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  1. #61
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Life amd love in Lodge Lane

    Tiber Street school was special to us kids in that it not only provided us with an education,but it was also open as a play centre in the autumn and winter evenings.It was a pleasure to go there of a night time,there was none of the rigid discipline of the classroom,we played organised indoor games, had drawing lessons,or just simply sat and listened to stories being read by teachers.
    Miss Bell ,the headmistress,was given to enthusiasms,she loved organising concerts or displays.Every May Day a Maypole was erected at the top of the playground and selected boys and girls were chosen to enact the Maypole dance.This was a rather intricate affair,ribbons of red ,white and blue, were hung from the top and the boys and girls each held one of the colours.
    They were taught to dance around the pole in opposing directions,skipping and weaving as they went.this was done to the sound of music played on an old wind up gramaphone.When the dance was ended the pole was covered from top to bottom with a red, white and blue pattern.
    It took days and days of practice,I was removed from the team because I kept going the wrong way.
    For Christmas '49 Miss Bell decided to put on a concert,in fact a N****r Minstrel Show.Hard to believe now,given the way Lodge Lane is today,but way back then, we didn't even know the word racist.
    A group of boys were chosen to be the minstrel choir and dance chorus,and I was picked to in it.Al Johnson was a very popular entertainer at that time and we all ,the minstrels that is,thought we were going to be like him.
    We were given several songs to learn,which we did at home,and had to rehearse some simple dance and comedy routines at school.
    I spent hours practising Swanee River, Poor Black Joe,By the Light of the Silvery Moon and several others.Whenever relatives came around I was hauled out and told to go into my routine.
    Come the day of the show the minstrels had to take their pyjama trousers,a white shirt and their Dads hat(I was lucky mine had one ,a green trilby)
    the teachers had made us colourful bow ties,and blacked our faces too.
    We lads were thrilled with our reception,and, when the show was over,went home still blacked up.All we got was nice smiles from passers by and pats on the head from old people.I shudder to think what would happen if a child walked home like that now.
    We had an Indian boy join our school that year,the only Indian boy I had seen before was Sabhu, the young star of Soldiers Three,Jungle Book and The Drum.So this boy was invested with an aura of glamour before we got to know him.The Head Mistress had him on the platform and introduced him as a boy from the Indian Empire, and she let him tell us about the village he was from.He was a great story teller,I can't remember much about his village,but I remember the tale he told about the day a lion attacked his father.
    We were spellbound as he told of finding his father clamped in a lions mouth,it was was dragging him by the shoulder, away from the farm.The boy picked up his fathers knife and slashed the lions nose,causing it to drop his father and flee.He was all of 9 years of age.
    Another pupil from a far away land joined our class that year,a beautiful freckle faced girl with auburn hair.She was from California and I developed a massive crush on her,the sound of her voice,her lovely white teeth,and that sunny complexion, she was so different from any girl I had ever known.
    She was to remain unaware of my affection because I would get tongue tied whenever she was near.

    When 1950 dawned, Miss Bell informed us in assembly one morning, that 1951 was going to be an Historic year.The government had decided that there was to be a Great Exhibition, like the one held a 100 years ago in London.
    Tiber Sreet Primary School was going to play its full part in the proceedings.
    This was going to be different from the May Day ceremonies, grander than the school concerts. This was going to be an occasion that people would remember for the rest of their lives!!
    When Miss Bell pronounced her ishes ,the school obeyed!!
    Ideas were called for,discussions took place throughout the school,what kind of display would Tiber Street hold?
    At length ,it was decided to build a battleship in the playground,it was going to be called HMS Britannia.We kids were imagining that the yard was going to look like Cammell Lairds.
    She had to have a screw loose,build a Battleship in the playground.
    And then slowly the plan was given form,we children would be the battleship!
    The outline of a ships hull was drawn in chalk in the middle of the playground.It was huge,at least to us kids it seemed huge.Whole classes of children were needed to stand along the outline of the hull,forming two curved lines from stem to stern.We were to be the ships bow, sides and stern.The superstructure was going to be built out of boxes or tea chests and would be painted grey.Canvas sheets were to be made and would be painted to look like the hull of a warship.we kids were to hold this in place.It sounded fantastic and nearly every day we were lined up in battleship order and made to practise moving in line like a ship under way.It was very hard trying to maintain the shape as we moved,but this was early '50 and we had nearly a year to practise.Most dry mornings would find us in the playground,all holding hands to keep the line intact,trying to sail gracefully across the yard.One of the older girls was chosen to play the part of Britannia,she would be sat atop the superstructure,with a shield and trident, just like the one on the penny.She took no part in the rehearsals yet, for the boxes had not yet been produced to make the upperdecks.
    We may have been unable to add up or do long division ,but by the arrival of the summer holidays in 1950 we kids could match the grenadier guards for marching.
    This summer promised to be our best ever for Mum and Dad were going to take us all on holiday to Llandudno.We were excited as could be for this was going to be our first holiday as a complete family......................................
    BrianD


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  2. #62
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Life amd love in Lodge Lane

    So, the anticipation of real seaside holiday excited us so much,we had been to New Brighton and Southport,but that was for days outings.
    This was the stuff of fairy tales.We were going to stay with my Mums Aunty Dolly,she had a guest house in Alexandria Road on the West Shore in LLandudno.
    We prayed that nothing could happen that would prevent our holiday,so often had we felt disappointments in the past, when rain had put a halt to a promised outing.
    The months seemed to crawl by,but we still had school and the Festival of Britain rehearsals.We still had our street games and the endless diversions that filled our spare time.
    There seemed to be a season for everything,at certain times of the year,whip and tops would appear,pavements would be chalked with hopscotch grids,ropes would be slung over the ladder arms of gas lamps and we would swing till we were dizzy.Who deemed it time for a game to start ,we'll never know;it was the order of things.Boys flicking ollies(marbles)into circles,a kind of junior bowls,girls playing balls with all the skill of jugglers,dresses tucked into knickers so that they could throw the balls under their legs,as a variation.The skipping games which were done to old street songs like Bobby Shafto,sometimes Mums and Dads would help turn a big rope so that up to half a dozen kids could skip in unison.
    Those games brought us together as a group,we were part of a "tribe",the kids of the top end of a street would rarely play with the kids from the bottom end.There were exceptions,there was a family in Coltart Road,who were special.they were black,not something that was ever remarked upon then,the younger son was my age and he was part of our group of school mates.His elder brother was a rather dashing figure,he was in the American Army Air Force and he looked so "hollywood "in his uniform.
    What made him special was that he always had time for us kids,with four steel poles and a couple of ropes,he would rig up a boxing ring in the street and give us proper boxing lessons.We thought he was a real hero.
    Some of the older girls in our street were dating G.I.s, who would call for them in their Buicks and Plymouths,we would stand at the kerb awestruck at the beautiful chrome grilles,the fantastic interiors with the big bench seats and the ivory coloured steering wheels.Such opulence amidst such squalor.
    Some of the brothers of the girls would get comics and candy and were the envy of us all.If we ever saw a "Yank",we would call out "Any gum chum?",sometimes you'd get lucky and be treated to a stick of Wrigleys,if not, we'd shout "Up your bum Chum" and leg it.
    Thinking of American servicemen,calls to mind an incident that occurred during one of the school holidays,Our gang had been down to Sefton Park
    to watch a circus being set up,we were walking back up the Lane and were on the opposite side to Mozart Street ,when I saw my Mum coming out of Holdens Stores.I hadn't seen her all day because she had been at work.She was carrying shopping bags full of groceries so I shouted to her that I would help.Without looking left ,or right.I just hared across the road...........................right into the path of an American Military Police jeep.
    I stiil don't know how it happened,but I ended up on the bonnet ,holding on to the spare wheel,while these two "snowdrops",with eyes like saucers,went skidding to a halt outside Percys greengrocers.I tumbled off and broke the 4 minute mile getting out of there.
    When I crept back home later ,my Mum gave me such a larruping,she had dropped the shopping in fright and broke that weeks ration of eggs.
    Summertime was here and the holiday was looming.
    Cases were packed withour best clothes,no buckets or spades,we'd get them there.That morning saw the five of us boarding the train,shivering with the excitement of it.The station, full of people and trains,the kids clinging on to their parents for fear of getting lost in the crowd,the hiss of steam and the clouds of smoke,whistles blowing and the lurch as the great blackened behemoth shakes off the station bounds and starts to chug ,chug, chug its way to pastures new.Trundling out through the city cuttings she starts to gather speed,the clickety click of the rails sets up it melody in your head.The streets turn into fields,the gold and green of the meadows like some vast patchwork quilt.To a child of city streets this was a colourful awakening.With noses pressed to the windows ,we drank in the passing scenes,clickety,click, clickety click, are we there yet,clickety click,is it far? The whoosh and shudder as a train passes the other way,the blackness that swoops upon you as we enter a tunnel.The shrill sound of the train whistle and the slowing down as we come to the outer reaches of the station.People standing up to reach for cases from the rack ,the gentle click as we cross those final points.the slow lurch to a halt as we stop beside the platform."Come on lad" says Dad,"give your Mam a hand with her bags,We're there!"
    BrianD

  3. #63
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Alexandra Rd.,Llandudno

    Mum led the way out of the station,my head was twisting left and right ,taking in the sun bright streets.No blackened brickwork, just clean,
    brightly coloured houses,and spotlessly swept streets.You could smell the sea air and the seagulls cries echoed through the skies.
    We were almost running to Aunty Dolly's,going down Augusta Street,with the Great Orme towering in the background,my first view of a real mountain,into Trinity Avenue,with its neat rows of Victorian villas and well trimmed gardens.Next came Kings Place,then Kings Drive and then we were in Alexandra Road.How do I remember the roads so well?Subsequent events will answer that question..
    We didn't go in through the front door,instead it was round the back and into to the kitchen,where we received a very warm welcome from everyone.
    Aunty Dolly looked just like Grandma,her hubby Uncle Owen had a face that was full of laughter lines,and twinkling,mischievious eyes.And there were Mums cousins,nearer our age than hers,lovely dark eyed Elizabeth,with long dark tresses,she looked like a fairy tale princess.Her younger sister,Eleanor,as fair as Elizabeth was dark,she was giggly and vivacious.Snow White and Rose Red.And then came Willie,just two years older than me,he had an impish grin and a sense of humour to match.There was an elder brother called Edwin ,but we only caught glimpses of him,I think he was doing his national service.
    The house was just right ,not too posh that you would feel uncomfortable,but cosy enough to make you feel right at home.
    After unpacking, and a bit of tea, Mum and Dad took us for a walk to have a look at the town.There were not many cars about in those days and the streets looked so much wider,there was a very old fashioned feel to the place,a feeling which was heightened when we got to Mostyn Street and saw the horse drawn tramcars.We bought some buckets and spades in one of the gift shops,all ready for our visits to the West shore later in the week.
    Our eyes were dazzled by all the nice things for sale in the different shop windows;leaving the Mostyn Street we strolled up on to the Parade with its wonderful terraces of tall Victorian hotels,they really did look grand.
    It was then on to the promenade,with its beautiful cast iron scroll work railings and little kiosks ,all painted blue and white,while the wooden boardwalks were bleached white by the sun.
    We saw the Livepool ferry tied up at the end of the pier,with its yellow funnel and bright white superstructure,to my small eyes ,she looked like an ocean liner.After a short walk up Happy Valley,it was back to Aunty's for some supper and a nice early bed.We had lots of discovering to do tomorrow.

    It was up with the lark next morning,after breakfast,cousin Willie introduced us to the family pets,first there was a loveable,patchy black dog,whose name has been long forgotten,then came the duck ,called,naturally,Donald.He had a quirky character,sometimes aloof,and other times sniffing and gently pecking you,to see if you had any tidbits for him.There were a couple of cats,one of which kept on doing whoopsies on the morning paper.And finally, there was a cockerel,he was the alarm clock for the family,no oversleeping there!
    Instead of going out with the family that day,Mum agreed to let Willie take me around LLandudno.We went out along Marine Drive, on the west side,up past the statue of Lewis Carrolls White Rabbit and then on to the Great Orme.
    It was so exciting ,Willie knew every nook and cranny,we went into "smugglers" caves,climbed down to the sea and were splashed with spray crashing over the rocks.We went up to the top and saw where the mountain trams came ,the cafe and look out post.We got back to Alexandra Road with a host of stories to tell.Willie was the best and bravest of all my cousins ,hadn't he taken me on a great adventure?
    Uncle Owen kept a lot of chickens up in an allotment down the Brynau Road,before going to bed that night,he let me go with him and Willie when he took their feed.This was a noxious brew which Aunty Dolly mixed every day in a big old fashioned dolly tub.This mixture was made up from old fruit and veg,stale cakes and bread plus anything else that could be gleaned from the shops and allotments nearby.
    It was Willies job to collect the stuff ,Uncle Owen had made him a superb cart,it could be used for fun ,but its main purpose was to carry the bin in which he put the gleanings.
    I didn't want to go to the beach next day,I pleaded with Mum to be allowed to go with Willie on his gleaning round.She gave in,amazed that I was turning down a sunny day at the by the sea shore.
    So, off the two of us went,me sitting on the cart with the bin and Willie at the front pulling it along.We went to the cake shop first,the lady dumped a load of jam and cream sponge cakes in ,I was just about to retrieve one when she came out and gave Willie and I a jammy rock cake each.This was the life!
    The Grocers and Fruiterers helped fill the bin up some more but we weren't finished yet.
    Willies last call was the alloments that lay alongside the railway lines that run into the station.The entrance gate was right down the road toward the station,but Willie would never open a gate if he could climb a fence,and he would never climb a fence if there was a more exciting way to get over it.
    In this case there was a more exciting way, along side the fence stood an old gas lamp,just like the ones in our street,two ladder stays at the top on either side of the lamp.
    Willie swarms up the pole,grabbing hold of the lamp ,he stands on the ladder stay and launches himself into the air and over the spiked railings.
    Standing in the waist high grass the other side ,he tells me to wait there while he fetched the stuff..........No way,I was going to fly!!
    I was up that pole and standing on that ladder stay before he could stop me."Look Willie...I'm flying!" I launched myself into space,falling ,falling,falling........and then THUMP!!!!I jerked to a halt,I wasn't on the ground,I couldn't move my head,My legs were scraping something as I dangled,The railings,where's Willie?Why can't I move?
    My ears hurt on either side,I can't turn my head.........Theres Willie,in front of me ,screaming..............Theres a terrible taste in the back of my mouth..........I'm trying to pull myself away from the railing but I seem to be stuck.Theres something hard pushing against my jaw when I pull backwards.Behind me there is someone laughing hysterically,and I'm feeling wet all down my front."Up" shouts Willie,"Push yourself up"He runs to me pushing my feet and I push up,and there is a sucking sound as my neck comes free from the spike I was Impaled upon.
    "Iv'e got to get to Mum"I was running , there was no pain yet,and I didn't understand what had happened,I was wet and I was red all down my front."Got to get to Mum,she'll make it better"....around the back and up the yard to the Kitchen door,through the window see Dad at the sink having a shave,razor freezes in place on his cheek,Mum at the kitchen door,mouth a blackened circle as she shrieks,stunned into motionlessness.Aunty Dolly,pushing her aside as she reaches up to the drying rail,pulling down a towel,wrapping it around my neck and half carrying, half pulling,she runs me down to the Brynau Road.
    The towel is wet through now,a single decker bus from Deganwy is heading for the town,I can still see the drivers face as he sees us,and then the bus goes into a graceful turn ,braking alongside us ,arms reach out and pull me aboard ,the conductor whispering words of kindness,Mum is beside and I'm beginning to hurt.The bus is going like blazes,passengers craning to see what is up.We jerk to a halt out side the hospital doors and some nurses come out and catch me as I fall.......................and then all is blackness.

  4. #64
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Alexandra Rd.,Llandudno

    I could hear a young girls voice in my left ear,it was saying"why are you in my bed?"Slowly I became aware of her presence at my side,I tried to turn toward her voice but could not properly move my head.She stood closer and, because I had no pillow beneath my head, I could only see her head and shoulders.A pretty pig tailed girl,she was asking me what I was in hospital for and the memory of the fall returned.I put my hand up to my throat and felt some fabric,I tried to talk and could not work my voice.My hand inadverdently knocked the dressing off my throat and I saw the little girl faint away,A nurse appeared from nowhere and replaced the dressing and the blackness closed in again.
    I would like to pause here awhile and ask you to bear with me whilst I ponder at the wonderful series of events that lead from a spike in a Welsh railway cutting to the happy existence that I have enjoyed these many years since.
    When that accident happened Britain was recovering from a long and costly war,financial restrictions were put in place that meat that no individual could take more than 25.00 abroad for holidays.A new medical service was finding it's feet,The National Health Service.These few facts had a very great bearing on what was about to happen to me.
    I had to go into Myrtle Street Hospital about a year after I had recovered from my Welsh sojourn;Mum told me that I had to have my tonsils out.So in I went and for years afterwards I would enter on to my medical forms in the M.N. that I was tonsil free.
    In the Christmas holiday of 1968 I was staying at my wife's house whilst on leave from the M.N.,when I developed the most awful sore throat,it was so bad that I had to go to the ENT hospital in Birmingham.I couldn't speak so I wrote down that I thought I had Quinsey because I'd had my tonsils out 16 years ago.After examining me the Doctor informed me that I had still got my tonsils and that they were very inflamed.Much puzzled by this turn of events,I asked my mother,when I was back in Liverpool,how come I still had tonsils when they were supposed to have been taken out in 1952?
    She then told me what had really happened back in LLandudno.
    The spike had penetrated the thorax and caused major damage to the larynx.That little hospital put out a call on the NHS network for the help of a throat specialist and,oh blessed financial restrictions,there was a Consultant Surgeon ,a Mr Ferguson,on holiday in LLandudno with his family.
    He was based in Myrtle Street hospital and he answered the call for help.
    Had the accident occurred 10 years later I would most probably be dumb because the middle classes were then holidaying abroad.Fate is an awesome thing.Those tonsils?Well it was rectification work on the larynx that took place,something that I wouldn't have understood then.

    But here we are back in that Welsh hospital;I'm now in a very dark room and there are silvery white lights coming into view,a man with a very kind face leans down toward me ,speaking gently ,he points to what looks like a ball of spinning white gossamer and tells me to blow it away.It hovers in front of my face and I blow and blow and then the world slips sideways.
    I have no idea how long I was unconscious,I cannot remember being given any food to eat or liquids to drink.There was just a blurring of reality,all I can recall are the colours of eau de nil and whiteness.The colour of the walls and the ceiling of the room I was in,the doorway was brown and there was a window behind me.I couldn't speak and could barely move my head.I cried for my Mum but for some reason she was never there.Days passed in a drugged blur.One day the nurse came and sat me so that I could see out the window and as I looked I saw Mum and Dad come into view across the field.I can still see them now down all these years,standing in the long grass that was turning to gold,Mum in her gay floral print dress and Dad in his best pale green sports jacket.They stand there waving as they see me through the window,little did I realise that they were waving me goodbye.
    A little while after,cousin Willie came in to see me,it was wonderful to be with someone I knew,he gave me all the news,told me that grown ups were not allowed to see me ( I believed him then,now I realise that he was letting me down gently about my family's return to Liverpool)
    I was not yet able to do more than croak,but I used to look forward to Willies visits, he was so funny and sometimes he would bring his friends Gordon and Hughie,pretty soon I was feeling at home.Time passed and soon I was eating and managing to get my voicebox back in action.Days became weeks and I was beginning to find it hard to remember what Mum looked like,I would dream that she was by my side but could never see her face.The nurses were so kind as they heard my nightime sobs,I felt so far from home.
    And then one day Aunt Dolly came and took me back to Alexandra Rd.
    There was such a welcome from everyone,Elizabeth ,Eleanor and Uncle Owen,they treated me like the returning hero and thus began a phase when all sadness was banished and my life became filled with sunlight.
    Willy and I shared everything,he gradually introduced me to the rest of his gang and they let me become a fullfledged member of their "mob"
    We enjoyed a late summer of scrumping and the hunting of golf balls on the links,the Wooden Horse was on the cinema and we emulated the escapees by burrowing into the sandhills on the links,Our days were filled with adventures along the seashore and up and over the Great Orme.
    This was a different world to the one I known in Liverpool and I was happy in it.Sundays would find us scrubbed and polished to a holy sheen as we trooped off to chapel to hear blood and thunder from the pulpit and the soaring hymns from the congregation.After chapel it was back home to a dinner that was fit for kings and then dominoes or ludo while we listened to the Sunday radio.Uncle Owen was funnier than the comics on the wirelesshe knew what made boys laugh and he would keep us children in fits of laughter with his stories and jokes.
    As summer gently cooled into autumn the school holidays were ended and I had to be enrolled in the local school,Alexandra Rd.Primary.
    I was a figure of curiosity because the Merseyside accent had not yet taken hold in LLandudno and the Welsh was spoken at the school,I was taught in english and learned a little Welsh but there was never a problem
    there.My accident was known to nearly all of the pupils and they all had to be shown the "scar",they would always grimace at the sight of it,but it made me many friends.The Alexandra Rd.gang had a rival which was led by Daffy Jones,a much feared leader,but once he had seen my scar he told his gang to leave alone,an unwanted bonus.
    I mentioned that when I fell on the spike I could hear an hysterical laugh,it was an old lady whose house backed on to the path that ran along the allotment fence.She had turned odd at the sight of me stuck on the railing and was never the same again,bizarrely,she used to polish that spikehead so that it shone silverlike for years after.
    As autumn set in we spent more of our time going to the pictures where I saw such classics as Winchester '73 and Walt Disneys Treasure Island.We always went as a family an experience that I loved.There would be a bag of hot chips on the way home and then time for bed.
    Aunt Dolly would take Willy and me to market in Deganwy and Conway and I still cherish the magic of those stalls lit up on the dark nights with the Tilley lamps and paraffin lamps ,clothing their wares with a luminence that gave them a look of treasure.There was always a bun or some other treat before we caught the bus home.Yes,home,for I was now so long without sight or word from Mum that I was beginning to feel like Willys brother.
    And then one day Mum came to take me home.Oh,the jumble of feelings that surged within me!There was my Mum,there in the kitchen as though in a dream,was she real?I was frightened to run to her in case I was dreaming............................and then the leaving of my new family,my new schoolfriends,and lovely LLandudno.
    The train journey back to Liverpool was not the joyous journey it had been earlier that year.We were stiff and uncomfortable,"why had she left me for so long?""what will our Jess be like,will Betty remember me?","what about Dad?"Silent questions ,unasked and yet to be answered.......................................... ...............................
    BrianD

  5. #65
    Member gerrards#1fan's Avatar
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    hi brain and welcome to the forums go to warn its a big crowd

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    Junior Member CHRISMIZ's Avatar
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    Hi Brian, I havent been reading you're posts recently, I havent been in the right frame of mind to read due to post op medication. Anyway I've got loads to catch up on and really looking forward to it.

  7. #67
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Back To Lodge Lane

    Going home, after a long time away,is never easy.You expect life there to be the same as when you left.It never is,I learned this when I got back to our lodgings(they could never have been called home).I'd forgotten about our sticks of furniture,we had 2 kitchen chairs,1 dinner table and a rickety old chaise longue,that was the living room/dining room.We had a utility wardrobe and a couple of old beds upstairs and that was our household.
    Gaslit and no cooker and this was 1952.
    Our Jess was 12 and was gradually becoming chief cook and bottlewasher,feeding me and Bette while Mum And Dad went out to work.I am not going to say it didn't harm us,we could see what our school mates lived like,we often went in to their brightly lit homes,heard music on their radios and sat on proper furniture.Envy was what I felt when I saw how they lived,shame was what I felt if they ever spotted where we lived.
    After all that time in LLandudno,where we each had a seat at the table,where we didn't have to take a candle to go upstairs or sing when you heard someone coming towards the unlockable,shared,toilet door.Aunt Dollys' was far from being luxurious,but it had shown me what a home could be like.
    I can remember my first meal back at home,the glimmering gaslight in the corner ,Jess and I standing at the table,Dad in one chair and Mum with Bette on her lap,on the other.I just wanted to be elsewhere.
    Life at home had really moved on,Bette was now 5 and was like quicksilver,never walked when she could run,and she was very independent.Jess was now in the senior school and was very good at her studies,she loved singing and I think she was in the choir.I can still hear her singing "the Erle King",it must have been a song they were doing in a concert for she sang it repeatedly,perfecting each line.Having no other form of music in the house her sweet voice helped to fill an empty void.
    When I returned to school I was in for another reminder of how life moves on without you.In the summer of our trip to Wales,we had been preparing for the Festival of Britain at Tiber Street,that had been and gone by the time I got back.No trip on the H.M.S Britannia for me;my old class had all moved up a year,I was 2 years behind and was stuck in Class 2D,this was for children with learning difficulties,full of children who,cruelly,me and my pals had always made fun of.I was now classed as one of them.Apart from wanting to see my "war wound" my old my mates were afraid to be seen with "one of the 2D mob".
    I sat on the front row in class and had a boy and girl either side of me who were not quite "there".Charley and Barbara,they both wore glasses with a patch on the lens,and they both had green candles hanging down their noses,which every now and then they would lick away.
    Miss Bell,our headmistress,held a spelling test for the whole school shortly after I returned.We were formed up in a queue outside her office and taken in one by one to be tested on our ability to read words.
    She had a large book,the pages the size of a broadsheet,it wasn't a dictionary,there were just columns of words running down the page,three columns to a page,they were not in alphabetical order,I clearly remember that.She had us stand beside her while she pointed with her cane at each word,up and down the columns went the cane and we had to pronounce each word she pointed to.I was going like a train,with no radio or record player,reading was our only entertainment at home.Twice a week of an evening ,Jess would take me up the Lane to the Library where we would choose our books or, sometimes, listen as the librarians read stories.
    On and on,I read through the columns until I came to the word SCIENCE,I couldn't get it right and my test came to a halt right then.
    She was smiling when she dismissed me,next day I was told that I had come joint first with a girl from the top form,next week I was put into the top class with my old mates.
    I used to mispronounce a lot of words,you'd come across new words in a book and tackle them until they sounded right to you,but you could be so wrong.
    About this time I had started reading some of the news items in the Echo, as well as Dick Tracy and Curly Wee.I started to become aware of the world about me as a city with suburbs and a waterfront,Birkenhead,Wallasey,Seacombe,Ellesmere Port,Collison and all those other places across the Mersey started to become familiar to me as I read about them in the Echo.That place Collison though,it seemed to be a very dangerous place.My Uncle Bill Worked for British Road Services as a long distance driver,during the summer holidays he would often take me with him.I really enjoyed it,he didn't have any sons and he treated me just right ,never patronising,always pointing out interesting places as we passed by and telling me stories of his time in the Indian army.He was the man to ask about that dangerous place called Collison."Uncle Bill,why are there
    more crashes in Colison than anywhere else?" I asked,"Where is Collison?" he replied.I was gobsmacked,this man knew the world and he didn't know Collison!!
    I pulled out the front page of last nights Echo,"There" I said pointing to the headline"TWO LORRIES IN COLLSION" That bloody "I",how had I missed it.Uncle Bill had a job containing his laughter.
    He drove a petrol engined 10 tonner and we used to go all over the place,having overnight stops in flophouses,three drivers sharing a bed,all strangers.I never thought anything amiss and nor was there for that was the way of the world then.Those greasy spoon cafes were great,you'd get doorstep sized bacon butties,dripping with fat,I'd never heard of cholesterol,just loved the taste,and the best taste of all was a fried bread bacon sandwich.......Iv'e just put a stone on thinking about them.
    Thinking about food........................I loved school dinners ,yes ,you read that correctly,we went to Dinorbin Street dinner centre at the top of Parliament Street.It was quite a walk from our school so our appetites were sharpened by the trek.There would be lines of kids from other schools queued up outside and you could smell the nosh outside.Oh,those meaty stews with rich thick gravy and chunky big potatoes,steak and kidney puddings with shortcrust pastry tops which had suety undersides.
    Sago,rice,tapioca and semolina puddings,we loved all of it and hardly left the enamel on the plate by the time we ad finished.
    Food and sweets were a major preoccupation for us postwar kids;we would watch the American pictures where "Moms" would exhort little Wilbur to drink his milk and finish his cookies,and Wilbur would whinge that he didn't want them.I would be silently screaming at the screen"Give them to me,I'll have them" How in the world could anyone refuse a cookie?It was beyond me.
    Time was moving on and we began to see small changes taking place,Lewis's was being rebuilt,boarding started to be erected about the bomb sites in the town centre.There were ships on the river that were painted in company colours instead of the wartime grey,food packaging which had been drab;dark blue boxes for sugar and dried eggs,National Margarine,National Sugar,grey unsliced bread,all of these things started to be replaced on the shelves of our shops,colour was coming into our lives.....................and then the King died.

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Life in Lodge Lane

    !952 was a memorable year for me,I was now aware of the greater world outside my neighbourhood.The newspapers and the cinema newsreels brought the big world into focus.There was a war in Korea(wherever that was)and our soldiers were being sent out there to fight some people called the communists,The Fying Enterprise was sinking in the English Channel and the newsreel brought us the pictures of her brave Captain,Carlsonn was his name.A man called Ken Dancey jumped from the tug "Turmoil" to try and salvage her.These men were our heroes,fighting the elements,trying to save a dying ship,or so the newsreels said.Most of the stuff we read about
    Korea,was from G.I Joe comics or the Blackhawks,it was only as I got older that I heard from men who had been there and learned another side to the story.That war has echoes in todays confict.
    But the biggest thing that occurred was the death of King George the sixth.
    I had grown up with his face on the stamps,on the walls of my classschool,everywhere in fact,and now he was no more.In the shops,up and down Lodge Lane,black and purple drapes festooned pictures of our late monarch.At school we were assembled in our classes while our teachers read out some words about the death of the king.
    There was a sombre feeling that seemed to touch everyone,young and old alike.And then Princess Elizabeth returned from Africa and was proclaimed Queen.
    In the meantime I had been hospitalised once more for further work on the throat and so missed a bit more school ,I should mention here that I was almost part time at school now.I was such a regular visitor to the schools clinic in Smithdown Rd. that I used to lose about 2 hours a day on the trip to and from the clinic.Boils and abcesses were my problem,I was forever eructating,bloody great lumps would appear on various parts of my body,red angry mounds with thrusting yellow heads.
    My Dad said my neck had more decorations on it than than the Town Hall did for the Festival of Britain.There was a particularly savage nurse at the clinic who seemed to take great pleasure in slapping on red hot poultices on the offending lumps,fixing them into position with extra strong plaster,and then ripping them off a day or so later, removing layers of skin in the process.I went there that often that I was put in charge of the rest of the kids who went from our school.What a parade we made,kids with bandages and plasters,impetigo sufferers with their skin died blue,kids with big dabs of orange over them,for scabies I think,and the shaven headed victims of the nit nurse off for another dowsing of blue unction.
    All that was lacking was a bell to warn people that the unclean were on the march.
    When the weather turned warmer,Dad took me for a ride on a Crosville bus,the 120,we were going to Speke he told me,I had no idea where Speke was,but it seemed a nice journey.We passed through Aigburth and and Grassendale,which were lovely and green,with trees lining the road,and then on into Garston,which was still a distinct vilage.Up and over the big railway bridge and then we stopped outside of a large group of tenements.I thought they looked lovely with their red tiled roofs and white paned windows so neat and orderly."Take a good look at them son" said Dad,"We've got a chance of getting one of them"
    My heart nearly burst out of its chest;we might live there,in that beautiful place.I couldn't believe it and I didn't want to hope too much in case it never happened.
    Dad had been writing letters to our M.P.,the council and even Sir David Maxwell Fyffe, the Home Secretary.His letters bore fruit and one day he showed us all the reply from the Home Office.We were going to e rehoused,we didn't now when, but we were going.
    For the first time in years we had something to look forward to.
    I was afraid to tell my mates in case it never happened,so life went on pretty much as usual.There were new things happening though,the electrical shop at the top of the Lane had a television set in the window.It was amazing,moving pictures on a wireless..............It cost 76-00d,can you imagine,my Dads wages were about 8-00d a week,how on earth could anyone afford to buy one.To us, it was all academic anyway,we didn't have electricity.
    The pictures was where we got our entertainment,Jess and I were now allowed to go to the early evening shows,the only problem was you needed to be in the company of an adult to gain admission.We used to stand alongside the queue,proffering our sixpences to grown ups,asking"Can you take us in Mister?"We always succeeded in getting in,and without harm I might add.
    Spring slowly bloomed into summer,school would soon be over and those long lazy days yawned ahead,but we could feel the changes in the air,the whispered conversations between our parents about what ifs and how and when .Change was on the way.

  9. #69
    Member gerrards#1fan's Avatar
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    go steady on your post you keep doing them the same

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    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrards#1fan View Post
    go steady on your post you keep doing them the same
    I haven't seen any repeated, seems like a continuing story to me.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Goodbye Lodge Lane

    When I look in the mirror nowadays I quite often see my granddad looking back at me,shiny bald dome with silvery white hair about the ears.It wasn't always thus.Hair and the profusion of it caused me grief and embarassment at Tiber Street school for Miss Bell,our headmistress,insisted that boys had short back and sides for haircuts.Fringes and long hair were anathema to her.But haircuts cost money and anything that wasn't absolutely essential was considered a luxury ,and that was the heading that haircuts came under in our house.
    A few tears earlier,Granddad Hengler had tried to help out with the barbering situation by giving me a basin cut,shoving a pudding basin on my head and cutting off all the hair that showed beneath it.That would most probably be right on fashion today,but back then it was deadly blushmaking.So there I was,just a few days away from my 10th birthday and my hair down over my ears,my fringe down to my nose,so much so that my mates called me Curtains.At Friday morning assembly,Miss Bell called me out and there,in front of the whole school,she tied a blue ribbon in my hair and announced that "If a boy wants to have hair like a girl,he should dress like a girl too".As I walked back to my seat my cheeks burned with humiliation.I was made to wear the ribbon for the rest of the day.
    Mum was adamant that she couldn't afford a haircut,I dreaded school next week.
    Saturday mornings post included some letters and birthday cards for me,there was a big one from Llandudno and I opened that one first.It was quite an elaborate card ,there was a wishing well on the front and a little winding handle on the side,which ,when turned ,raised a little cardboard bucket.I did so and when the bucket came up there was a shiny silver half crown in it! Mum ,who had been looking over my shoulder,swiftly pocketed it and gave me sixpence in return."You can go and get your haircut now son",was all she said.Good old Aunty Dolly,she had not only saved me from further embarassment at school, but had most probably paid for the gas that weekend as well.
    It was now official,we were being allocated a tenement flat in Speke Road Gardens,we would be moving before the end of term.
    I was beset with mixed feelings,I couldn't wait to get out of that rathole ,but I loved Lodge Lane.I knew it so well now,there were a lot more shops open ,among them Rays' Cafe.It wasn't in the same class as Capaldis or Reeces,but Mrs Ray did nice home made cakes and a glass of pop at prices we kids could afford.Williams cake shop,where a halfpenny would get you a dollop of peanut butter on a piece of greaseproof paper,delicious.At the sweetshop on the top corner of Tiber Street,we got off the ration delicacies such as Locus,a semi dried fruit that had the consistency of soft toffee,Stickylice(liquorice)little pieces of twig which could be chewed for hours ,giving you a tangy taste.Cinnamon stick,which we lit and smoked like cigarettes(Schoolboys Whiffs) Tiger nuts,chewy squidgy little things.When sweet rationing ended those delicacies disappeared into herbalist shops and were never eaten by choice again.
    I still think of some of the schoolmates that I was sorry to leave behind,what kind of lives did they have and where are they now?Billy Duncan,the class comic,Tony Sproule,classmate and friend,Jimmy Duggan, possessor of a wonderful imagination,Lenny Pugh,my constant dinner companion,our trips to the dinner centre were always enjoyable, Stanley Gill,quiet and steadfast ,we got on well.I haven't seen any of them since we moved away,but thats life.
    It seemed to take forever to get moved to Garston,Mum and Jess had to do lots of trips down there to get things in shape for moving in.We had three bedrooms,a bathroom,a kitchen and a dining /living room.It even had electricity...................no more gas mantles!!
    We moved in 2 weekends before the end of term.It was summertime and I can still recall the excitement as I walked up up those sparkling clean stairs to to our fourth floor flat.The walls on the landings were painted in 2 tone,the top a light peach tinted cream,and the lower half,maroon.Not a bit of graffiti anywhere.The front doors were scarlet,with six little panes of frosted glass at the top and a beautiful shiny brass letter box and knocker in the middle.This was my introduction to 17c,my new home.What kind of future lay in store for us now?

  12. #72
    Member gerrards#1fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrards#1fan View Post
    go steady on your post you keep doing them the same
    oh it must be me seeing things but he has wrote a lot

  13. #73
    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrards#1fan View Post
    oh it must be me seeing things but he has wrote a lot
    You might find this hard to understand, because you haven't lived through the hardship people did years ago. If you go back even further it was even worse than this, look up the history of the workhouses you will see what I mean.
    BTW most of us hope he will write a lot more.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  14. #74
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Me too, keep 'em coming. I suspect Mr D has these already written. I certainly couldn't type all that lot in!

    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Questions

    I'm not very well versed in P.C. language...................what does mean?
    Thanks for the support some of you have shown my postings,but honestly I don,t know what the hell I'm going to post before I sit down at the keyboard.The memories come surging forward and I try to marshall them into some kind of order.........and life doesn't work to order,it just happens and we have to handle it the best way we can.So stick with me if you want to,there is a lot more,but you don't have to read it.
    Cheers,BrianD

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    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    It means 'Laugh out loud'. I never use it. I think it looks daft.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian daley View Post
    Thanks for the support some of you have shown my postings,but honestly I don,t know what the hell I'm going to post before I sit down at the keyboard.The memories come surging forward and I try to marshall them into some kind of order.........and life doesn't work to order,it just happens and we have to handle it the best way we can.So stick with me if you want to,there is a lot more,but you don't have to read it.
    Cheers,BrianD
    Keep the posts coming Brian and thank you for spending time posting them,
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

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  18. #78
    Steven
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    Brill posts Brian I have really enjoyed reading and want to say a big TA for sharing.

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    Member gerrards#1fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shytalk View Post
    You might find this hard to understand, because you haven't lived through the hardship people did years ago. If you go back even further it was even worse than this, look up the history of the workhouses you will see what I mean.
    BTW most of us hope he will write a lot more.
    ok i didnt know im not that old i know someone that was born in 1902 and they are still alive

  20. #80
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Garston,a new beginning

    Opening that door,with "our"key was a very special moment.This was the first unshared abode that our family had.Stepping inside, it seemed so spacious to what we had been used to.The hallway had all the rooms off it and had little red tiles on the floor,the bedrooms were laid with lino and the living room had bare wood floors.Very basic, but this was early days.
    Mum showed me my room,there was a "new" bed in it,I found out later that it was a hospital bed off a ship,solid iron with drop down sides and feet with bolt holes,that bed was going to be indestructible.
    Soon after we'd settled in we went to have a look at our surroundings,we lived in a quadrangle,our block had six homes per floor and there were 5 floors.Opposite stood a similar block with only 4 homes per floor,and that too had 5 storeys,to the left of the square stood a 2 storey block,which was called the White Cottages and this had 3 homes per floor.In the middle of the square stood a large air raid shelter,and to the right of the square was our playground.the play ground was surrounded on 2 sides by an ornamental railing and on the far side,away from our square ,by another 2 blocks of 5 storey flats.
    In later years ,I heard many people say how bleak such places were,nothing could be further from the truth,a child could play in that square and playground and always be looked over by concerned adults.
    The play ground itself had baby swings,junior swings,a witches hat,a jerker,maypole,monkey bars,merry go round and an 8 seater rocking horse,things we had to go to the park for in Lodge Lane.
    As we walked around the playground the local kids looked warily at us,weighing us up.That night passed without incident and bedtime was,for me,exciting.My own room at last.I stood at my window, after we said our goodnights ,and surveyed my little kingdom,not much in the room but the view was great,from 4 floors up I could see over to the Matchworks,the traffic on Speke Road.....................and all the flats opposite.Ideal for a peeping tom!I never took the opportunity.
    It must have been a weekend when we moved for there was no school the next day and I found myself on my own so I went out on a further exploration.I didn't get very far when I was met by a group of boys my own age coming up the stairs to our landing.They were the welcoming committee
    John Tillett,Tony Ross, Norman ?,one of the Quirk boys and Wally Carr.
    They wanted to know who I was,where I was from,and if I would fight John Tillett!!!These boys took no prisoners and pretty soon John and I were kicking and punching like Kilkenny cats.The next thing I knew was that we were pulled apart by our new next door neighbour ,Mrs.Matthews;John had a small cut over his eye and my card was marked as a bad 'un.
    Thankfully,it was a reputation that didn't last long.John and I became friends and I was gradually accepted into the gang.
    There was an hierarchy in the square,at the top you had the older boys and girls,up to about !5 years of age,then came the 12 to 14 year olds and then us,the 10 and upward group.
    The square,s gang was like a family,or even a military grouping,but more of that later.
    Come Monday morning ,Mum took me down to Banks Road school to get enrolled,there were only 2 weeks of the term left,but she had taken time off work for the move and she didn't want us roaming the streets when she wasn't there.
    I was still acting the big lie,i.e.,making out that I was one year older than I really was;after all when I was still at Tiber Street the class I was in was due to go up to the senior school after the holidays.
    So ,when we got to Banks Road Mum told the secretary whatever,and the next thing I knew was that I was taken to a classroom that had the children in who were due to go to the senior school.
    They were a great bunch,Jimmy Lothian in particular,he lived in the next block to ours and he quickly showed me the ropes.
    I was only there 2 weeks but I would go there lots of times on a winters evening for they had a great play centre.
    The summer break came on like an express train and Garston and Speke were wonderful places for young boys to grow up in,we had the Airport,Garston shore,Oglet,Hale,Woolton Woods,and "over the ironbridge".
    Horrocks Avenue estate was not yet built,the were site markers in the ground,but that summer saw fields as big as the prairies,adult free all the way to Allerton and Hunts Cross.
    Some of the most Epic battles of the century took place in those fields,the different squares(there 3 main squares comprising the Tennies)formed separate armies and fought pitched battles against each other,Japs and Commandos,Cavalry and Injuns,Nazis and Brits.We played them all at times.We had dug foxholes all over the place and our wars ranged far and wide over the whole area.I can remember one exciting ,life and death battle,we had the enemy at the point of surrender and had pushed them right back to the foot of their block,they had nowhere to go..............this was it.Where Monty had failed at Arnhem,Ronnie Jones our General was going to show us how it should have been done.Over the sound of battle came the cry"Ralph....yer teas on the table!!!!!"And Ralph Gherkin,our mortal foe, stepped out of his foxhole and went home to tea.
    Our battles were all pretend and we were all the best of mates at school,but rivals in the squares.
    Excepting for the "battles" we mainly kept to our to our own groups and summer passed by in such a series of adventure.
    Our block of flats had been built in 1929 and a lot of the tenants had moved in at that time,they had brought up families and had a fierce pride in their square.They had painted the landings themselves for the Festival of Britain and each family was responsible for scrubbing the flight of stairs adjacent their flat on a rotational basis,in our case we were responsible for scrubbing 2 flights of stairs once every three weeks.Mum and Jess did that job,and it was woe betide any kid who dared make them dirty,you could chalk on the play ground but never on the walls or the stairs.It was an orderly little world,and one that was giving us the real feeling of being at home.
    Last edited by brian daley; 09-30-2007 at 10:46 AM.

  21. #81
    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    brilliant posts Brian. You are a gifted writer

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    Member gerrards#1fan's Avatar
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    brian what level you in writing you a pure writer keep it going

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Garston

    Although we had left Lodge Lane,we hadn't severed all our ties with it,Mum still had her"slate" at Bessie Holdens and Dad still had his collars starched at the chinese laundry.When we first moved,it was Jessies' job to go and get the groceries and laundry,as time passed the journey to Bessie Holdens stopped ,but Dad still had his collars done at the chinamans.
    Let me tell you about dad and his clothes,he was a snappy dresser,never wore ready made suits,always had them made by a tailor called Mr Duggan.He would come to our flat and measure him up and then come back for the fittings.He had a fine collection of suits and cut a handsome figure when dressed up.He always reminded me of the actor Fred Mcmurray,in his lounge suits he had real class.My mates used to ask if he was a detective or special agent and I used to feel so proud if the way he looked,I promised myself,even at that young age,that I would be as smart as him some day.
    He worked hard at staying smart,Saturday afternoon would find him polishing his shoes to a military gloss,checking out his apparel for that night out and making sure that his Sunday outfit was o.k. too.
    His trouser press was under the mattress of their double bed,he would leave his trousers there all week,ensuring a razor sharp crease for the weekend.his shirts were boiled and starched by the Pioneer Laundry and our oriental friend in Toxteth took care of his collars......................................until a very unfortunate incident occurred.
    Our Jess passed on to me the task of fetching Dads' collars now that there was no grocery to collect,I didn't mind this because it gave me the chance to keep in touch with Ikey Harris and I used to walk from Garston and thus pocket the busfare which gave me enough for an extra night at the pictures.
    I would walk through Grassendale to Sefton Park and then on up the lane;being a Saturday there was no pressure on me for time and I would stroll leisurely around the park lake on the way back,loking at the model yachts and generally enjoying the sights.
    Dads collars were always wrapped up in a brown paper parcel,tied with string and had a label attached which had chinese letters on it.I used to shove this inside my lumberjacket,thus leaving my hands free to pick up sticks .pick my nose, scratch my ears,or any of those things that you need a free hand for.
    One particular Saturday I was making my way around the lake when I heard a voice calling from the opposite shore"Hullo ,You there" I looked across and saw a man calling to me,he was pointing to a beautifully rigged model yacht that was heading towards me,"Turn her round please" he called.Without thinking ,I leaned forward and turned her about and ,as I did so, the parcel of collars slipped from my jacket and splashed into the water.I was horrified,Dad was still a martinet and I was a dead boy."What the hell was I doing in the park?"he was sure to ask that question ,"Where was the bus fare?"Oh, was I was a goner!!.But the parcel didn't sink,it dipped under and then floated.I was old enough to know that you shouldn't hold wet paper too firmly and so lifted it gingerly from the water and laid it on the grass to dry.The day was warm and sunny and old Sol did a brilliant job of drying that parcel,so good in fact that you would never have guessed that there had been a mishap at all.The label was still intact and the unsuspecting eye wouldn't know a thing.
    When I got home I put them on the kitchen shelf as usual and made myself scarce.That night ,as Dad was getting ready,I heard him explode with anger at the state of his collars"That little *******,look at them,they're like prawn crackers!! I,m not sending any more collars to him again" Phew!!That poor old laundryman carried the can for my misdeeds.
    Now that we had a place of our own we began to see a lot more of our relatives,on a Saturday night Mum and Dad would go up to the Coffee House in Woolton where they often met up with Dads relatives.Come closing time they would nearly always come back to our place with a crate of ale,Mum would have had a pan of pea soup and spare ribs simmering on the stove,which our Jess took care of ,so that when they arrived it was ready for consumption.You know ,those ribs were so well done that you could eat the bones , no trouble.You could stand your spoon up in the soup.
    The Daleys' were a musical crowd,Dad was a great singer,like a cross between Bing Crosby and Al Bowley,his brother George,a big powerful man, with a voice to match,sang like Eddy Fisher;indeed he sang professionally in the pubs in Liverpool until quite recently.And then there was Great Granddad Maher,a bull of a man,he'd been a donkey greaser on the White Star and Cunarders,and had lost a lot of his fingers so that he just had stumps,but he could play a concertina with the best of them.
    So ,Saturday nights at 17c were a lot livelier than we had ever experienced anywhere else.Jess and I were often called from our beds to perform our party pieces,she with Me And My Shadow and one or two other songs,and me with my bits and pieces from that long ago minstrel show.
    Our uncle Harold had a second hand car business and he would ferry everyone home,blind drunk the lot of them,already for mass in the morning.
    No matter how much Dad put away on a Saturday,he was still up with the lark on Sunday,getting the saltfish on the go to the sound of Alastair Cookes letter from America on the radio.YES,we now had a radio!!!Oh ,the magic that little brown and cream box now brought into pour lives.Dad put it on the highest shelf in the wall cupboard to ensure that we never fiddled with the dial,in fact he used to feel the case when he got in to make sure we hadn't been using it.It was a valve radio and got hot when it had been on for awhile.
    Of course we "fiddled" with it,thats how we discovered Radio Luxemburg,AFN and Radio Athlone,great stations for the Yankee records,we always made sure it was put back on the Light Programme before Dad got home.
    The school holidays were fast drawing to a close and it was soon time to go to my next school,Gilmour Heath Road Secondary Modern.It was a boys school and had been built in the 30's and was much newer than Tiber Street or Banks Road.It was in Allerton,a much posher area than Garston and it had huge playing fields.The classrooms were bright and airy and the whole place had a drive and impetus about it that I had never felt in the other schools.The head master,MrSimpson,was a very grand personage,he had a wooden leg,it was believed he lost his leg in the trenches,and came to school each moring in a chauffeur driven Daimler.The head boy would meet him at the pavement edge and take his briefcase in one hand and his arm in the other.Any boys who were in the vicinity of the gate had to form a line and greet him with a "Good Morning Sir" as he made his stately progress into to school.
    All of our teachers were ex servicemen,some from the Great War and the younger ones,from the Second War.My first teacher,Mr.Parry was one of the younger generation,he was kind and helpful and we boys really liked him,a kind of hero worship developed.
    Most of the boys who were at Banks Road were here as well as boys from the CofE school and the local junior school in Allerton,we would be together for the next four years.
    I'll never forget that first day,we were all lined up in the yard ,and Mr Haigh ,the Deputy head and Miss Pugh the school secretary,were checking us off and detailing us to our new classes.When she came to me,she drew a blank."Who are you boy?"she sked,"Daley,Miss,Brian Daley"."Well you're not on my list young man" she replied."We've only just moved here from Toxteth Miss"I told her.She Took details of my old school,Tiber Street ,and I left it at that.2 weeks later I was called to her office and was told that my records had been lost in the post and that they would sort everything out.So I was still a year ahead of myself.
    I was going to like this school,not only did it look good ,but it felt good too.

  24. #84
    John(Zappa)
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    Bloody good read that.Enjoyed it.

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    smashing stuff Brian you should definately get this published - I'm sure a book like this would sell loads.

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    Default Life in Garston

    It still rankled with me that I had missed the Festival of Britain,the square we lived in had remnants of the decorations here and there, my new school had illustrations of the Festival site in London and the motif,that three pointed star topped by the head of Britannia,was everywhere.In our art classroom,there were paintings by the pupils showing all manner of images of the wonder of the modern age..................and I had missed it all.Well there was now talk of something even greater than that old Festival,and I was going to make sure that I wouldn't miss out on that;we were going to have a coronation!!
    You couldn't miss the news about it,in every paper ,magazine,childrens comics and on the newsreels,there were nonstop items of what 1953 would bring.Now I don't know how the Earl Marshall of England,the Duke Of Norfolk,was planning for the day itself,but the women in our square were very well organised.I don't know who was in charge,I was too young for that,what I do know was that plans were afoot for our square to have a celebration to beat them all.Almost a year in advance dicussions were taking place as to who should do what and how they should do it.These people had celebrated V.E. day and the Festival of Britain but this was going to top them all.Collections were held for the decorations,all the men got together ,landing by landing,to set about painting the walls come springtime.After years of drab greyness, colour started to come into our world.And I'd like to dilate on that world if I may.
    Speke Road Gardens sat majestically between the matchworks,Bryant and Mays,the railway sidings,Speke airport and the docks.
    Blackwells foundry lay just over the bridge and behind that lay Garston gasworks.When you walked into Garston ,you walked through clouds of thick black smoke that issued from Blackwells chimneys,you breathed in the sulphurous fumes from the gasworks and your ears were filled with the sounds of steam trains chugging as they heaved their loads from Garston docks whilst overhead was the drone of the Dakotas taking off and landing at the airport.The docks were but a stones throw away and you could hear deep throated sounds of the ships whistles,mixed with with toot toot of the tugboats as they travelled up river.Garston thrived with industry,you knew that when you left school you were going to have a job.Thus was the world I now lived in;as I lay abed in my room at night,I knew that one day I would be sailing down that river to places unknown.
    But,I had to grow up yet ,there was school tomorrow.
    Our school had a very strict code of discipline,corporal punishment was meted out for any misdemeanours,the Headmaster would administer the punishing of any thing that was deemed serious,teachers could cane you at any time in class.Our form master,Mr Parry never dished out any rough stuff,we thought he was O.K.
    I was still in the first year and heard that there was a form of punishment that was talked about in whispers,The Mystery Tour!!This was a system whereby a boyhad to go to every classroom in the school and get beaten by the different teachers, right there in front of the class.
    I had been there six months by now and had ever seen that punishment take place;I had seen many canings though.
    We were always having fund raising drives at Heath Road,we had football teams,rugby teams,swimming teams,cricket teams and athletic teams and they all needed money,and we got it by fund raising.
    One of the most lucrative ways of raising money was by collecting jam jars,we used to get thousands of them,and the school used to give prizes at the end of term to the boys who collected the most jars.
    The Avenues to the north of our school were very affluent,a lot of the houses had cooks and maids,dinnertime would find me and my trolley going door to door collecting the empty jars.This one day I had a load so great that it was taking me forever to pull it back to school,but I knew that it was a prize winning load that I had aboard,I checked it in with the caretaker and went off to my class feeling like a hero.............I was late ,everyone was at their desks and Mr Parry stood at the front.He seemed cross and I heard him say "Daley,go on a mystery tour!" I couldn't believe it ,but he stood there pointing at the door.Speechless with shock ,I set off on my journey around the school,12 classrooms,12 teachers,I was beaten on the hands,legs and buttocks,standing in front of class after class,barely able to speak the words "Mystery Tour" as I approached each master.When I got back to the door of my class,I couldn't go in for I was crying with pain and was sore all over.The door opened and Mr Parry stood there looking at me ,"Where the heck have you been Daley?"he asked.I couldn't speak but showed him my hands,full of red welts.He looked horrified "What have you done" ,I managed to sob "I went on the Mystery Tour sir". He laid his hand tenderly on my shoulder and said "You silly,silly boy,I told you to go and stand outside the door"
    He put his hand in his pocket and gave me a shilling,"Go the pictures tonight boy....and listen carefully in the future"After that ,you bet your sweet life I did.I don't recall ever seeing another boy go on a Mystery tour...........Those jam jars?I got a swimming costume next prize giving day,treasured it for years.

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    Fantastical writings Brian, briliant recollections and you paint a picture which has us living it with you as though it were yesterday.

    You can find some Speke Road Gardens pictures here and many more

    http://pic7.piczo.com/inacityliving/?g=30679502


    Keep the memories coming.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  28. #88
    Steven
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    Absolutely superb Brian. You brought back so many memories with your vivid and inspired words.

  29. #89
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    Hi Brian

    Great reminiscences, Brian. I am handing them on to my 87-year-old Mum who used to live in Garston on Inwood Road. They should bring back memories for her as well. Bravo.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

  30. #90
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    I've been showing Brian's posts to my dad.

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