were very much a luxury trade you see.
[43] It was totally devoted to war work.
[44] Erm they er as airfields had to be protected they build some pillboxes, country pillboxes for the Home Guard at strategic points [...]
Joyce (PS5AY) [45] I was going to ask you about security
Edward (PS5B0) [46] and also the Home Guard or the army were in the house at the far side of the airport which was called Aldridge Lodge they were very much in there the erm
Joyce (PS5AY) [47] Where there ever any breaches of security?
Edward (PS5B0) [48] Oh no no, it was really a happy-go-lucky time you, you had to be alive in those days to appreciate it, it, people sort of got together and it, it's a different attitude to life today er much more friendly people there and they, we all worked together we all pulled together to defeat Hitler this, this was the thing in those days.
Joyce (PS5AY) [49] Were women involved in the work there as well?
Edward (PS5B0) [50] Yes, yes, yes and
Joyce (PS5AY) [51] What sort of things would they have done?
Edward (PS5B0) [52] Well they, they were er helping the electricians and er but they were er they weren't so technically involved as perhaps they would be today.
[53] They were very much sort of in an assistance capi capacity if you can understand.
Joyce (PS5AY) [54] Erm how types of craftsmen were employed there to do things?
Edward (PS5B0) [55] Well there were electricians there were carpenters, the carpenters were into directly involved with building aircraft but they used to create the engines and make engine stands such things and do maintenance work around.
[56] There were engine fitters, electricians, riggers and er course there were sheet metal workers as well working in aluminium and pop rivets er there was er also a government inspection department and a works inspection department and er things and da the Air Ministry had to be very up to scratch you know erm ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [57] Did they work through the night as well, was it shiftwork there?
Edward (PS5B0) [58] Not as I remember no funnily enough but they used to have people who, who went out to work at different airports after the planes had gone out they used to have gangs that went out to Perton and er we used to draw equipment from er the maintenance un RAF maintenance unit at Stafford things used to come from there.
Joyce (PS5AY) [59] What did these gangs go out to Perton for, what was that all about?
Edward (PS5B0) [60] Well after the, the aircraft had actually er left the airport to go, be handed back to the RAF they said sometimes had to be serviced or final adjustments made and that's what they used to go out there for but erm Helliwells was ver it was still, all through the war it was Helliwells aircraft they used to have their own lorries and everything and they used to erm, be under the auspices of the Air Ministry but it was very much a private company.
Joyce (PS5AY) [61] You mention test flights er
Edward (PS5B0) [62] Yes yes
Joyce (PS5AY) [63] was there just one test pilot or
Edward (PS5B0) [64] Yeah well there was one main test pilot that's right and other people like, who used to be an instrument gang as well, well I do know this fella Cyril he was a dental mechanic in Walsall before the war and he came in there and he was an instrument mechanic and he used, he used to go up with the test pilot to actually test the instruments in the other compartments in the plane or cockpits just to see how they were reacting under operational conditions.
[65] He subsequently er went to work at the Berlick in latter years and, and this man was just sweeping-up at the Berlick and I couldn't believe it cos he was so high up in the technology in the war and he'd be a dental mechanic and he'd come down to just being a sweeper-up, and he used to show me the pay packets he'd got in the war and you know it was fantastic money even, even by today's standards this is going back fifteen years
Joyce (PS5AY) [66] What did he used to earn and how did it compare with [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [67] Well he showed me packets thirty five and forty pounds a week which then those days was utterly fantastic money.
Joyce (PS5AY) [68] And what would an ordinary person have been earning at Helliwells?
Edward (PS5B0) [69] Well in the war five pounds a week was extraordinary money, cos they used to say a fella had got a good job if he was getting five pounds a week in those days, so that when I started work first I, I was getting fifteen shillings a week, so you can understand that seventy five pence today, at fourteen.
[70] I went to the Bluecoat School in Walsall and they erm they used to run a A T C wing in there which later to belonged to and they [laugh] they brought this Hawker Demon in, which was a plane into the playground for the instruction of the A T C fellas and the kids all ripped the canvas off it for souvenirs and it was down to a skeleton in no time [cough]
Joyce (PS5AY) [71] You mentioned that you used to have to go to Helliwells down at Beskett
Edward (PS5B0) [72] Beskett yeah yeah
Joyce (PS5AY) [73] erm what was the set-up there?
Edward (PS5B0) [74] They, they used to build wings for the, they had er all pop riveters and they used to b build wings for the planes that finally came up to the airport down there and erm it was very much a structural set-up as I say I used to have to take plates down there from the airport to be normalized, it was er a sort of softening treatment for aluminium and made them easier to shape and rivet them onto the main fuselage, but they, they used to make Harvard wings and cowls, engine cowls, for the Bostons and Havocs they weren't ... the one type of Boston was a fighter bomber and another one it had the front navigator's position cut out and they used to have a search light put in there which they used to call
Unknown speaker (K61PSUNK) [75] Turbin lights and they were for use of coastal command of the RAF first searchlighting for submarines, looking for submarines, the er ... the Harvards were very much trained as some of them came in from the Navy they were used for training landing of pilots on aircraft carriers, and they had hooks underneath you know the er they were a very good trainer they were still used today, but when we used to go and see films at the pictures they used to use them a lot as Japanese aircraft because they looked alike, and they used to use them as zeros in the American films these Harvard trainers, er and but like as I said they had a experimental department at Helliwells and they used to try out various things to see if they could improve on the structure or the instrumentation things like that ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [76] Were there any parts of er ... of the complex that were out of bounds sort of top secret work going on or anything like that?
Edward (PS5B0) [77] Well no not really because erm it, it was a private company as you can understand er, I can I can't really explain it everyone seemed to be pulling together you know that was the last thing you thought of, fifth columnists, things like that although it was ... they used to er, every now and again they used to send government national service officers round to look at the personnel and the structure of the working and if they thought anybody was superfluous to requirements they'd get the papers soon after to go into the army or the services yeah, yeah, that is true and that happened, used to happen in factories all round the area, it was called the Essential Works Order.
Joyce (PS5AY) [78] Was there erm a canteen there or facilities for you?
Edward (PS5B0) [79] Yes, yes that's where they used to have the shows in the lunchtime they had very good er food arrangements and facilities.
[80] We used to go up there for our breaks as well morning and afternoon and they used to have dances sometimes in the evening.
Joyce (PS5AY) [81] What was the food like?
[82] Cos it was sort of rationing at that time.
Edward (PS5B0) [83] That's right yes oh we used to get sausages with bread in it and potatoes mainly you know, greens and things like that were the staple diet but they, they used to get rations apart from people's personal rations being on war work if you can understand.
Joyce (PS5AY) [84] So you were well looked after.
Edward (PS5B0) [85] Oh yes yes very much so.
Joyce (PS5AY) [86] You mentioned er you had a friend that worked at the, the bomb dump at Lindley.
Edward (PS5B0) [87] That's right
Joyce (PS5AY) [88] Can you tell me anything about that?
Edward (PS5B0) [89] It, well nothing really in depth but there was erm something else I was going to tell you.
[90] As I had to go to Beskett this young woman had not long been married and she always used to ask me to call at her house in Palfrey, cos I used to go on a bike not in a van, on a carrier bike, she used to ask me to call at her house in Palfrey to see if there were any mail from her husband and he was, there sometimes was sometimes there wasn't nothing you know that he'd written and er one day I'd got back and er she was all in tears and er he, he had been killed in France and I was glad I didn't have to be the harbinger of the times you know ... she still lives in Palfrey now Mrs yeah.
Joyce (PS5AY) [91] This, this bomb dump it was a RAF place was it?
Edward (PS5B0) [92] Yes, yes, yeah, but they did have civilians working there but I don't know where they used to ferry the bombs out to but I do believe they used to carry detonators and everything down there you know.
Joyce (PS5AY) [93] They were just stored in the caverns [...]
Edward (PS5B0) [94] That's right yeah, yeah, yeah ... but er cos I remember the caverns from before the war when I was in the Cubs.
[95] I was in the central Cubs and we used to go up there to [...] lime pits and round Lingley Woods you know on days out tracking and all that sort of thing.
Joyce (PS5AY) [96] Did you ever go down the caverns?
Edward (PS5B0) [97] No, no I've never been down and er they've always been full of water whenever I've been up around there.
Joyce (PS5AY) [98] Did they have problems with keeping the water out during the time they were storing the
Edward (PS5B0) [99] Well as I understand they must have had pumps down there or something to or something to keep them dry because er ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [100] Were you in any sort of A R P unit or anything like that during the war years?
Edward (PS5B0) [101] Er I, I was a messenger for a time for the er, we lived in Lane and I was a messenger for a time with the erm A R P headquarters in Drive, now when my uncle got married and he had two children and I'd, they were issuing gas masks and I had to go down and fetch a gas mask for his daughter and they were great big ones that used to envelope the whole babies with a bellows on the side that the mothers used to have to pump when they were in them, thank goodness we never had to use them and erm
Joyce (PS5AY) [102] What sort of a set-up was it in Lane the A R P?
Edward (PS5B0) [103] Oh Drive
Joyce (PS5AY) [104] Drive, sorry.
Edward (PS5B0) [105] Well it was a large double-fronted house and it was sand-bagged all round and there were tables and to er, administer, you know, wardens in the unevent of air raids which they used to do and they used to patrol the streets looking for lights to see if pe my nan actually got fined once cos she, she event inadvertently went into a room and put the light on and forgot she'd left the curtains open and an air raid warden happened to be around she, she got hauled into court and fined five pounds for that, er she er ... I, I once I was just thinking the other day just telling a friend of mine, they had an actual practice air raid once and in some old buildings in the Burchells and we as kids had to go and lie in there and wait till we'd got a tag on and what would happen to us a label and they took us to the first aid post in, an ambulance came and picked us up on a stretcher and took us to the first aid post in Road.
[106] We used to have dress rehearsal, some, I think I got mustard gas burns as well I was supposed to have on my arm er ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [107] Did this er, going back to Helliwells again, repairing of the aircraft, did that cease when the war finished or did it continue for a time afterwards?
Edward (PS5B0) [108] It, it, it just went on for a lit a short time afterwards but er, but when the war ended course things, some things changed pretty rapidly as you can appreciate but, but by this time I, I was working for Ellwells then on long distance transport and we used to have to go and fetch tractors or bulldozers that had got armour plating on from Dagenham docks and bring them up here and start selling them to civic contractors and the, the Americans were selling a lot of equipment as well at end of the war, and I saw money made overnight like, people were buying the lorries and putting them on the road you know for work and transport firms and all that and they were getting some of them for next to nothing ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [109] So Helliwells were involved in this?
Edward (PS5B0) [110] Not really no, I was working for another firm by this time.
[111] We, I used to move around a lot on those days as you could do really speaking because I wasn't old enough to be under the Essential Works Order you see, and er I was by the time I went into the army it was 1946 so er the war was over.
Joyce (PS5AY) [112] Yeah tell me the sequence of your jobs then, you started off you were a messenger at Helliwells and then what did you do?
Edward (PS5B0) [113] Helliwells yeah
Joyce (PS5AY) [114] Yes then what did you do after that?
Edward (PS5B0) [115] Well I went to, erm they wouldn't let me go to work on the aircraft so I left and I went to work and the Walsall Electric Company, it was within Walsall and I was there when V E day happened and er a pal of mine said he knew where I could get this job and oh it was travelling about which I enjoyed and er I, I went then to work for Elwells I was there until I went in the army, but they were very much heavy transport and in those days the opencast mining started happening as well and we were taking diggers about bulldozers and tractors, scrapers for the opencast mining and I remember, in the bad winter of forty-seven, they, they took up a big part of Park, trees and everything and they never found a bit of coal and yet when started levelling off at Darleston, for Bentley Garden Village as it was then called, er they were getting coal out and people were going up with prams, barrows and everything and fetching it all out it was only being levelled for building work, and fetching coal, natural coal off Bentley Common the erm ... I've wandering off away from the airport a bit haven't I?
Joyce (PS5AY) [116] Tell me about V E day.
Edward (PS5B0) [117] Yes, I was working at Walsall airport er Walsall electrics, sorry, at the time and er I've been out to the pictures I, with a couple of friends and er I got home this particular evening and I put the late night dance music on on the radio and they, they interrupted the programme to tell us that er Germany had accepted unconditional surrender and the war was over.
[118] Well, my gran had told me that she'd gone down to see her friends who'd get the Brown Lion after them by this time and er I decided to go down and tell them as I could see if they hadn't got the radio on they wouldn't have known so as I walked from Burchells down Road I could see doors throwing open lights were coming on, people were coming out in the street and dancing and I got round down to the Brown Lion and it was all in darkness, and I rang the bell on the side door and I heard a few bumps and bangs and Mr who'd kept it then came to the door, and I said do you know the war's over and er he said oh no come on in that's w now his son was a prisoner of war and they had been, he'd continually tried to escape so much that he had his photograph taken in the Sunday paper, the, the Germans had [...] had kept chaining him to the wall and other prisoners, other soldiers had got these photographs of him and smuggled them out and got them back to England, to the nearest papers, and er he he'd said to my nan cos he knew she'd always worked behind the bar, he said will you serve if I open the pub now, which was about eleven o'clock at night and she said yes of course, and the they opened the Brown Lion at about eleven o'clock at night in next to no time the place was full of people drinking, celebrating and of course the next day was really it.
[119] I remember going down to the bridge in Walsall and a sailor climbed the old clock and tied his collar around it and a soldier got up and put his hat on and an airman got up and put his tie with a red, white and blue rosette on it, around the arms of the old clock and people were loving and kissing everywhere, and oh it was really ... you had to be alive to appreciate it.
[120] After, after the years of hardship and loss and then ev everything came as a relief, course we were still at war with the Japanese and people were still in Burma, our soldiers were still in Burma fighting the Japanese, but having said that the main issue was over and it wasn't long after the Americans dropped the atomic bomb and of course, I always thought they had to really or else the Japanese would still be fighting now [laugh] the er ... they had special dances in the Town Hall for the V E Day and the Americans who did a ... a jitterbug contest and er I always remember my friend and his sister, who was English, they actually won it against the Yanks he er [cough]
Joyce (PS5AY) [121] Did the Americans have a lot to do with Walsall [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [122] Oh yes, yes, they even had like they used to have savings' weeks er salute the soldier week, they used to have promotions for National Savings you see and we used to get so much money or [...] where they had a bid thermometer on the car park in Street which is now the extension of the Gala Baths and they used to show how much savings had been put in they used to have targets for people, to put the National Savings in, they used to have an Anglo-American friendship week.
Joyce (PS5AY) [123] What was that exactly?
Edward (PS5B0) [124] Well they used to ask you to invite the e actually invite the American soldiers into your homes and my friend in Chuckery a couple of years ago, I was visiting him one Sunday lunch and a knock came to his door and ... he went and it was a guy who came over to see, his mum is now dead, but he, he come over he remembered him from the war.
[125] He was stationed in an old chapel in Chuckery because the Americans once they'd started they were putting them everywhere or anywhere they could just get to be with them before V Day they were even in little chapels, churches, outhouses anywhere they could possibly and there were guns and bits of trucks on every spot of land where they could get them the er, I'm getting out of context I was just thinking about a tank, a First World War tank that they used to have those as well in the field gun in the er arboretum which were disappeared soon after the war they went for scrap and they came and they used, people used to have a lot of wrought iron railings as well they took those as well they came along with burners and went off to the war effort, but er like I say the Americans and of course as kids they were very generous with kids and we absolutely loved them.
[126] They used to give us gum and sweets everything and the, they sometimes, the military police they used to come down town and they'd be after deserters from Lichfield and
Joyce (PS5AY) [127] Is that where the Americans were stationed?
Edward (PS5B0) [128] That's right the tenth replacement depot in Lichfield and they used to come round to Walsall looking for absentees and deserters and they there was actually a shooting match in Street the MPs started firing the guns at these fellas who'd gone absent without leave, and, but as I understand I remember at the time there was a lot of racism in America then and they, they picked these coloured fellas up and apparently the C O at Lichfield was very much a southern colonel and he was a racist and they used to chain these coloured guys up behind the trucks and make them walk all the way back to Lichfield behind the trucks driving the trucks at walking pace and I understand there was a, a salver, a commemorative salver in the Town Hall to be presented to him, and some an MP in the Council he were looking for this colonel, but as I understand he was court-martialled after the war for racism and so I don't think he'd be wanting, wanted to be connected with Walsall any more, so but this was
Joyce (PS5AY) [129] What was his name do you remember it?
Edward (PS5B0) [130] Colonel with a K ... the ... this band, they used to, that they had from the tenth replacement depot used to come down and play at the Town Hall, and they ... they like I said before they were fellas on the way to join Glen the absolute ultimate musicians of America and it was why I'm still today erm I've got a big collection of jazz records and have always been interested in the big band sound.
Joyce (PS5AY) [131] It must have been quite exciting to hear them.
Edward (PS5B0) [132] Oh yes it was, very much so.
[133] They were brilliant times to live in he ... then me uncle Ed come on leave, from France, yeah I had a look at his rifle he used to bring all his equipment cos they didn't know if the units had moved when they got back and if they used to be lucky enough to get a leave, they used to have to bring all their equipment with them you see and he used to bring his rifle, everything on leave, and I, I always remember asking him why he hadn't, if he'd killed any Germans, why he hadn't got any notches on his rifle he ... erm
Joyce (PS5AY) [134] Do you rec turning back to Helliwells again jumping about a bit
Edward (PS5B0) [135] Yes
Joyce (PS5AY) [136] erm when did they stop doing work on aircraft there, do you recall about what year that would be?
Edward (PS5B0) [137] I can't, I can't remember precisely ... even so I think it, it, it's Walsall's loss that they haven't got an airport any more, it, it's purely [...] but erm ... they, they did have a lot of s divided up into a lot of sports fields at one time didn't they but the people who've, is it the M E B who control those buildings now?
Joyce (PS5AY) [138] I don't know it was TI wasn't it at one time.
Edward (PS5B0) [139] That that's right yes it was yeah and the airfield was divided up into football pitches and such like but er
Joyce (PS5AY) [140] Did it continue as a sort of civilian airfield after the war?
Edward (PS5B0) [141] Oh no, no, no, not at all af after the war work it, it just seemed to er no one ever seemed to get any ... be interested in flying as they were pre-war then, or they probably that they had cars and they could get about more you know to other outlying places like Pentiford in Wolverhampton
Joyce (PS5AY) [142] So that flying club that you mentioned earlier on just finished [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [143] Oh yes when the war started yes, you, you see the people would have been called up into the forces anyway people young enough to fly, who, who had an interest, because er one of the air displays I remember [...] very much a tomboy as she was she they used to give pleasure flights and she had defied this pilot to take her up and make her sick, and he was took her up there looping rolling and everything and er ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [144] Do you recall the incident when Henry crashed there?
Edward (PS5B0) [145] No, not precisely I, I was a bit too young then, I, I remember all the songs about her Amy wonderful Amy and all those and oh and when she married Jim I was very much in but I couldn't actually say I remembered her crashing at Walsall ... The erm you could, yeah, when I came home from work one Monday afternoon my nan said this [...] eighty eight had gone over very low, and we, we heard that they'd dropped this landmine this same aircraft had dropped this landmine that had gone under the gas holder at the gas works, in Road and the, they had some rescue workers from the A R P to get it out they never even bothered calling for the Royal Engineers, but the situation was that landmines used to come down on parachutes, and they used to slide into places which were inaccessible but anyway, they relied on the local Walsall A R P to get them out.
[146] The other time I remember was when William the chromium platers in Street ye got bombed, with a high explosive bomb, but there was, there was no one hurt that I remember, and then the Halleys the tent people had an incendiary bombs and got burnt out, at the same night that they dropped some incendiary bombs on the bus depot in Road, they, they were a lot of work for the fire brigade, but comparatively speaking with, with Birmingham I think Walsall got off very lightly as regards the bombing, as there was no heavy industry around here.
[147] I do believe there were, there was a high explosive bomb but I think it was just jettisoned to as you wanted to get back home the German pilot he, he landed somewhere up Bluebell Wood but it just exploded and no one was hurt.
Joyce (PS5AY) [148] Where was that Bluebell Wood?
Edward (PS5B0) [149] At, at the back of the Three Crowns where that is now, I don't know whether if it was a bomb meant for the airport, I can't think that it was though it was a bit far away for that.
Joyce (PS5AY) [150] Did they have any erm raids that were ... that you'd think were directed towards the airport at all, were there any incidents of this kind?
Edward (PS5B0) [151] No, no it was very much a green field area, and I think if they'd have wanted to get bomb anywhere they'd have been directed at Castle Bromwich, which were very much they were building Lancasters and Sterlings and they were very much the heart of the British bomber industry.
[152] We were only small fry really at Walsall airport.
Joyce (PS5AY) [153] About how many erm ... planes would they have in during the week to repair, what was the, the turnover?
Edward (PS5B0) [154] Oh it, it wasn't ... there seemed to be a long time you know before they turned one out to make, because it was a very long process rebuilding an aircraft,es especially as the situation was at Walsall.
[155] I, I think it was only a drop in the ocean really towards the national effort, but, but I remember erm at Darlaston, they used to build tanks over there and they, they used to pay us visits in ... sometimes they'd send some of their men over in the tanks to give us a pep talk about the war effort and all that but er, they used to do things like that then to gee you up erm ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [156] How many aircraft were they capable of working on at the same time?
Edward (PS5B0) [157] Oh they, they used to have several going through the hangers at one time they erm they probably had about six Harvards, and about nine Bostons which were, they were bigger than
Unknown speaker (K61PSUNK) [158] Blenning Bombers, er were these Bostons and Harvards they er quite a twin engine quite a wide wingspan and quite heavy for what they were, but as they were stripped down in, in the top hanger, and like I say a lot of stuff was salvaged from them, which was still good as they went out reconditioned at the other end.
[159] There were sometimes they, they came, if they'd been in action and er, the people had actually found blood and parts of the uniforms in the air gunner's compartment at the back, and the, the fella, the navigator u and bomb aimer used to be in the nose, they hadn't got much of a chance if they came down in there because they were right cut off from the rest of the aircraft so, but it was virtually a suicide position in the nose of the Bostons.
[160] They ... yeah we used to call in Tex and he, he couldn't believe that there were old people living in Walsall at the time in this country the size of England, and people living in Walsall that had never seen the sea in their lives, and this guy coming from America couldn't believe this.
[161] He, he was a real friendly guy and like I say he never said cheerio before he went, but one day he just painted his aircraft up with the D-day landing signs which we didn't know at the time and the next day he was gone of course it was very much top secret that was ... but the town just emptied of all Americans it was like a ghost town after them but it had been previously.
[162] It was like walking into Chicago at times in Walsall and the snowdrops as they used to call their military police with the white steel helmets on they used to ride around in jeeps.
[163] I first started to go when they were getting promotion to the second division the last few matches in the third division.
Joyce (PS5AY) [164] When was that about, what year would that be?
Edward (PS5B0) [165] That would be about sixty, sixty one as I see, and er they were the last match of the season virtually was that they gained promotion on was Shrewsbury, which was at the game meadow and Arthur , the player manager who was a prolific goal scorer in his day, was playing at the time and er nobody expected Walsall to win but they ran out two-one winners and all down the A five that night all the pubs were full coming back with everyone celebrating, so erm, after then they had a civic dinner at the Town Hall for the players and they did a big flower display in the arboretum all set out in flowers the club badge and congratulation lads on winning promotion, and this when they kicked off the following season, in the second division, prior to that they played a friendly match against Leicester and Gordon was in goal and I took my boy with me Tim, who was only a toddler at the time, and he, I stood him on the old archway where the players used to run out, but the first league match was against Sunderland and Brian , actually played for Sunderland as centre forward and er Walsall ran out four-three winners in the end Tony , who was Walsall inside left got a hat trick and I believe Tommy , got the other goal and Brian scored for Sunderland, then the er we went on to the, the first away match which was at Derby County, and Walsall won that three-one.
[166] I think it was the impetus of them getting promoted and the enthusiasm the er ... then the next home match was against Newcastle which Walsall played to a packed house.
[167] There were twenty five thousand, I, I wouldn't like to see twenty five thousand on that ground again, because I, I used to smoke at the time and we were packed that tight in the ground I couldn't even get my hands down to my pockets to get a cigarette out, so the erm ... after the first few games they started to draw at home and then they seemed to lose the impetus and that they still held a good position in the league, but the following season Liverpool were in the second division at the time, and I, I went to that match and Walsall scored first through Colin and er, they went on to beat us six-one in the end.
[168] Can't tell you how long a journey it was back in the fog from Liverpool that day, and then when we were relegated back again to the third division it was on the last match of the season against Charlton, and the heavens opened and a big thunder storm and it just flooded the pitch and the referee just called the match off and they had to play it again the following Friday and Charlton ran out ... two-one winners and Walsall finished with nine fit men and still ... that's the football I suppose.
Joyce (PS5AY) [169] Can you tell me something about the crowd itself, erm did particular age groups tend to stand together around the ground or were the young
Edward (PS5B0) [170] Oh oh oh not really, but it was when this chanting came in that the young fellas seemed to ... like gangs in the crowd and this when all the trouble started
Joyce (PS5AY) [171] When would that have been about this were they in the second division then or ...
Edward (PS5B0) [172] Oh no no it would be ten fifteen years ago I think.
[173] The erm, yes these and it started to be like warfare more than a game you know at that stage but hopefully now we're getting back to some sort of sanity with the membership cards you know, because we, the crowd is segregated from the away supporters now and that's cos if Walsall go into the second division again they'll have to spend so much I believe on the ground to cage the away supporters in which they don't have to do in the third division.
[174] I was just discussing this last night, but they used to be more friendly atmospheres, even with the away supporters years ago you know ... it was but things go full circle in the end and hopefully like I say we're getting back to some sort of sanity now.
Joyce (PS5AY) [175] Have you ever felt personally unsafe in the crowd?
Edward (PS5B0) [176] O only that night against Newcastle when they were, they were packed tight you know.
[177] It was just I, I went down they played Liverpool in the cup about that era, and the, the wall was pushed down at the Street end but erm ... the people just spilled on the pitch and I don't think anyone was really hurt, this happened when they played er Liverpool in the cup a couple of years ago the wall was pushed down at the other end on that occasion, but er there was just one, one person hurt but there wasn't anybody very seriously injured as I understand
Joyce (PS5AY) [178] Were there any, were there any special chants or songs that the Walsall crowd used to put across [...]
Edward (PS5B0) [179] Well, well they did try to get a song going once sponsored by the club, it was sung by St Matthews' choir would you believe, but it, it didn't seem to take off, the football supporters seemed to take very much to their own sort of songs, and they, they'd pick up songs and chants from other grounds now like the Liverpool song You'll Never Walk Alone, and they used to sing Away the Lads they used to pick that up from the Newcastle supporters and ... and
Joyce (PS5AY) [180] Was there anything that was specifically Walsall ... chants [...]
Edward (PS5B0) [181] Not that I can recall no the erm
Joyce (PS5AY) [182] Were there any players that the crowds used to pick on especially in any way?
Edward (PS5B0) [183] No but
Joyce (PS5AY) [184] Urging them on or putting them down.
Edward (PS5B0) [185] Well Tony , was who manager at the associated [...] now, er he was very a very popular player, he was a goal scorer on one occasion, they played an away match at Swindon and he scored a goal and the goalkeeper got sent off a John so Tony went in goal and he saved a penalty later in the match, but he was a very popular player he was a ... a good goal scorer then there was Colin he, he had one of the hardest shots in the league you know, I've, I've seen the goalkeeper shrug his shoulders at, at defenders and say well how do you stop those, they used to call him Cannonball at one time, and er there was Tommy he had his collarbone broken and he never played again after, but he was a great centre forward he used to make a lot of space for the other forwards you know.
[186] Course when Walsall were promoted, they hadn't got into the European systems then it was very much the old five forwards three halfbacks two fullbacks and a goalkeeper in those days, the, the laundry was there, in those days when they were in the second division.
Joyce (PS5AY) [187] That was [...] laundry?
Edward (PS5B0) [188] That's right yes and they used to say that the stack was full of footballs [laughing] been put up there [] by p opposing defenders.
[189] When the, the laundry was knocked down it seemed to be the end of an era that er, it didn't seem to be like [...] park much longer.
Joyce (PS5AY) [190] When did they knock that down?
Edward (PS5B0) [191] Oh, it was, that would be the late sixties I would think when they were in the erm third division.
Joyce (PS5AY) [192] And how did they use that extra area, what did they do with the [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [193] Well that that is now accommodation for away supporters down at [...] there is no cover over it as yet, there were plans to make a covered stand of it but er they haven't it has been covered over and that's where the away supporters still stand to this day and a little bit around the corner at the bottom end, at the railway end as they call it now, not the laundry end.
Joyce (PS5AY) [194] What about the Hilary Street end is that still open [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [195] That, that's open to the general public but where I stand you have to have a membership card to go in there now, and er you pay two pound before the season started and er local traders give you a discount and things erm it's just one way of er segregating the supporters if you like, but there doesn't seem to be so much trouble since they've done this, but at the same time there doesn't seem to be as much atmosphere
Joyce (PS5AY) [196] How do you mean
Edward (PS5B0) [197] in there.
Joyce (PS5AY) [198] atmosphere, what's gone?
Edward (PS5B0) [199] Well ... all the support comes from one side of the ground, I mean when they score all the shouting comes from one side of the ground now and when Walsall scored all the shouting seems to come from the Street end and [...] the erm
Joyce (PS5AY) [200] So before it was erm ... all the way around the pitch, the response.
Edward (PS5B0) [201] That's right, yes, yes.
Joyce (PS5AY) [202] What about away matches?
[203] Do they get much following from their supporters?
Edward (PS5B0) [204] Oh yes quite so and if they're doing well they really, local people really get behind them, but they, they've prom in previous seasons they they've promised so much and then fell away at the end that people have got a bit disillusioned and discontented so that, but like last year when they were doing well in the cup they erm at Watford I mean loads of people went to see them.
[205] My son and daughter-in-law went down.
[206] They made a four all draw and I think they've still got the video now on television of the match.
Joyce (PS5AY) [207] How do most people go to away matches?
[208] Do they make their own way [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [209] Their own transport and they do, do run coaches and er there are rail British Rail run the service as well as a rule.
[210] I don't think they've had a lot of trouble really speaking with Walsall supporters over the years because they seem to be er go to support the club not to fight and er
Joyce (PS5AY) [211] What about home erm away teams coming to Walsall I mean is there ever any trouble as they arrive in the town?
Edward (PS5B0) [212] Well not any more.
[213] The last trouble I remember was when they played Birmingham City in the Cup last season.
[214] They reckon arrests were made down but they were down at Beskett Station and they made a couple inside the ground, but I think they were just [...] people running on the pitch you know, they were over enthusiastic.
Joyce (PS5AY) [215] Has there ever been any trouble down in the Pleck itself on match days?
Edward (PS5B0) [216] Well I, I
Joyce (PS5AY) [217] As in pubs
Edward (PS5B0) [218] I have seen away supporters being chased up the road into Pleck Park and but erm ... I think basically a lot of the trouble used to be caused by drink and now they don't have any drink in the ground they er ... they, they seem to have cracked that one.
Joyce (PS5AY) [219] Were there any teams that used to come and play at Walsall that were notorious in any way?
Edward (PS5B0) [220] Oh oh yes very much so they were Millwall and erm there were ... notably Millwall.
Joyce (PS5AY) [221] Why, I mean what was the problem with them?
Edward (PS5B0) [222] Well they were noted even when cos Jim went down there a few, few times he used to have chaps running around the ground with chains and knives and all that sort of thing, but it's in the Dockland area of London Millwall.
[223] They used to be a real rough lot as I believe they are still now they've still got a name today they ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [224] What about Port Vale I've heard people say they used to be a hard team to play.
Edward (PS5B0) [225] Yes but they never seem to have got a lot down at Walsall.
[226] To Tony was telling me that er he was asked that Walsall needed the money so he was asked to be transferred to Port Vale, which he did but er I think he was past his best and he, he'd came down back here and played a couple of times with Port Vale, and er but erm ... like I say he was past his best.
[227] He was a, got a record number of goals for Walsall in the season, it's never been broken to this day erm.
[228] Colin broke, I think he equalled a record for a leftwinger as well scoring goals ... we had er later on we had Bob came from Coventry, Coventry City.
[229] He played in goal for several years for Walsall.
Joyce (PS5AY) [230] Where did people park their cars and all that when they go to the matches [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [231] Round in Crescent and er ... the people make allowances often they make announcements in the ground of they're blocking somebody's entrance and will they go and move the cars out and ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [232] I recall many years ago a lot of people used to go on bicycles and they used to leave them in the front of those houses that are just in [...] .
Edward (PS5B0) [233] That, that's right yeah .
[234] The, the people used to charge them so much haven't they for parking the cycles yes.
[235] I, I used to walk it there when I went there,e even from Lane I never used to get on the bus I, I used to walk it down there cos we used to go down by the side of, of the old Street cemetery you know over by the gas works and up Street ... the erm ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [236] What about the directors and managers?
Edward (PS5B0) [237] Oh oh yes Henry who was the chairman of the day then.
Joyce (PS5AY) [238] When was that?
Edward (PS5B0) [239] In ... now I was reading about him pretty recently ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [240] Never mind.
Edward (PS5B0) [241] Oh I, I can't put the year [...]
Joyce (PS5AY) [242] Just approximately was this in the nineteen sixties?
Edward (PS5B0) [243] Yeah, yeah, yeah and then erm the family took over.
Joyce (PS5AY) [244] The ?
Edward (PS5B0) [245] The took over yes then and they would
Joyce (PS5AY) [246] And what influence did they have on the Walsall Football Club?
Edward (PS5B0) [247] Well they, they seemed to be putting some finance in, but er it went through a bit of a flat spot and then the ... sold out ... I, I'm sorry I'm stuttering and all this but I haven't done my research you know and it, it's, it's ... tough going.
[248] Er ... .
Joyce (PS5AY) [249] What sort of influence did the directors and managers have with choosing the team?
Edward (PS5B0) [250] Well the Bill was, who was the manager in those days was very much the manager, and there was one of the directors used to play for the Villa, and he used to more or less look after the playing side which the rest of the directors never seemed to interfere with, they, they left the management up to the manager the selection of the team, Bill and the trainer ... when they were in the second division was Arthur who's manager of Derby County now, he had the, I believe he had a sad time when he was at Walsall he, he lost his wife in a car accident ... and
Joyce (PS5AY) [251] What about the ground itself?
[252] Was it a good ground to play on?
Edward (PS5B0) [253] Well they, they had to do the, it hadn't used to have very good drainage and far more of a slope, it, it's far more level today than it used to be, it used to have a great slope towards the long end which was considered an advantage to Walsall and the water used to gather, but I believe the improved the drainage and had pipes put under which it, it doesn't seem to gather water so much now down at the railway end.
[254] The ... since Terry took over the ground everything's been refurbished and new crush rails put up you know, and he seems to have made it a good ground.
[255] Quite, quite frankly I, I can't see Walsall moving, because it seems to have been money wasted if they've made Fellas Park good and then they move somewhere else.
[256] So I wouldn't like to see any property developers take it, the club on because I think they'd be purely after the ground, I, I'd feel much better if the consortium with Ray at the head took it over because they are genuinely interested in Walsall and the Walsall people.
Joyce (PS5AY) [257] You said earlier that you go to reserve matches as well.
Edward (PS5B0) [258] I, I did do years gone by yes and they, they did move into the football combination at one time, because it was considered that the Midland Intermediate League was too big a jump for young men into the first team and the difference was so vast in the type of football that Walsall second team they u only playing young fellas, and they used to win seven and eight goal margins every week you know, but then they moved up into combination that was a better standard of football, but latter years economy drives and everything they came back out of the combination reverted to the Midland Intermediate again which I believe there are two phases of that no one for s older players and the other one strictly for youth players [...]
Joyce (PS5AY) [259] I was going to ask you if they'd got a youth team?
Edward (PS5B0) [260] Yes, yes, they're out of the youth cup now as I understand.
[261] I, I can't remember who knocked them out but erm they are out of that competition.
Joyce (PS5AY) [262] Is the ground ever used for anything else apart from?
Edward (PS5B0) [263] No, no, it, it got oh er erm for other ... some local teams if have a final it's sometimes played down there.
Joyce (PS5AY) [264] What sort of teams?
Edward (PS5B0) [265] In, in the days
Joyce (PS5AY) [266] would they be?
Edward (PS5B0) [267] Of the er regime I saw erm Moscow, Moscow Dynamo came over and played Walsall in a friendly match yes erm ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [268] Was there a good crowd for that one?
Edward (PS5B0) [269] Oh yes very good.
[270] There was about ten to fifteen thousand, which the limit on the, the ground limit today is about seventeen to eighteen as I can understand.
Joyce (PS5AY) [271] And is it the same size ground as the match when there was twenty five thousand in you say you were a bit bothered about it in fact?
Edward (PS5B0) [272] Virtually but the laundry was there then there, there wasn't so much room then you see.
Joyce (PS5AY) [273] Because of all those extra people in there?
Edward (PS5B0) [274] Because there was no one at the bottom end, but they've, they've got all those extra people in it, it was really frightening when I look back, but the, the reason there could have been, there were er ... nineteen thousand at the Sunderland match but it was an all ticket game so they restricted the crowds somewhat.
Joyce (PS5AY) [275] Have Walsall always played in the same colours as long as you've been supporting them?
Edward (PS5B0) [276] Yeah they, they've played in red and white, red, white, red shirts white shorts, but they, they used to play in claret and blue I can remember seeing them in claret and blue when I was a small boy but erm [...]
Joyce (PS5AY) [277] What [...] used to go to the matches when you were a lad?
Edward (PS5B0) [278] Whenever I ... could afford it you know, but erm, there wasn't so much money in those days I can't remember exactly how much we, we used to get in for coppers you know.
Joyce (PS5AY) [279] Did your wife go to the matches with you?
Edward (PS5B0) [280] She has been a couple of times but er when we were bringing up the family course she couldn't reasonably go with me every week and er, but she had used to be er a good supporter when she was a girl, she used to go with her father in those days [...] my son's been with me, cos I took him las well [laughing] he took me last night with his wife I went in their car [] .
Joyce (PS5AY) [281] Are there a lot of women supporters?
Edward (PS5B0) [282] Yes, yes, quite a good few I would think.
Joyce (PS5AY) [283] Do they make themselves heard in the crowd as well?
Edward (PS5B0) [284] Oh yes, yes, if er ... they don't like the referee they'll let him know it [laugh] some of the decisions ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [285] Do you think the town supports the club enough?
Edward (PS5B0) [286] Well, not really but ... they have been disillusioned over the years they've promised so much and then they've never seemed ... seemed to get anywhere but I think, I honestly think they would, people would get behind them, if they could see they were going somewhere I mean like this season they seem to have fallen away yet again.
Joyce (PS5AY) [287] Why do you think the reason for this is?
Edward (PS5B0) [288] Well ... they've wanted a mid-field player and a good striker, now people well write letters to local press informing them of this, but they don't seem to be prepared to do this, they, the managers want to do their own thing as far as I can see they think the people on the terraces don't know anything, but Jim and I were saying last night they wanted a mid-field player for ages now all this season, a ball winner, they haven't had one since Willie used to play and
Joyce (PS5AY) [289] Is it lack of funds?
[290] Can they afford to buy a good player?
Edward (PS5B0) [291] Well, well they've just sold a player to Leicester for eighty five thousand and they, they bought a fella from Port Vale on a free transfer, well he's a [...] Richard they've bought him back again, only with a, all due respect but ... er ... now he's got he's playing very well with Leicester now, and he's, he's scored two goals and made one the other Saturday, and, and everyone, every match since he's been there every time he's played.
[292] So I can't see that it's justified you keep letting your best players go people do get illusioned and people aren't fools, they're gonna stop away aren't they if they thinking they're not doing anything to get going anywhere.
Joyce (PS5AY) [293] Is it a dedicated core of supporters that go [...] ?
Edward (PS5B0) [294] Oh yes very much so very much so there always has been, yeah they used to call them the faithful four thousand at one time.
[295] They erm and, and some of the characters they in days gone by they used to dress up in costume if they were doing well in the Cup and have er a pole with a model of the F A Cup on Walsall's colours and ... they used to dress up in red and white suits claret and blue suits when they played in those colours yeah.
Joyce (PS5AY) [296] But did they used to walk round the ground like that?
Edward (PS5B0) [297] Yeah and they used to have a man dressed up as Charlie Chaplin and he used to do his antics on the pitch before the players came out yeah.
Joyce (PS5AY) [298] Who was he, was he local?
Edward (PS5B0) [299] Erm my nan remembers him, was it somebody called , no no he was another character I think he sold newspapers, but erm I do, I do remember him er ... They've always erm tried to get some entertainment on the pitch though prior to the matches to try and make it a family thing you know, I, I think Watford are the best club for that you know, because they, the supporters seem to take all the family along, as my son said when they went down there to the Cup replay they are very much a family sort, they don't get a lot of trouble at Watford either.
Joyce (PS5AY) [300] Are there a lot of families that follow Walsall in the same way?
Edward (PS5B0) [301] Well I, I think after this er people haven't appreciated yet that they've, the grounds have become a bit safer than they were the hooligan element seemed to be taking over, they have er closed circuit television now, at Walsall, so they can get to the hot spot of any trouble and er ... they erm ... the ground
Joyce (PS5AY) [302] So a lot of people have been put off have they do you think [...]
Edward (PS5B0) [303] Y oh yes very much so
Joyce (PS5AY) [304] their families down?
Edward (PS5B0) [305] Cos when I, I used to take Tim, it used to be very safe then, the only danger we seemed to be in in those days was catching cold.
[306] I took Tim to the match one Easter Monday they played Luton in league match, and Ted played, the old Ipswich player, and we go absolutely, it rained, hailed, blew, and we got home soaked to the skin you know, and er it seems to make you feel better if they win you know, but if you sort of put up with those sort of things and they, they lose it's [laugh] makes you feel right down in the dumps, but when they get promoted like they did last time it's remarkable, it's been remarked about this aspect, that people in local industry seem to work harder, and it seems to be a boost in general local traders make shop window displays and it seems to be a boost to the town in general and give a lift to the town if you like ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [307] What about other crowd noises are the people who take rattles and
Edward (PS5B0) [308] No they've been banned from taking them in in case they clobbered anyone with them you see [laugh] oh they were banned some time ago, as were flags they used to carry flags at one time and rattles, but er they don't let you take anything in.
[309] As, as a matter of fact, my son you know those di things you have like you have for the television like a switch box?
Joyce (PS5AY) [310] Oh a remote control
Edward (PS5B0) [311] Re remote control yes, well my son has one of those [...] he has an electric garage door on his house, and a copper frisked him before he went in last season cos he, he's a younger bloke and er he said what's this and he pulled it out of his pocket, he said it's to open my garage door with he said what do you think it is a death ray or something [laugh] yeah.
Joyce (PS5AY) [312] Are there any refreshments available at the ground?
Edward (PS5B0) [313] Yeah well they don't sell er drink any more, not alcoholic drink but there are, there are tea, pies and those sort of things available.
Joyce (PS5AY) [314] Who runs that?
[315] Is it part of the supporters club?
Edward (PS5B0) [316] Yeah it is now, yeah they used to have private caterers at one time but I believe it's, it's part of the club now and the profit making concern.
Joyce (PS5AY) [317] Do they sell scarves and that sort of thing?
Edward (PS5B0) [318] Oh yes yeah outside yes and old programmes they sell at away matches, badges, season tickets as you might understand, ... but they, they are going to have a good day in April on the centenary day because they have it getting all the old players Tony says he, he's been invited to attend as well and Gilbert I believe will be going and erm ...
Joyce (PS5AY) [319] It should be a good day.
Edward (PS5B0) [320] Yeah yeah a good Da Dave manages Doncaster now he's an ex manager of Walsall as well We lived at the Brown Lion at the time and er, I, I was out the front on the Saturday evening and I er manager's just been to fetch his Sunday joint from the local butchers and he shouted across the road to his pal how have they got on, cos there was no radio in those days, and er he says they've won two nil and the man dropped his meat in front of him and dribbled it all the way down the road, it was such excitement it was of course all people over the moon.
[321] That's what the country was it was always to be remembered feat a giant killing match of all time.
Joyce (PS5AY) [322] People still talk about when they beat the Arsenal as though it was only last season almost don't they?
Edward (PS5B0) [323] Yes, yes.
Joyce (PS5AY) [324] I don't think it will ever be forgotten.
Edward (PS5B0) [325] No no no well it's always ... it was then like ... a team of pygmies beating Liverpool today that's what it ranks with.
Joyce (PS5AY) [326] Were there much celebrating that night?
Edward (PS5B0) [327] Oh yes yes er all the pubs were full and [...]
Joyce (PS5AY) [328] And what about the team when they came back?
Edward (PS5B0) [329] Well it was at Walsall.
Joyce (PS5AY) [330] Oh it was at Walsall.
Edward (PS5B0) [331] Yes and it was at Walsall.
[332] They, they'd beat Arsenal in more recent years in erm in the Milk Cup at Arsenal, that was very exciting a few years ago.
Joyce (PS5AY) [333] Did you go to that match?
Edward (PS5B0) [334] No my son went but I didn't go.