I was born in Liverpool on the 10th November 1942 during an air raid at 4:00 am.
My family lived in 12 Violet Street Liverpool 8 ( Toxteth ).
My Dad was in the Merchant Navy and during the war we hardly saw him. My Mam had to do all the family matters.
I first went to school at St Silas Infants School near Admiral Street. From the age of five I had to walk to school in the morning, walk back home for lunch, back then to school and then walk home after school.
After moving up to Windsor Street Junior School it was great. A walk round the corner and I was there. Then I went on to Wellington Road Secondary Modern. More walking backwards and forwards !!.
Of course, much happened in between.
I had to go to Sunday School every Sunday with a penny for the collection. Of course I used to keep the penny to spend. Till I got caught and got a good hiding.
Then there was the roaming round the City. Old St Johns Market and knocking off allsorts of fruit like all the kids did. Bunking a ride on the Overhead Railway. Going to Birkenhead, New Brighton, and travelling all day for free, hiding below the upper decks each crossing. Starting up the buses at the Pierhead and running away. Once fell in the river Mersey and a docker rescued me ( one life gone !! ). We had our own gang and my nickname was " Mego ". We used to speak in back slang ( anyone remember that ? ). Going to Sefton Park and knicking rowing boats to row on the lake ( not easy ). Visits to the circus in Princes Park.
We all knew the City backwards and we were all very street wise. Bomb sites everywhere. There was always the Sundays when the Orange Lodge marched down Windsor Street ( half of it bombed ). We used to many fights with Catholics ( sorry ) and used to throw bricks at each other on the bomb sites.
The old penny return on the trams used to be great. Travel anywhere for a penny and return.
Down to Otterspool ( the old one, no promenade then ). Watching the whales being unloaded from whalers over the river for margarine factory. Collecting green bananas on the shore washed up.
Watching the great liners arriving from all over the world. Canadian Pacific etc. The docks ran for miles.
All the dock work after ships were unloaded. The cargo carried to various places by horse and cart. We used to jump on them at the back and open sacks of peanuts and allsorts.
Raiding allotments in different places.
Of course we were naughty and many of you out there have done it. That is what we kids did wasn't it ?
The Saturday bug rush to the Warwick and Rialto cinemas. Gene Autry, Hoppalong Cassidy, The Cisco Kid and all the rest like Roy Rodgers. All for threepence. Of course, getting in was easy : One of us would pay then open the fire door and let the rest in for free. Then to the chip shop for scraps for a penny ( all the burnt offerings !! ).
We loved our City in those days. Food rationing didn't mean a thing to us. We were all well fed ( not to days choice of course ). We had good friends who could be trusted.
On a Saturday night my Mam and Dad used to go to the pictures. My old uncle Tom used to babysit ( he lived with us ). Now, he was a character. He worked in The Old Customs House ( before it was bombed ). What was in his bedroom cannot be disclosed !!. He taught me how to play the spoons, the xyphone and cards. Used to send me for ten Woodbines and we would have a smoke ( naughty ). He was a great old man.
My Dad on Saturday after finishing work on the dredgers at Garston ( after the war ) at 12:00 had a good friend who had a fishmongers. My Dad used to help him gut the fish etc for the toffs around Aigburth. I used to go there on the old penny return and meet them. After the shop closed, Dick Cheers and my Dad went over to the Aigburth Hotel over the road. After time of course !!. I was left outside with a packet of Smiths crisps and a bottle of lemonade. They played cards in a backroom with their friends. Before that : my Dad used to prepare and dress two crabs for my Dad's and Mum's supper on the Saturday night after they came home from the Mayfair cinema. Also, cod steaks for the family.
Every Saturday a member of the family got a job to do. The youngest had to black the grate. Whoever did it ( usually me ), ended up more black than the grate ( Zebra ). The one further up had to take the pram to Martindale's coal yard and get the coal. A fair trip. Whoever was left had to get the tram to Garston and get the accummulators from the week before, charged up and drop off the ones for the next week. You ask accummulators ? For the radio !!. High tech in those days !!. Then Saturday night early on : the bath was upstairs ( three stories ). Dad used to take pans of hot water from the grate and fill the bath. The the eldest had the first bath and so on till we were all done ( no change of water ).
Oh, then a miracle : we had electricity installed and the gas went. " Let there be light !! ). We might have had electricity but, we still had the hot brick wrapped in a blanket in the bed in winter when it was cold ( waited ages till you could leave your feet on it ).
Christmas time, what joy !! Cocoa tins ( polished ) with a few sweets in, if you was lucky an apple and a orange ( food rationing ). The best thing I got was a cowboy suit ( brilliant ).
Every now and again we went to the Pavilon for the Saturday night show. Used to have light up numbers for the next act. One Saturday night we got to see Frankie Howard and he sang " Three Little Fishes ". A really exciting time was when Roy Rodgers came to the Empire with his horse Trigger and Dale Evans. What a good show. I wanted to be a cowboy after that !!.
Then 1951 and the Great Festival Of Britain. All the streets had parties. My mam dressed me in a paper rig out and I hated it ( talk about a fairy !! ).
Bonfire night used to be great. My Dad being on Dredgers at the time, used to bring home flares from the dredger. We always had the best show of fireworks ( today the Coastguard would have arrived !! ).
Kids had a great time in those times but never realised how hard it was for their parents. My Dad being a merchant seaman could put his hand to anything. He had all the tools ( last etc ) for mending our shoes. He could fix anything at all. Hand me down bicycles from one to another the kids, in fact, hand me down just about everything.
Children today don't know the half of it. I know this : we could read and write. Do maths no problem. Look after ourselves and our brothers,sisters and friends ( the gang ). Doors were always open, your neighbours could be trusted. Everyone would help everybody else if they were stuck.
Today I look back and wonder what has happened to people these days ? They moan about everything under the sun, the Government, pensions, the price of things and so on and so on ................ I would say, " Get your finger out and be grateful for what you have. ". If you like : I have been there and got the tea shirt !!. I bet many of you agree ( my age 69 ). To those that never saw it or experienced it, think about it.
I can tell you many more tales of those days.
It all came to an end when my Dad and Mam decided to move to Cheshire. I.C.I wanted employees in Northwich. My Dad applied. To cut a long story short, we all moved to a house in the village of Barnton near Northwich. I.C.I had an agreement with the local council to supply houses for their employees.
That was the end of my Liverpool days. Great times.
I missed my old City for along time and the friends I had left behind.
I look back at the City now : It is not the City I knew. Things were different then. I wouldn't move back there for a big clock. But, I am still a scouser underneath.
Nowhere in the country are people like scousers. Their humour and take everything as it comes.
Not like those Londoners ( you know, like a London sparrow, all twitter and **** ).
Liverpool is remembered I can assure you by me.
You live in great City with a wonderful history. Remember that. It is your heritage.