Walsall Local Studies Centre: interview. Sample containing about 6463 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C761

PS6MY X f (Joyce, age unknown) unspecified
PS6N0 X m (No name, age unknown, retired) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 091501 recorded on 1987-05-19. LocationWest Midlands: Walsall () Activity: interview

Undivided text

(PS6N0) [1] Well as I say, I was born in the Pleck
Joyce (PS6MY) [2] You were born in the Pleck yes?
(PS6N0) [3] Street.
Joyce (PS6MY) [4] Mm
(PS6N0) [5] I had three brothers ...
Joyce (PS6MY) [6] Any sisters?
(PS6N0) [7] No sisters until mother got married again, and me ... sister as I call her now, she's me of course my half sister, Jessie, she was born [...] I'd be about seventeen [...] cos she didn't get married till after the First World War, remarried ... me step-father was in the forces and ... he fought, he actually fought in the Boer War so he was a [...] a soldier in the Boer War and in what we call the Great War, nineteen fourteen to nineteen eighteen, but er ... I had a misfortune to lose the brother next to me, Frank, which he had what was common in those days tubercular trouble,tubercular tuberculosis affected the bowels, see he died in, on August the fourth nineteen eighteen in the old infirmary that now classed as the Manor Hospital, but that was the old infirmary ... cos we there was no widow's pension in those days, our mother was a bridle stitcher and she used to do ... have an old fashioned clamp, have you ever seen the clamps that are leather,th tha they held them, the leather, she used to stitch bridles at home, we used to help her with waxing the threads have a leather apron and a bit of wax and pull the wax over the thread, and then roll it round till it was strong enough to thread it, we used to make the threads for her to er stitch the bridles.
Joyce (PS6MY) [8] Who did she do this for, who did she work for?
(PS6N0) [9] Well I believe, I'm not certain on that, it was in Street I think it was ... and er she also worked for Joseph in Street too, when she when she went, went out to work she was working for Joseph stitching for him too, but he became later Mayor of Walsall and I believe he was Liberal MP for it [...] Pat the Liberal MP wasn't it?
Joyce (PS6MY) [10] You said your father died when he was quite young?
(PS6N0) [11] Well he was ... as far as I can remember he was thirty eight ... he, he went ... he worked at the Gas Works, can't remember much about that really but er I think he'd actually been working nights and came home and actually died in bed I believe.
Joyce (PS6MY) [12] And what was the cause of his death?
(PS6N0) [13] Well it, it must have been heart trouble the earliest memory I have of that is mother sending me with a neighbour out of Street, a Mrs , to tell my Aunt Lucy which was my dad's sister, who lived in Street house, [...] house was right opposite their gateway, now Aunt Lucy and there was er her family she w married a fella in [...] and her daughter, her son and me uncle [...] was my dad's brother, I lived in the house with her, but er I remember tagging this Mrs from the Street down to Street along [...] road and past the hospital, then along Walk and I up in Street, and er tagging Mrs and er Mrs had never met Aunt Lucy and er me Aunt Lucy suffered, what in those days they call it white leg, [...] a woman's complaint she was bedridden and er when we went in she must have asked why we were there, Mrs was a little bit flabbergasted and I blurted it out oh me dad's dead, and me Aunt Lucy nearly went into hysterics, so that's, that's all I can manage I remember about that.
Joyce (PS6MY) [14] Did you go to his funeral?
(PS6N0) [15] We didn't go to the funeral, but me cousin Dora who was Aunt Lucy's daughter, she got ... there was er Walter, [...] , Walter and Leonard were in a pram and me cousin Dora went down [...] Lane and wh to the corner of [...] Street and watched the funeral go past up to I've got vague memories of that they're not clear but I do know that he took us to watch me dad's funeral past the corner of ... Street and I presume that now that it must have gone up Street up to Street [...] street, cos he's buried at Ryecroft.
Joyce (PS6MY) [16] And what do you remember of it, what did you actually see?
(PS6N0) [17] Well I of course re I was only seven years old, so really I only, I only saw the, the hearse go by with the mourners.
Joyce (PS6MY) [18] What did that look like?
(PS6N0) [19] I can't, can't really remember that, not too clear cos when you are a child you don't memorize these things.
Joyce (PS6MY) [20] Would it have been a horse-drawn hearse?
(PS6N0) [21] Oh it was a horse-drawn, horse-drawn, there were no cars on the road in those days, I think I was one of the earliest to get knocked down by a car actually in Walsall, I was er, when we lived in Street he came down Street and immediately opposite there was a Co-op shop ... opposite Birds the fruitiers, and mother sent me down to the Co-op and the old trams used to run along the Pleck to Darlaston, Wednesbury and that way on and I ran across the road, past the Co-op the tram and a car must have just bumped into me and he knocked me down, a terrible commotion amongst the folks and couldn't have hurt them much, because I got up and ran off, ran off home, so ... they were restricted in you see and the [...] speed they could go in the car, but the car, the tram car was stopped at the bottom of Street, almost opposite the Co-op and er ... I must have just run across the road [...] run into the car and more or less bounced off it I should think.
Joyce (PS6MY) [22] What did your mother say?
(PS6N0) [23] I can't remember that ... mother was a ... cos dad was still alive then.
Joyce (PS6MY) [24] How old were you when you moved into Street in Palfry?
(PS6N0) [25] Er about nine years old.
Joyce (PS6MY) [26] Do you remember the actual move itself, when you moved the furniture and all that [...] ?
(PS6N0) [27] No I don't remember that, because we, we'd be, we'd moved from Street into Street and er ... I went to Road School first and er ... of course er my mother's mother, that's my grandmother, she was living with us then ... she used to live in Street.
Joyce (PS6MY) [28] What sort of house was it in Street?
(PS6N0) [29] Er ... two bedrooms, it was a number sixty six Street in those days, there were new houses built on where it is now, I haven't been into Palfry for years but er there were five houses in the row, there was a family named at one end, there was us my nan of course we were next to, next to us was Mrs, a Mr and Mrs , and then er ... that was one side of the entry the other side of the entry was a family named , they had quite a large family, there was er two or three of those married Mrs and then er then Mrs they were all relatives [...] , cos there was no such thing as overcrowding in those days you got as many in as you could you see [...] , there was, another was Mr and Mrs she was a daughter of Mrs there was Mrs and Mrs she was another daughter of Mrs , and then er ... there were, there was a, a young man ... he was a son of Mrs , the were I think show people originally cos they were a bit anyhow there were five houses down the yard we hadn't got running water in the sink, we had a, a big stone pump pipe in at the bottom of the entry we all had to go and draw out our own drinking water from this one standpipe.
Joyce (PS6MY) [30] For all those five houses?
(PS6N0) [31] For five houses yes and
Joyce (PS6MY) [32] What about the toilet arrangements?
(PS6N0) [33] The toilet was er ... at the back of what we used to call the brew house it wasn't a kitchen it was a brew house, and er the, the toilet was at the back of the brew house adjacent to the old ash pit, which was an ash pit in those days it was filled up and when it was filled, they used to come at night [...] and empty the ash pit wheel up the entry it might be there for three or four months and you got flies, bluebottles all sorts in the hot weather you know, I couldn't try my shoes on sometimes [laugh] , but er it was a bit, well I suppose in those days they used to take it for granted, it was a bit primitive it wasn't the best five houses in the area, but er ...
Joyce (PS6MY) [34] Was there any water into the toilet, or do you [...] ?
(PS6N0) [35] No you have to get a bucket of water and flush it with a bucket, what we did have on the sink in the brew house was a ... a, a [...] about a couple of foot square and on the top of that was an old pump handle, well that water used to drain all the rainwater from the roof all rainwater from the roof used to drain into that well that was sunk in the brewers, so that we could pump water out of the little well, so that we could have soft water for doing the washing, rainwater, otherwise it meant going to the standpipe in the, out in the yard to get your water for washing.
Joyce (PS6MY) [36] What happened in the winter, did it ever freeze up?
(PS6N0) [37] Well the standpipe used to freeze up and er when that occurred the grown men in the house used to light a fire round the standpipes, of course it was cast iron it wasn't copper or anything like that, and light a fire to thaw it out, I don't remember ever being without water but we used, it was a bit primitive but [...] burn newspaper and stuff round the standpipe and er the old as I say we used to, the water for the washing we used to pump into the sink and er ... fill the old dolly tub with water for the washing and use the rainwater for washing.
Joyce (PS6MY) [38] What sort of furniture did your mother have, can you remember how it was set out?
(PS6N0) [39] Well the, the bed, there were no spring beds in, that came into my life until many years after, were the old straw palliasses, which were really more hygienic to sleep on than your spring beds, because you get the lumbar trouble with a straw palliasses cos it was just hip firm, I give you an instance I used to, as I was growing older I used to fold my trousers and put them under the mattress to press my trousers so I'd always got a nice crease in my trousers, they were so solid that er you got y you didn't even get any wrinkles in your trousers in those days.
Joyce (PS6MY) [40] What other furniture did you have in your bedroom?
(PS6N0) [41] Well there was an odd chair or so, but apart from that nothing really.
Joyce (PS6MY) [42] Where did you hang your clothes?
(PS6N0) [43] Hook on the back of the door or [...] there was no such thing as wardrobes.
Joyce (PS6MY) [44] Did you have a bedroom to yourself or did you have to share it?
(PS6N0) [45] No there was er ... three lads in the double bed and er another two lads in the single bed in one room, and mother was in the front room of course she had husband in those days you see when we were growing up, there was a ... it was not unusual to sleep top-to- tail if we had any pals, if we had a party and we had any pals we'd sleep top-to-tail one with a head at the bottom and others with their head at the top, sounds like something out of the Dickens when you start talking about it don't it?
[46] [laugh] But I have actually slept top-to-tail when we've had parties and it's too late for the lads to go home, now just get into the bed top-to-tail and keep each other warm so that the winter and yeah
Joyce (PS6MY) [47] What about the rooms downstairs what were?
(PS6N0) [48] Well there was always the parlour, you must have the parlour and er you, you had two living rooms and the one was the parlour and there was a cellar underneath the parlour and er ... the stairs used to come in from the back and go up, up the stairs over the entrance to the cellar but the stairs used to run up there underneath the stairs was the entrance to the cellar, there was a door, so that you couldn't just walk down the cellar without opening the door you see, but apart from that there was er there was just the two, two bedrooms.
Joyce (PS6MY) [49] How often did you use the parlour?
(PS6N0) [50] Well very rarely it was ... I, actually I'd say I wasn't really furnished what they used to call the sofa down the one side and there was chairs around there was no three piece suite or anything like that, but er if it was a wet Sunday afternoon we'd ... play draughts or games like that, as we grew older we used to play, play whist, so it was just a room for oh and we had a gramophone, I, I've actually got the old gramophone case I haven't got the working part I've got the case upstairs now, it was a, as long as I, we er, I bought it and the pals used to club around and buy a record each week there was er Parlaphone, they used to have a little shop on the corner of Street and Street, and we had it from there, and we used to buy a little, a small record perhaps once a week, perhaps once a month, but er I remember the first record we'd, we'd bought as a long play was No No Nanette and er a twelve inch record.
Joyce (PS6MY) [51] And when was this approximately, when would that have been?
(PS6N0) [52] The early twenties
Joyce (PS6MY) [53] You said you had a part-time job with the local baker can you tell me about that?
(PS6N0) [54] Oh as I sa the part-time job we used to get, two shillings a week and he used to give us tuppence for ourselves the two shillings was for our parents, and the tuppence was supposed to be our pocket money, but er ... when we'd finished on a Saturday night if, if there were any stale cakes we'd all get a bag of stale cakes each ... you used to make a terrific fuss of those on a Sunday.
Joyce (PS6MY) [55] What exactly did you used to do?
(PS6N0) [56] Well ... one of you on cleaning fruit, getting all the stalks and stones out of the fruit, we used to have a sieve, not a riddle, a sieve with round, the wires were round in the sieve and you rub it, and the stalks would drop through and then you'd put them out onto an iron baking sheet and sort out all the stones that and little bits that were in the fruit and you'd be on cleaning fruit you might be one day, the other whichever one was the [...] you'd be cleaning and greasing baking tins, ready for the baker to put the cakes in or what have you, and then ... at night we used to grease all the bread tins ready for men to be allowed to drop the dough into the bread tins, and er ... stuff like that and cleaning up scrubbing down and
Joyce (PS6MY) [57] How many hours did you actually work, was it each day?
(PS6N0) [58] Each day we used to do ... say an hour in the morning, whatever time was available between leaving school and getting back, dinner time, then in the evening you might have two, two and a half hours [...] you left you, you finished school, and er you might finish at eight o'clock if you were lucky you'd finish at half past seven.
Joyce (PS6MY) [59] And was this seven days a week, or did you have Sundays?
(PS6N0) [60] Oh yeah you had Sunday off, there was a ... the boss Mr was a Congregationalist, he used to attend Road Congregational Church.
Joyce (PS6MY) [61] You said you used to deliver some of the loaves to Mr 's other shops?
(PS6N0) [62] Yes
Joyce (PS6MY) [63] Tell me about that what you used to take them in.
(PS6N0) [64] In a basket scram it's three wheel I've had as many as a hundred and forty pound loaves in a scram to push from to Street up to Road.
Joyce (PS6MY) [65] You had a shop in Street as well.
(PS6N0) [66] Yes, of course there were always round about three lads and er if there was snow on the ground, two of us would be pushing them you know
Joyce (PS6MY) [67] Was it just a small wheeled
(PS6N0) [68] Small wheeled.
Joyce (PS6MY) [69] And it was wicker did you say?
(PS6N0) [70] Wicker, wickerwork basket the one had got a top on and er the big one which I had a hundred and forty loaves, I didn't have a top on but you had a waterproof sheet that you put over the top of that, but er the small ones had a lid on was hinged, hinged lid you could fold it backwards, as far as you could empty it and er what they used to do coming down Road you used to give it a good push and then jump on the back and freewheel down [...] past what is now Lane er ... is that convenience still on [...] , in those days the [...] was a gents toilet, a public convenience where you went down steps, you were actually apart from the urinals there was toilets as well there.
Joyce (PS6MY) [71] No I believe that's gone now.
(PS6N0) [72] It must be I was only thinking the other day the number of bakers [...] but er the number of small bakers that were in Caldmore there was the two brothers one was in Road and one was in Street there was on the corner of Street, where the Co-op have that place now that was they were all bread bakers, were bread bakers er ... a bit further down Street going towards ... Street was bakery, they were a bakers and confectioners ... in Street
Joyce (PS6MY) [73] How many were there in Palfry?
[74] Was there just Mr or were there
(PS6N0) [75] There was Mr and then a bit further up ... on the right hand side was a fella who used to have the contract for ... making the bread for the [...]
Joyce (PS6MY) [76] This is in Street?
(PS6N0) [77] In Street a man named he had two sons and he had, he had to quote, give a contract for it, but he always used to do what they'd call a workhouse feed, and it was a four pound loaf, when my father died mother didn't get a widow's pension, what, what she got was two shillings for each lad, there's four of us, that's eight shillings and a four pound loaf for each lad
Joyce (PS6MY) [78] How often did she get that, was that once a week?
(PS6N0) [79] That was once a week the bread, we used to have to collect the bread from Road, there was a small office at the side of the Infirmary I believe it was Mr or something like that, but we used to have to go to this office in Road and collect this four pound loaf every Wednesday and you didn't get another issue you had it all at once, so we had four four pound loaves, so we didn't know what new bread was after the first day, I've never ate so much bread pudding in my life as I did then [laugh] with a and er [...]
Joyce (PS6MY) [80] Tell me what you remember about the Palfry Working Men's Club, your sort of earliest memories of it
(PS6N0) [81] Well, it was actually started by a few railway men,th right opposite Street there used to be hand laundry, and then there was a row of houses, from there, running up to the corner of Street where the club stands originally, but in the beginning it was just a row of small houses, and it started with a few railway men having a meet holding the meetings in this house, in these houses, and I've got very dim memories of how it actually started but it was a real event when they were first, before they actually built the club it was run in the row of houses that ran from up Street as I say there was a little hand laundry corner of Street heading onto Street on the left hand side was the greengrocers, and that, they kept that greengrocers for as long as I can remember.
Joyce (PS6MY) [82] So you say it was a few railway men that got together and
(PS6N0) [83] That, that was the start, the start of it, I think how it actually commenced so they used to get in each other 's houses and play a few games of cards dominoes and draughts things like that, and they, they took over they must have actually bought the houses before they built the club.
Joyce (PS6MY) [84] Was there a shop or a beer shop or anything like that in these houses?
(PS6N0) [85] Not in those houses but there was a, an off-licence at the corner of Street, do you know where Street is?
[86] Well that was kept by fella called and they could get the beer off-licence, although it wasn't, it wasn't so far to the Old Naked Inn and then there was a pub on the corner of , I can't remember the name of that because they've opened it too young to remember pubs in them days but er, apart from the off-licence there was no actual public inn on Street, there was off-licence, as I say just a few yards down was the Old Naked Inn and there was a pub on the top of [...] just on the side of .
Joyce (PS6MY) [87] Do you remember the rebuilding of the club when they sort of made it look how it looked now?
(PS6N0) [88] Well [...] I was at school when they was rebuilding, they were, we didn't have much time and
Joyce (PS6MY) [89] But you can remember all the activity and the [...]
(PS6N0) [90] I, I can remember all the activity and er when it was erected there was a fella from the First World War , he lost a leg in the war and he was in charge of the billiards room and the tables, when they built the club ... itself the front part used to be devoted to card games [...] and then they installed a billiards ... hall and the tables and as I say a chap named he used to live in Street, but he was, a lost a leg during the war and they found him the job of looking after the tables and marking
Joyce (PS6MY) [91] So when would this be then roughly can you have a stab at it?
(PS6N0) [92] In the early thirties I should think.
Joyce (PS6MY) [93] When they built the billiard room and that extension?
(PS6N0) [94] Well I was er ... it would be about nineteen twenty two, I was about, cos I, I was er used trip the light fantastic fantastic a bit you know when I ran about seventeen and we used to [...] which billiard hall there was an entrance from Street and it went up the steps into the dance hall, it was over the top of the billiard hall right to the private houses next to them, it was quite a ... I was sixteen, seventeen in that er dance hall at the time.
Joyce (PS6MY) [95] How often did they used to have the dance, when you were young?
(PS6N0) [96] Oh on Mondays and Saturdays two or three times a week and it was er available for anyone that want to hold a dance they could rent it ... [...] there was no jitterbugging [...] it was just the waltz or foxtrot and two step ... and then we got er ... [...] one they used to kick their legs about
Joyce (PS6MY) [97] What the Charleston?
(PS6N0) [98] Charleston [...]
Joyce (PS6MY) [99] People have mentioned that Madame used to have a dancing session there do you remember this?
(PS6N0) [100] Sh she used to rent it for dances, but her dance class was in er ... do you know where the Territorial Hall is in er Street?
[101] Her dance hall, her dance class was down there, London Parkses Dance Class but she, she used to hold her dances in the club hall, because you could get more in.
Joyce (PS6MY) [102] What else used to go on in there in the way of activities [...] you mentioned billiards and card games and dancing?
(PS6N0) [103] What did go on oh of course it was available for wedding parties, birthday parties, anything like that, it was the only hall in the area in those days.
Joyce (PS6MY) [104] I've been told there was some baths in there as well [...]
(PS6N0) [105] Well now that, that's the thing we did appreciate, because er in those days no, no house had got its own bath it was a case of a tin bath on the hearth, but when I joined the club when I was working in the [...] , when I was thirteen I, I left school cos me being ... having no father I was able to l leave school when I made me attendances, oh that's something that might interest you I was thinking about.
Joyce (PS6MY) [106] I see from this school report you've shown me it said there were fifty seven in your class
(PS6N0) [107] Well that's, that's, that is it ... you've got the original there haven't you, that there are photostat copies but something the one that is the original copy that's the original it isn't a copy.
Joyce (PS6MY) [108] Yes that's right.
[109] Were there always this many in the class?
(PS6N0) [110] That was a, that was the number in the class fifty seven.
Joyce (PS6MY) [111] Do you remember any of the teachers particularly well any of them that had had an impact on you?
(PS6N0) [112] Well there was er ... the one who had the most important influence in my school life was Albert Edward , do you remember the printers, he was a teacher and he used to teach standard four, that was your last standard in the junior, and he had a big influence on, on me because er he wanted me to ... go into the printing trade as an apprentice, but I, me leaving school at thirteen and going into full-time work straight away I couldn't do, do that but oh there was er ,, he was an officer during the war [...] he was in the and there was oh our, our school teacher, we used to call, we used to call him his name was actually Arthur I think, but he was always, he was a little bit addicted to the lit little whisky bottle, he used to keep a little bottle in his desk and he'd be having a nip of whisky, but he was what was approximated as a sports master now, he used to look after the football team, we used to call him, I suppose his name was Arthur but his name was .
[113] ... The first teacher I had in the infants was a Miss , she had a bad habit of rapping you across the knuckles with a ruler, and there was a pupil teacher Miss , funny thing about that is she, she, she came up to, Mr came up as headmaster and Miss came as a teacher, she was a pupil teacher it wasn't necessary to go to college and get degrees in the, she, she used to be a pupil teacher in the infant school when I was at school, and Miss was actually at the sunshine school when my daughter was going to school.
Joyce (PS6MY) [114] Did you mention that there were one or two pawnshops in the Caldmore in the Palfry area can you remember them?
(PS6N0) [115] Well there used to be one on ... the corner of Street and Street that was , that was a pawnshop right opposite the churches facing it [...] the church were on the one corner Street and used to be on the opposite corner, and Johnny was a member of the church choir as I was after I was ten years ol ten years old, I ... Mr he must have thought I could sing he sent me down to St Paul's and I, I went to St Paul's Church on the corner of Street and I didn't stay there long because it was ... I was still working part- time I was still a schoolboy but er ... I did sing in the choir at St Paul's Church for a time, and then I went, I went back to St Mary's and All Saints in Palfry as a choirboy and er we used to have choir practice once or twice a week, I know we had it Wednesday night, the choir master was Albert Edward he was a butcher, kept a butcher's shop on the corner of and
Joyce (PS6MY) [116] Who was the vicar in those days?
(PS6N0) [117] The actual vicar was er ... it was high, a high church, Father and then there was er ... he was a vicar and he used to live in the vicarage which is higher up than the church at the back of the church Street, and there was Father , he used to run the Boy Scouts troop, and there were, I believe there were, there was two curates, I, I think the other one was named , but in those days either in Street I think it was in Street there was er ... two or three Sisters of Mercy that used to live down there, and they used to, cos being high church they were able to go, they didn't do any preaching or anything like that but they did parish work around the parish you know, they used to, they used to call them Sisters of Mercy.
Joyce (PS6MY) [118] What exactly had they used to do in the parish, was it when people were sick [...] ?
(PS6N0) [119] Well they, they, they'd do visiting like and as you say when they were sick and things like that.
Joyce (PS6MY) [120] Can you remember what you used to wear when you were a choirboy?
(PS6N0) [121] Cassock and surplice, a black cassock and white surplice once [...] I told you that my grandmother was once living with us, she used to delight in washing my surplice and ironing it up [...] except me when I was singing in the choir, I didn't take a, the treble solos, that was after the choir used to sister of ours at least oh twenty men, and as many lads and youths the ... as I say Johnny was in the choir there was er the two brothers and there was Dick was a ... incense boy and his father was a manager to go in the, he used to have a red cassock and surplice, but he used to ... Dick 's dad was the incense swinger and they used to go about swinging incense and that, I don't suppose they do that at all now, but er your first job as a choirboy was to pump the organ it, have you ever been in the church?
Joyce (PS6MY) [122] No I haven't
(PS6N0) [123] Oh I don't know whether it still exists but er
Joyce (PS6MY) [124] It's still there.
(PS6N0) [125] I mean the organ.
Joyce (PS6MY) [126] Oh I see.
(PS6N0) [127] [...] the organ there was a you know where you put your pump belt, there was a long [...] stout piece of wood and you had to keep pumping that up and down to put the wind into the organ, and there was a mirror above the organ and Mr the org the organist, who was a butcher in Street, he could look into that mirror and see whether you was pumping fast enough and he could signal to you and he used to warn you to er keep your eye on the mirror and if he, if he wanted more wind he used to be up up up oh or [...] , but it was just a big long [...] of wood and we used to pull it up and down, I was fairly tall for me height a age, but er we used to have to stand on a box to get it going first, but it, it was just like [...] bellows for your fire you know, wind for that, and we used to pump the wind into the organ also the service.
Joyce (PS6MY) [128] [...] you used to sing the weddings and that type of thing, or was it just the normal Sunday service [...] ?
(PS6N0) [129] It was only Sunday services but er we did occasionally have, cos you don't get a wedding every day, but we did sing occasionally at the weddings, the biggest service was at Easter when there was quite a performance at Easter ... yes Joh Johnny he was a ... he was in the choir and he's, there was another woman that might be interested a Mrs in Street during the fourteen war they used to have the Red Cross collection and they'd organize processions round ... round the streets collecting for the Red Cross and they used to knit socks and send them out [...] and all that sort of thing
Joyce (PS6MY) [130] Where did young people used to gather and when, meet when you were a young lad?
(PS6N0) [131] On the, on the, on the corner of the street under the lamppost, we'd, a family named used to live on the corner of Street and Street I lived in that house, but they used to just congregate on the, on the street corners.
Joyce (PS6MY) [132] This was when you were a young lad?
(PS6N0) [133] When a young lad, well as a young lad you weren't allowed to be cos you're not going to be in there son, and as I was er saying until I, until I left school I was more or less at work between school and bedtime you see, but er the majority of lads used to do a, do a little part-time job in those days
Joyce (PS6MY) [134] What were the people like in the street, the neighbours, were they erm?
(PS6N0) [135] Very friendly
Joyce (PS6MY) [136] Yes
(PS6N0) [137] Y y you needn't lock your door up in those days you could leave your door open, and they'd come and knock on your door and anybody in and I, I don't think we ever had a key to our front door, but er no they were very friendly and there used to be an old midwife, Mrs her name was the, she used to charge half a crown for a birth.
Joyce (PS6MY) [138] Where did she live?
(PS6N0) [139] I don't know whe or is it Street or Street?
Joyce (PS6MY) [140] I think
(PS6N0) [141] well it was that area, our mother used to go fetch her she us she came into our yard two or three times ... but I know
Joyce (PS6MY) [142] Did she come when you had your sisters, or was that someone else?
(PS6N0) [143] I can't remember that ... but I know she, she'd been to the families either side, Mrs she'd got one son and two daughters and there [...] and what have you, and then at the end house furthest from the lock was a family named they got two lads and oh she only used to charge half a crown.
Joyce (PS6MY) [144] Was some families rougher than others?
(PS6N0) [145] Definitely.
Joyce (PS6MY) [146] In what way?
(PS6N0) [147] Well, you learned to hold your own in those days, but some, some of them weren't too particular about bathing and what washing you know things like that, but er you got the usual crop of pigeon flies but there was no hooliganism, occasionally when, when it was election time and when Sir Richard was candidate for one year I remember, they came round and the people from Street and round that road they paraded through Caldmore and Palfry and there was a little bit of rough stuff went on there heckling and booing and shouting, but I don't think any harm done.
Joyce (PS6MY) [148] Were there any different class of people that lived in that part of town then Street and Street and that?
(PS6N0) [149] Well Street was really I should say the only industrial part of Caldmore or Palfry, cos there was Harveys had a factory up there and there was a little bit of factory work in Street, there was actually a small factory on the corner of Street and Lane, but the factory area was mostly in [...] .
Joyce (PS6MY) [150] Was the Mac's Pickle factory there when you lived in Palfry?
(PS6N0) [151] My step brother, Tommy , do you know the original [...] well Mr was a sales rep for Bokes couriers, and er his wife used to make pickles, homemade, and she us Mr used to give his friends a jar of pickles occasionally and er from that [...] the idea of selling them, cos it ou after they'd started distributing amongst his friends he got the idea that there was a market for it, so ... my step-brother Tommy er ... started to work with ... Mrs we used to call them Mrs but her name was , Street you know where Street is, well on the left hand side of Street about oh at the back of the first row of houses in Street, there was a, a small open space and Mr had a big shed put there, and er started buying the pickling onions and er ... all the women who wished to started skinning onions at so much a bag for Mr and er ... he'd gradually built himself up but me step- brother Tommy was er working full time helping Mrs to pick the [...] onions ... and, and that, that's how Mac's Pickles started was just from a mere fact of him being a commercial traveller and he'd di distribute them to his friends and created the, a market for himself really ... ac actually they, they, they did have a van driver and a van, a van to deliver them as they gradually increased the supply and they used to deliver them all, all around the area.
Joyce (PS6MY) [152] When would it have been approximately when he started this would you say?
(PS6N0) [153] I couldn't tell you exactly ...
Joyce (PS6MY) [154] Was it after the First World War?
(PS6N0) [155] Oh it was after the First World War because everything was rationed and you couldn't buy onions but er ... I'd say it was about seventy years ago
Joyce (PS6MY) [156] As long as that?
(PS6N0) [157] cos I'm eighty three now so.
Joyce (PS6MY) [158] Do you remember the Caldmore and Palfry shopping festival it was in nineteen twenty three apparently, do you remember anything about that, anything about competitions and odd things like that?
(PS6N0) [159] No ... being what I thought I was a man in those days I wasn't really interested in them, but I know there was competitions and er ... I believe there was different numbers posted on windows and if you got the right number you got a prize but ... I remember Palfry Park I'm having trouble with my eyes I've got over-active tear ducts and
Joyce (PS6MY) [160] Have you, oh dear.
(PS6N0) [161] I haven't got cataracts but [...] they keep watering I remember we used to go in