My mam, Annie Louisa Whitaker (left) was borne in 41 Calthorpe St and I was born at no 21 as was my sister Olwen and brother Ronnie. I always remember Christmas and having a net stocking with an apple , orange , nuts and a new hanky with some new pennies and a sixpence in and a Rupert the Bear book . All the kids went out to play in the St when it snowed and what fun we had . Neighbours always helped each other out and would give you there last penny even though they didn’t have much themselves.
I went to Marsh Rd school so didn’t have far to walk . Slipper baths on a Friday night when we got older and outside toilet in the back yard that always froze in the winter. You could buy almost anything on Cannon St and oh the fish and chips from Tommy Dowels or Ashton’s where to die for! Loved going on the Sunday school trips at the Congregational church .
My dads name was Tom and he worked as a labourer at Dorman Long used to clean the furnaces always wore a flat cap and muffler. My grandad Jim Speck also worked there and I remember him making pokers for the fire from the scraps of metal .
Always remember the Ragabone man coming round and all us kids used to dash in and ask our mam’s for some rags , some times we got balloons or gold fish and one time he gave us chickens. I got a couple and kept them in a cardboard box on the fireplace and the kept us up all night squawking so my mam made me give them to a lady up the St as they had made a hutch for them , course that wouldn’t be allowed these days .
I also remember us kids going to Albert park with jam jars and fishing net to catch fish of course they didn’t live long so off we went again to catch more . Could go on forever… auntie Winnie’s pie ,peas and mashed potatoes on the corner of our St , Angie’s on Cannon St best roast potatoes ever loved the skin on them , always kept a big dish of them on the counter . Happy days as my mam used to say .
When I got married we rented 43 Calthorpe had two of our four children there before the houses came down and we went to Priestfields. I will never forget where I came from and the people I lived among they were the salt of the earth.