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Those Were The Days.


Wingnut
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What memories from your early childhood haunt you the most?

 

For me it has to be standing on a cold kitchen floor in me jamas, wet hair cos I'd just got out of the bath, and haveing two spoon fulls of California Syrup Of Figs poured down me gullet every Saturday night. I can still smell and taste the vile stuff even today. I cried, I screamed, and I pleaded with me Mam not to make me take it. But it did no good. It's good for you she would say, it helps keep you open. What a luvverly turn of phrase that was.

 

Lumpy porridge made with water instead of milk was something else that made me want to throw up. I used to make roadways with me spoon through mine. Anything cheap or nasty, and there seemed to be a never ending supply of it.

 

But we allways fought and argued for the dark and crispy skin off the rice pudding. Or mashed potatoes out of the frying pan covered in bacon fat. The bacon fat was the nearest I got to the actual bacon for many a year.

 

Good and bad, what's yours?

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Wingy, like you hated the syrup of figs & porridge also cod liver oil, yuk, hated semolina & tapioca puddings, getting in that tin bath in front of the fire in the living room wasn't too bad but getting out made you shiver, no bathroom in our two up two down in Oldham street, Latchford, hated going to the tin bog in winter as it was outside down the yard my mum always gave me the job of tearing newspaper into about 8" squares & threading on to a piece of string to use as toilet paper, had to do that before being allowed to play out. Getting back to the porridge, my dad was brought up in Padgate Cottage Homes & had been subjected to a strict regime of discipline bordering on cruelty with the result that he was very strict (but fair) with me so when I refused to eat my porridge or any other food it was taken away then produced for my next meal and so on until I made an attempt to eat it, needless to say I wasn't too 'picky' with my food, lots of bad memories as the 1940's were lean times as we were just coming out of the war & still on rationing, must say there were lots of good memories also, perhaps raise another topic to discuss those some other time.

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Hahhaaaaaa, and I thought it was only me and my tribe that went through those eat it or go hungry times. And yes the smell of damp newspaper and the fumes from a parrafin stove in the outside soil closet come wafting back to me as I write. :D

 

I knew one elderly lady aged 86 who told me that when she left school at the age of 14, she worked in one of the big houses as a scullery maid. The first job that they made her do was on Christmas Day. And that was to sit in the outside toilet for the full day, ripping newspaper into squares and hanging it on a nail as you described.

 

She had a tear in her eye as she related this story to me......cruel beggars. I suppose it was all part of keeping the working classes in their place. And some of them would make us do the same things today if they had their way.

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And there aren't many kids about today who have walked down the street and not been able to see their own hand in front of their faces because of the thick foggy days that we had. Great weather for playing knick knack though. :D:D I know who you are, the victim would shout. Don't you know there's a man on nights in this house? You just wait till I see yer Mam. :D :D :D

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Good thread Wingy. Your least favourite aunt used to call when you were in the tin bath - you daren't get out even if the water was going cold.

 

I used to hate Mondays. Tater hash for your tea and when you got home from school there was that funny smell of clothes drying in front of the fire.

 

But the toast in those days - even if you did end up with red legs.

 

Happy days

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Aaahhh yes, red blochy legs, Something which most of my aunts suffered from. But doing toast or crumpets, crampets as me gran used to call them on an open fire on the end of a knife, was much better than that which was done under the grill.

 

Lighting the fire in the first place was a welcome job. Breaking orange boxes up for kindling, and then standing and holding the double front page of the Guardian across the fire place, to draw the fire could be a bit risky. Nearly feinted a couple of times doing that.

 

And that large built in cupboard that were in most houses in the Orford area. Funny things they were. The top shelf in the cupboard was my favourite hiding place, And there was a small hatchway at the back of it, where I could crawl through to the kitchen. I could never understand the purpose of that hatchway, as it was too high up to be of any use to anybody, appart from me that is. :D

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And the greengrocers shop where all the mothers took their new born to be weighed on the potatoe scales, and the shop keeper would keep a record of their babys weight for them. Aggie Goulding had a shop on Winwick road by Ireland Street. I can remember going up the donkey stoned steps to it. And a planked floor covered in sawdust. She sold the best boiled ham, and corned beef ever. The slicer wasn't wiped down in between cutting the different joints of meat either. But nobody suffered the worse for it.

 

If me gran had had a win on the horses, I would be treated to a tu'penny slab of toffee, or a penny arrow bar, something which I licked and sucked until it becme the consistancy of molten lava.

 

I don't think she did it on purpose, but she used to give me her betting slip, and I was told to go to the bookie and ask him if he had anything for B.O. they were me Grans initials.

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Queuing up to get the jab off Nurse Cratchit at school was one of mixed feelings. Was it for polio or something? the one that left us all with that little wheel mark at the top of our arms. People comeing out limping for some strange reason, and saying that it really hurts, eeer, no it didn't.

 

But nothing hurt worse than the school dentist at Garven Place. Now just sit back and relax son, you won't feel a thing. It was all done in slow motion with a look of glee on his face, as he came nearer and nearer to you with his hands behind his back, as though he was trying to hide something that he didn't want you to see.

 

I'm sure it was the only pleasure that he got out of his sadistic life. First he'd clamp your mouth open with a metal object, and the last thing you remembered was trying to kick him away as he forced the gas mask over your mouth and nose. That horrilble smell of rubber and the feeling that your jaw was going to snap in half is something I shall never forget.

 

Dentists equipment from those days would be better displayed in the dungens in the Tower of London next to all the other instruments of torture.

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Nearly there Wingy. Dentistry wasn't a fine art in those days as Wingy describes.

 

Children had to be dragged to Garven place. As they got close, you got the scent of the gas which was enough to convince a lot of youngsters that they should hastily drag themselves from their mother and scarper.

 

They had to be reported to the police who treated it as a full scale missing child until found.

 

Happy days

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The circus on Vicky park, when we finished school at St James's we all went and helped pull on the guy ropes when they put up the big top, if you were lucky you might have got thrupence for helping or a clip round the ear if you got in the way. I remember going one time without telling my mum and they searched Latchford for me, my dad met me my making my way home it was about 9 o'clock at night, I was seven at the time and he dragged me home and gave me the leather belt across my backside, another lesson learned the hard way.

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i would have to say that going to the barbers for a haircut. sitting there with my cousins waiting whilst he finished off the first of a long line of kids then struggling to get on the seat. he used to have a leather child seat that he put across the arms so that us littluns could be reached easily. an hour waiting and a haircut that was the latest.

see pic below.

 

mumalbum2-056.jpg

 

me my sister and a minkey. think it was a warrington walking day and the guy with the camera was charging so much for a picture and he had this little monkey that you could hold which cost extra. just check out that haircut, best pudding basin style, no wonder i have all these problems now :lol::lol::lol:

 

not quite sure where the picture was taken though. may have been bank park, victoria park or even orford park. well i was a lot younger then and had a few sleeps. :wink:

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