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Thread: King Street Garston 1930s to 1970s

  1. #1
    Member merseymay's Avatar
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    Smile King Street Garston 1930s to 1970s

    Hi -- what a great site
    (you can cut to the chase by scrolling to the bold bits...)

    I am trying to get a few of my parents memories from Liverpool of old, down on paper. At the moment I am working on Dads stories.

    He was born in 1936 in Garston, the youngest of 11 kids.

    He tells stories about:
    the poverty;
    being catholic in a street where one side was catholic and part of the other side was protestant;
    the strong sense of community;
    the street gambling, pubs, sing-songs;
    bomb-raid stories;
    the difference between those under the bridge and those not...etc

    These days he is greatful for a plummed bathroom, heating and a more varied diet than jam butties at home and bananas pinched from the docks when opportunity knocked.
    He thinks perhaps, however, his childhood made up for in (some kind of) culture and community, what it lacked in money and opportunity.


    After childhood came the teens of course, and the 'King Street Cowboy' label, knocking round with the boys, then conscription...

    After teens came slotting in to the life of the average scouser, getting married, kids, getting kicked out of Garston because their house was getting demolished, moving to speke, working at Dunlops for 10 years or more, an odd bevvy at the peggi...

    In the 70s with all the forecast instability of the docks and industry, my family got out and moved to Australia.

    At the moment I am writing a short story about a small event that happened in the 40s (I think). I will check with dad for a more specific date.

    The story goes that there was a huge mound of coal dumped near king street, the industrial/dock area.

    The way dad remembers it, the king street community pretty much decimated the mountain in a night!

    Dad recalls the community, kids and adults alike, doing relays to the coal pile in the dark, carrying coal back by hand or in prams, barrows and baskets.

    It was a big deal, as most could not afford enough coal to keep them warm all the time.

    Dad recalls the event vividly through a childs eyes. His memory doesn't tell the whole story because I dont know who put the coal there, how the police dealt with it, what the adults of the community thought of the event...

    None of that matters, his recollection is a fab story which paints an important picture of growing up under the bridge back then.

    It would be great to hear from anyone who remembers the event, who has heard of it, or can track down any facts about it!

    Anyone here that old or got great/grand/parents from Garston?

    All help gratefully received, any other memories of that time? I would love to chat!

    THANKS in advance

    MM -

  2. #2
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Hello there, what a fantastic post, thanks very much. My nan and grandad are sadly both no longer with us but were both Garstonians, my nan working in the Bobbin Works from the age of 12 I think. I will have a word with some people I know and get back to you.

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  3. #3
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    A cracking read Merseymay. Thanks for sharing it

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    Member merseymay's Avatar
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    Thanks for replying! Looking forward to hearing of any leads.

    Will share the finished story here once its ready to go.

  5. #5
    Senior Member john's Avatar
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    Great story, my folks where from Garston

    and have fond memories.
    My extended family all lived in a couple of streets in Garston until they were knocked down and my family and friends all moved

    out to pastures new.
    They went from two up two down, outside lav to a modern house with bathroom inside lav, I think that my parents could not believe

    their luck.

    Have you seen the Garston book?

    " If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from".

    "I could have been a footballer - but I had a paper round"..Yosser Hughes

  6. #6
    Member merseymay's Avatar
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    First to Kev - I forgot to say - my Granny worked at the bobbin works too.

    It sent her deaf which was a blessing of sorts.
    With 11 kids (10 because one died as a child) and a grumpy husband and no money, you'd think it would

    be a stressful life. But she was always smiling and had barely a wrinkle on her face when she died in her 80s. They all reckon its because she was deaf so

    she never knew what was going on in their lives, so couldn't worry.
    Her kids would take her to the pub each arvo, sit her down and get her a bloody mary.

    She'd sit there nodding her head at the conversations and grinning away.
    Occasionally she'd pipe up and say 'Its good stuff this tomato juice'.

    Now to John
    hi, thanks for the reply

    Don't think I've seen the Garston Book. I think my mum has mentioned

    it. Or I could be thinking of her frequently saying 'Garston is mentioned in the Doomsday Book' LOL.

    We have a copy of 'over the top from under

    the bridge' (I think its called).
    Its the story of a fellow who lived off king street. It has a copy of a census (50s)in it which is brilliant to read

    with folks who once lived there. Every name they recognise sparks an avalanche of memories. I think its avail thru the Garston Historical


    Vulcan Street and Thomas Street were two Garston Streets where my relos lived that are now kaput - demolished in the 60s I think. Is that where

    your relos were? Outside loos, 2 up 2 down - miniature houses, pretty much slummys thrown up to house factory workers in the late 1800s I think.


    mum was happy to get out like your relos, but dad was a Garstonian born and bread so it gutted him to leave.

    He knew almost every person

    in Garston from a few generations. His mental map of garston and where everyone lived is amazing. he can just about do his own retrospective census of the


    Let us know what book you were referring to?



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