No one ever knocked!
When we moved to Ashton Street the top part of the road was bomb damaged. Nearly all the houses were occupied, except number 18, I think, was empty, because we used to think it was haunted. The people of Ashton Street were very friendly, and one of the things that amazes me was that at that time I can’t remember anyone locking their door. If the door knocker went we either thought it was the rent man or we’re in trouble, because everybody else would automatically open the door and call in, some of them would just walk in! If it rained people used to put their aspidistras out on the pavement next to the dustbins, for a watering.
We lived at number 39 Ashton Street on the side farthest away from St Peter’s Church. We had three bedrooms, but really we only used two, the other one my grandmother used to call a slip room, others would call it a box room. I lived with my grandmother and mother whilst my Dad was away at war and we didn’t use the other room until the others got back. The ground floor of the house was the old Victorian style with the passage, the sitting room where no one was allowed to go, and a room behind it where we lived and cooked on the old black range. Out at the back was a scullery with one of the old yellow stone sinks, with a copper in the corner. We had gas for cooking and electric lighting, and at the back was a little yard. You always thought if any of your friends lived in houses with bay windows they were ever so rich.