A life

This page, like its subject, will change from day to day as I think of things I should have thought of earlier.

I’m 67 68 69 70 71 72, living in Worksop UK. (Links lead to relevant sub-pages, opening a fresh page each time.)

For most of my life I lived in Sheffield, being born in Lismore Road … on Thursday the eleventh of May 1944.

My parents had a few friends with whom they socialised:

Betty and Gordon Wilson (email from Terry yesterday (21 May 13) Gordon died.)
Flo and Tom Wheen
Betty and Eric Scragg
All, I think, were folk my father had met through his work. Gordon was a director at Needham, Veall and Tyzack cutlers (later Taylor’s Eyewitness); Tom worked for internal sales at a firm whose name escapes me although I can picture it’s location (memory: Sheffield Twist Drill – Later ‘Dormer’); Eric was in shipping. Betty Scragg died and a few years later Eric moved to Reading. When Tom died Flo went back to her home town of Hull.
Can’t remember the firm Eric worked for but (isn’t memory weird: out of nowhere popped Morrison, Pollexfen and Blair – Eric’s firm) it was in the White Building in Fitzalan Square, above Wilson Gumperts! (Wilson Gumperts was the toy shop. Only Redgates ever came near.)

Strange memories:

  • our S&E Co-Op number: 70050 (seven double O five O) the shop at Heeley Green had those overhead wire things that took your money to the cashier and returned your change;
  • Wilson’s address: 74 Ridgehill Avenue;
  • Dad’s second car reg: AON 240B a Vauxhall Victor(?);
  • the grocer’s shop at Heeley Green: Flears they delivered every Thursday afternoon!;
  • walking up Carrfield Road gripping my mum’s hand, through a channel cut in the snow higher than my head winter ’47?;

Scraggs and Wheens were childless. Wilsons had three kids, Theresa (Terry) about 5 years younger than me, Martin (Joe(!?)) and Richard (Bill(!?)) (what’s that all about with the names?). Terry I just (yesterday) contacted after a Google search.

… moving to Holmhirst Road in Woodseats for over a year. Bob and I shared the attic bedroom. My grandmother and uncle Colin (my mother’s brother, a Germanophile accountant(!)) were living with us until they bought a pair of cottages at the top of Cobnar Road, they got them cheap because there was a sitting tenant in one: the mother of the previous owner. The old lady, Mrs Linacre, died shortly afterwards and we moved in to the cottage. Uncle Colin died around this time.

Cobnar Road was the best: 50 feet from the park and about ¼ mile from the pub.

Park closing time was signalled by a bell being rung in the (since burned down) old Summerhouse next to the “Pavilion” tea rooms. “Parkies” patrolled and would kick you out after that time.

For anyone within reach who doesn’t know Graves Park: make an effort. Back then there were two lakes and a swamp. The “bottom” lake had clinker built rowing boats which were magic on a warm summer day. There was a whole crowd of kids forming and reforming into “gangs”, sometimes just four or five but occasionally up to twenty. When we found out about girls, life became interesting. The girls were outnumbered and much in demand. One of them was the love of my life and we’re still in touch. At about twenty-five I buggered off to the big smoke and also bummed around the continent for a while. After a bout of appendicitis in Luxembourg, I was repatriated at HMG’s expense (I still owe the Foreign office about £7 for that!) and returned to the parental abode.

More to come

5 thoughts on “A life

  1. Interested in the ‘clinker built’ rowing boats. Can picture them. Presumably quicker and cheaper to build with the pieces not having to be flush along the seams? Have to rate the bio ‘excellent’ since I think I’m in it!! Didn’t steel works and cutlery firms have wonderful names – Steel, Peach and Tozer (formerly Phoenix Bessemer) was one my grandfather worked for before London and Scandinavian. I remember Mr Peach coming to visit him at home (‘auld Peachie’) presumably on the occasion of his retirement.



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