Childhood memories of the 1940s

New England Street and Boston Street backyards; View looking north from railway works. Click on the image to open a large version in a new window

Floorboards for firewood

I was so young and only lived in the Boston Street and New England Street area until 1949. As a consequence I only have vague and fleeting memories of the place, although I used to visit my grandparents often. The houses were very cramped and of course they had outside toilets. I do remember that some of the people in Boston Street were extremely poor. Once I looked into the next door house and saw that all the floor boards were missing. Not being able to buy coal, they had taken them up for fire wood.

Scrabbling for pennies

I do remember when my grandparents and my parents used to go on the charabanc trip, starting from what was then the Merry Harriers Pub in New England Street. The people on the coach would have a collection for small change, and then throw the coins out of the windows. Of course there would then be an almighty scrabble between us kids to see who could collect the most. Sounds a strange thing to do now I know.

Excitement of a steam roller

At the time, in New England Street, there used to be a small shop window that had loads of lead soldiers on display. I used to gaze longlingly at them all the time, but was never lucky enough to have one bought for me. The first vehicle I remember seeing in the street was a steam roller. This was such excitement for us kids, when it stopped we used to clamber all over it. Hard times but happy days.

The Prince family outside their house in Boston Street.


The Prince family outside their house in Boston Street.

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