2. Early Memories

Electricity In the early days our house didn´t have electricity and I can remember watching and looking at the fragile gas mantles.

Then electricity came and we were the first to obtain a TV in the Street. Our front room was packed with children for Children´s hour on a Saturday afternoon!

Just imagine what life was like without electricity !


As I grew older I had to do errand´s on a Saturday morning if I wanted any pocket money. One was bringing back a stone of potatoes from the market which was always so heavy!

Another was to go to the Co op in Park Street and queue for the weekly shopping. I think I hated

this the most as I had to take a list and the Shop assistants had to get everything – no self service – and they always seemed to treat me with contempt – as they read out the list to my embarrassment.

One day a man came to our house and asked my mum some questions about a washing powder. Because she got the question right we got a voucher for £5 for the weekly shopping. I dreaded my next visit to the Coop – I presented a Shop Assistant with the voucher, then all the shop assistants looked at the voucher – then they all looked at me – and everyone in the shop was now looking at me! The £5 voucher lasted for a couple of months with a repeat performance each week !

Fires, Baths, Wash Days and Toilets

Another task I had to learn wasto make the fire with paper, wood and coal. On a winter´s day you knew what cold was! We got our Coal from my Uncles who worked at Darfield Main and every so often I had to help shovel a ton of coal down through the Cellar grate.

The other abiding memories was how the outside toilet always froze up in the cold winter and we had to take a bucket of water to flush it. Then there was the ritual of emptying the Pot under the bed – horrific!

We also had a tin bath and taking a bath was so awkward and difficult in the small house!

Also Wash Days on Monday´s – especially on rainy days – was horrible with wet washing all over the house.

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