Staley Street

Your place to talk about your Bootle memories

Postby whacker66 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:59 pm

Just been reading the posts...the bobbys the cleaners mentioned was owned by Mrs Lizzie Blakeman, she was my great aunt...she had a son called David
Peter
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Postby georgewiliam » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:17 am

Whacker-----all I remember was a tall gaunt man who served at the counter and a very pale young girl who used to spend her time sat in the back of the shop. Although I also remember Mum having a heated discussion with a woman when something went wrong with the service. As compensation she was only given something like five times the cost of the cleaning service which bore no resemblance to the value of the ruined garment. This was common practise in the late 40's but made illegal in later years --- compensation now has to reflect the value of the article not a formula based on the cost of it's cleaning.
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Postby georgewiliam » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:10 pm

Lily8----more detail comes to mind as I think about it. The front door was a heavy affair with a cast iron knocker and a big central doorknob; there was no letterbox--all post, newspapers etc were slid under the generous gap at the bottom. On entering you came into a small vestibule with an ornately tiled floor then through the vestibule door into the front room. The vestibule door contained panels in the upper part which were a riot of stained and patterned glass. They would be worth a small fortune now.
Directly ahead was the door to the back room through which could only be seen the backside of the staircase.
Parallel to the staicase was a clothes airing rack that was raised/lowered by rope and pulley. The free end of the rope was made good to a cleat screwed into the door jamb On 'duck apple night', apples were strung from the lowered rack with us kids, hands behind backs, desperately trying to get our teeth into our prizes.
During the blitz, an angle iron (taken from a bed) was used used to form a triangle between the door jamb and the staircase. It was deployed during air raids the idea being that should the house get hit, then the staircase would remain propped up. For extra measure, the sofa was placed to provide some protection from flying debris enhancing the protection of the space under the stairs. It wasn't until it was all over that my parents realised that the front, vestibule and back room doors had provided scant protection from a bomb outside in the street, indeed, the blast and flying debris would have been channelled onto me and my heavily pregnant Mum by the shape of the staircase itself. Dad was doing his duties in the Home Guard so very rarely joined us in our den.
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Postby Mack » Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:41 pm

Received earlier by email from George

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Me and Viv outside number 31 late 2007 some 63 years on from the pic of me, Mum, Rob and Viv taken in the back jigger. For those who may wonder, the object by my sister's feet and tubing up my front are part of my mobile oxygen kit.

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Postby Brenda M » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:00 am

Hi Georgewilliam - Really enjoyed reading your old memories of Staley Street. Brought back a lot of old memories for me also. I remember the Edwards family, the Greeenhalgh family, Valerie and Gerry. Also a family named Dodd or Dodson who lived at the lower end. I lived on the end block of Monfa Road between Annie Road and Harris Drive. Always walked down Staley Street to shop at Scotts, the Chip Shop, Whipps and Spensleys. Yes, I too played all those games you mentioned also top and whip and roller skating (if you were fortunate enough to have skates!!) There was always one neighbour who would come out and chase us for making too much noise - one of those in every street!!! You mentioned working for Bill Brennand, I think every young lad worked for Bill in those days including my brother. I remember the Handley family who owned the dairy on Humphrey Street. Also the Savage family.

I still have fond memories of playing rounders on Aspinalls field until dark and stopping at Levers for toffee. Great memories. It's been over 50 years since I lived there but always enjoyed visiting down through the years. Thanks for the great trip down Memory Lane!!!

Brenda M
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Postby lily8 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:28 am

Thanks Georgewilliam for the detailed descriptions and the tales just lovely.
all best
Lily
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Postby frank delamere » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:56 pm

this is what the site needs more of, just ordinary peoples stories. and memories. it also helps others, to remember things.
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Postby lily8 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:45 pm

Thats right Frank for us that dont know, its what we can pass on to the grandkids of where the rellies lived and what life was like for them. It is reliving the history and culture of Bootle. Keep them coming please!!
all best
lily
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Postby georgewiliam » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:33 am

Hello Brenda----Greenhalgh family---Valery and Gerry. Yes, Teddy's older sisters, as I mentioned earlier, they were mysterious persons to our gang with them being in their mid to late teens. What made them mysterious was that they were, in fact, young women sporting hunch-fronts and doing lady-like things with their hair and using cosmetics. The girls of our acquaintance were like us boys---all flat chested. These were the days of our complete innocence before suffering the ravages of our personal hormone wars. It has been said and I fully agree---the arrival of hormones was not unlike being manacled to a maniac. The glory of old age is that these manacles, eventually, fall off-----a tremendous relief!
In regard to Dodd/Dodson-----doesn't ring a bell at all but the name of Dobson stirs an indistinct memory.
The dairy--I remember buying gills of milk for Mum---it was poured into the jug you took with you. I have a vague memory of having to put a jug on the front doorstep topped with a saucer to keep the muck out. The jug was filled by the milkman from a milk churn carried in the back of a horse drawn trap. This quaint activity was killed off by the introduction of bottled milk.

Street games---not only did I miss out the whip and top season and roller skates but what about 'ollies', milk bottle tops, jacks, group skipping. British Bulldog, ball tick, arrow tick and Queenie aye (who's got the ball).

Bill Brennand's gang-----memories of Bill Taylor (Bill's number two) with whom we could go off to the Echo printing works to pick up the evening papers for distribution to the lads to do their rounds.
As a view of the life and times, copied below is an extract from an article I wrote for the school magazine about my life after leaving that establishment. At the time, I was working for Baines Dairies

"Now, no fool me, I still had my hand in on the paper round, my brother Rob did the weekday deliveries and I did the Sunday round followed by collecting the paper money for the week and selling pre-ordered cigarettes. For three hours work I was paid the princely sum of 15 shillings. As a rate for the job, it far out weighed that which was paid for my magnificent endeavours as a dairyhand.
Nowadays, apart from the legality, the thought of a 16 year old not only collecting cash but also flogging cigarettes would be seen as an act of supreme masochism as he would need to enjoy being mugged for the cigarettes before the job or mugged post the event for the collected cash. The delivery of cigarettes was seen as a social service and not considered, in any way, as an untoward activity.
The brands on offer were, Woodbines, Players Weights, Players Medium, Senior Service, Capstan and Capstan Full Strength; not a filter-tip amongst them. The vast majority of my customers must be dead by now but whether or not they died of an over indulgence of ‘unprotected’ cigarette smoking is up for debate. No doubt they were not necessarily in the best of health when the grim reaper called but for goodness sake, who is?"

In the recent years, I have found it most amusing to see the look of surprise and puzzlement on the faces of my various chest consultants at our regular appointments simply because I keep turning up. So much so, I was asked to put in writing my life regime as it might help others. In doing this, I was struck by the level of insult to our bodies and their organs brought about by childhood illnesses and the overall environment. For general interest, copied below is an extract from the requested letter

"I was born in a two up-two down terraced house in a working class district of the fair County Borough of Bootle which is to the north of Liverpool. As with all children, we were not aware of the distinctions in life of being either privileged or socially excluded and knowing no better, what we had was the norm for us. It was somewhat different for our parents who struggled to make ends meet which they did whilst giving me and my siblings a very happy childhood.

All childhood illnesses were accepted as par for the course and you either survived them or you did not. As a result, I enjoyed Measles, Chicken Pox, Mumps, Croup (regularly), Whooping Cough and Pneumonia. The latter actually put me into Alder Hey Hospital when I was four years old; I remember it so well as I was separated from Mum and Dad for what felt like an awful long time.

Within quite a short radius, we had much industry --namely: tar distillery, oil refinery, lead smelter, brass foundry, tannery, two heavy engineering enterprises, two big electric cable manufacturers and a large bus garage. In addition, all houses burnt coal of the poorest quality (there was a war on) producing all sorts of sulphurous compounds and particulates. Remembering it from today’s ‘smokeless fuel’ environment, the ensuing smogs were quite horrendous.

At the end of the war, our gang built a ‘gas chamber’ in a redundant street air raid shelter. We vigorously flapped an old sack onto the floor stirring up the dust and detritus which had accumulated over time from the polluting media outlined above, we then spent as long as possible in the ‘atmosphere’, last man out was a cissy. We all left the chamber with crud and smuts hanging from our nostrils, clothes and hair completely caked. None of us did it again mainly because we were ‘made to remember’ not to do it again by our Mums before being dunked into tin baths.

At the age of 11, by way of payment for going for her ‘messages’ (shopping), the woman next door would give me a pack of 5 Woodbine cigarettes ----so I started smoking.
In those days, smoking was not considered unhealthy or sinful, indeed, it was seen as a sign of sophistication and was a widespread. activity"

I did manage to dodge Diptheria, Tuberculosis and Scarlet Fever. This last one put you into the fever hospital in Linacre Lane.

When us oldies with chest problems encounter young doctors who have no idea whatsoever what our bodies had to put up with and even less understanding of how we developed highly tuned immune systems, they can only come up with the Macartheyistic mantra-----do you now or did you ever smoke? Its a cop-out to blame everything on the ubiquitous coffin nail. They have only experience of today's sterile society which, of itself, appears to have given rise to impoverished immune systems in the younger generations. According to my Mum,---- you will eat a peck of dirt before you die----it doesn't actually help to kill all germs dead as per the old Domestos advert. My view--Smoking, as such, was a mere incidental in the overall scheme of things and a little bit of dirt hurt no-one.
Last edited by georgewiliam on Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lily8 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:45 am

Again many thanks george william please keep the reminiscences coming
all best
lily
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Postby georgewiliam » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:17 pm

Ok Lily---Washing and washday memories------Bagwash---we used to take a job lot of dirty clothes carried in a pillow-case to the ’laundry’. This was to a house on Monfa Road where the bags were collected by a van and trundled off to Ford Convent Laundry. The pillow slips were returned with their washed, damp and un-ironed contents for collection to be ironed and aired at home. Invariably, items were missing, or items belonging to someone else were in the bag---always gave rise to negotiations.
When the washing was done at home, the gas boiler was cranked up for a white boiling wash. The clothes, when deemed done, were lifted into a great bowl of fresh rinsing water by means of big wooden tongs. In the winter, clouds of steam were generated which condensed on any cool surface so that in the end, everything was swimming----it was horrible. More dunking and hand-wringing in fresh rinse water into which a Reckitts Blue had been added. The ‘blue’ imparted a very faint colouring which made the whites look whiter-----after that----the mangle. As I remember, coloureds were ‘done’ in a separate wash tub: Mum thumped and bashed the clothes by hand, the woman next door used a dolly-peg. Others used a washboard but I do not remember there being much evidence of these in our street. In truth, I never saw such until I was in the Air Force when we formed a skiffle group where it became a ‘musical instrument‘.
Clothes were aired on the let-down rack in the back room and the outside line and pulley mentioned in earlier posts. In addition, clothes were aired on the big fireguard or a small line strung under the mantle-piece. It’s no wonder that small house fires were fairly common. Oddly enough, we never owned a clothes maiden.
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Postby georgewiliam » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:38 pm

Who remembers the police call-box at the top of the street, on the corner by the estate yard (Griff William's den). It was not unlike the one used by the cartoon character 'Top Cat' and officer Dibble.
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Postby lily8 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:46 am

Thanks again Georgewilliam for the memories dont know youre age but did you live through the war years and if so let us know what it was`like ie the food rationing etc,
all best
Lily
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Postby georgewiliam » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:07 pm

Lily----a few quick tales on some of the lighter aspects of wartime. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my Dad was an officer in the Home Guard, ok he was non-commissioned that is he was a lance corporal in charge of the bike squad. As time went by, his men were callled up, one by one until the only thing he was left in charge of was his own push-bike. On duty one night with muck and bullets, fire and bombs all over the shop, he spotted an object floating down from the heavens. For a while, the artist in him admired the surrealim of it all as the fires illuminated a gently swinging cylinder beneath a shot-silk canopy. His muse was cut short as he realised he was actually looking at a parachuting landmine so he took off for the nearest street shelter which happened to be in our street. As he galloped around the corner by the Estate Yard, 3 men asked what his hurry was---he told them that a landmine was on its way down in Annie Road. Hoho they said---pull the other one. As Dad made it to the shelter there was an enormous explosion-------within 30 milliseconds, the 3 chaps he had just spoken to were fighting each other to get into the narrow doorway of the shelter---he said it was like watching the '3 Stooges' as they spent most of the time making all sorts of squirming movements as they were mutually jammed in the doorway.

Two further stories repeatd here from a post on the 'Looking for old friends'
My old Dad was making his way home in a complete blackout on one occassion. Feeling his way with arms outstretched, he tripped over a kerb and fell full tilt forward. Unfortunately the grand wheeze of using outsretched hands to feel his way failed as they neatly passed either side of a cast-iron fire hydrant. By using his face, he cleverly managed to break his fall ---------he thought that he had died as his head exploded in a burst of stars and pain. Whilst not amusing at the time, he used to laugh at this episode in later years.
Another tale told to my Mum by a work friend concerned the friend's father who was busily engaged on the outside privy when the air raid siren went off. He pulled up his pants and with braces dragging behind charged through the house with the rest of the family all making their way to the street shelter. As he traversed the front door-step, Mum's friend stood on his dangling braces---he kept going---the braces stretched----she took her next step----the braces like an elastic band, thwacked him in the middle of his back. Dad collapses in the street screaming that the b*****ds had got him------it took him a long time to live that down
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Postby Bob Greenhalgh » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:26 pm

Thought I'd add a little to this thread.
My family 'The Greenhalgh's' lived at 608a Hawthorne Road. We lived over/behind the Ribble Motor Services Booking offices (later to be sold to a firm of printers and subequently to Wirral Tool Hire). My Mam and Dad-Winnie and Tom, children-Gerry, Valerie, Ted, Dorothy, David, Robert and Barbara - the youngest. At 606 were the Lappin's and at 604 the Beaumont's -the only family to have a phone. Over the wall from us was the 'Mailie' with its huge mountain of mail sacks. Businesses- Farrell's, Melanear ?, Lead Works, Rubber Works, Tannery, Cambell and Isherwood. Vernon's Pools on Linacre Lane/Hawthorne Road with its illuminated/ moving sign of somebody posting a letter!
I remember Greens at 56 (the first family in the street to have TV) Fosters at 44, Loughlins at 32, Rosettes at 28, Cousins at 30, Roaches, Whitings, Joneses, Luptons at 3, Glews at 6, Croziers at 1, Maggie Ramsay 11?, Mr and Mrs Dobson at 10, Clara and Joyce Williams at 5, Mr and Joyce Jones at 4, Mr and Mrs Webb at 2. George Baxendale at 40? Georgie Revell at 48? Edwards at 27? Mrs and Dezzy Gaynor at 39. I'm sure other names will come to me! Shops- Cullen's, Robert's, Ashcroft's, Charlie Clarke's, Williams' Rent Office, Scott's, Whipp's, Parkin and Purslow (great for spitfires), Blakeman's, Vass's, Thelwell's, Dorothy Turner's, Spencely's, Vass's 2nd shop?, White's and Irwin's. The local phonebox was at the top of the street on Monfa Road. The number used to be B00(922) 4246. Press Button A! Cost? 4d.
Ah well.
:)
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Postby ron waters » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:32 pm

BOB Are you any relation to Leslie Welsh , the Memory Man .
Ron
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Postby Bob Greenhalgh » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:09 am

Good morning Ron,
No relation. Didn't have any relatives locally -neither of my parents were from Liverpool.
Bob
:)
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Postby whacker66 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:35 am

Hi bob,
when you mentioned the shops in your thread...Blakemans was my dads aunty (lizzy) and her son david...was the shop called 'bobbys' the cleaners and alterations?
Peter
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Postby margaret willee » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:38 am

Georgewilliam .... you sound like my husband he keeps everything ... as soon as some thing breaks he's off down to the cellar and sure enough he has an extra ...
love all your stories , as frank says it all comes back , still think it was the best time off my life ...
margaret
have a great day .......
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Postby Bob Greenhalgh » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:59 am

Hi Whacker,
I think you're right-although we just used to call it 'Blakeos'. Just remembered-next door to that shop was Higham's the chemist -he had another shop by the Coronation on Linacre Lane. By the traffis lights at Linacre Lane was Mersey Cables and across from there, in Hawthorne Road, was Brown Bros Engineers. The first house in Provence Road used to sell Sunday papers and cigarettes-I think.
Merseyside Improved Houses bought the whole Klondyke estate 800 houses or thereabouts. The previous owners, who had bought it from Jones, got lumbered with rent controls and were severely restricted by how much and when they could impose rent increases. Seem to recall that they had carried out a lot of improvements to the houses-kitchen and bathroom extensions etc. I suppose they were anticipating clawing their money back through the rents -but couldn't.
Bob
:)
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Postby georgewiliam » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:14 pm

Bob Greenhalgh---Most impressed with your memories of the personalities in and around the area of the street. I mentioned in an earlier post, the interestiing aspects of childhood ageism where small differences in age determined whether or not a person was 'in' or 'out' of a particular circle of chums. Also, that whilst older siblings were looked up to as being 'grown-up', younger siblings were a pain in the butt and had to be tolerated. Chum's younger brothers and sisters were not usually full members of any particular group----they formed their own. Why have I mentioned this ----- I only remember Gerry, Valery, Teddy and 'some more Greenhalghs'. Much the same with Georgie and Marjorie Barkley who are well remembered but when Jim came home after the war, he and Hilda had their own personal baby-boom none of whom loom large in my memory.
I remember your father very well as being a man of small stature with an easy-going manner and warm personality. He was very proud of his Pye wireless with it's magic-eye tuning. Fancy remembering the telephone number of the box at the top of the road----I think the next nearest public 'phone was part way down Hawthorne Rd on the opposite side to Irwins. You mention that a call cost 4d------I seem to remember it going from 2d to 3d at one point. You may not believe it but when we moved to Iver in 1970, the telephone exchange was still manual with a button A Button B phone outside the post office. I remember in the mid 70s, a chap stood outside the box in total puzzlement having to ask what it was all about.
Your recall of names is wonderful. I suspect that you may be recalling from the mid to late 50s as in my day Mr and Mrs Green lived at number 2--they moved to the Sterrix estate where I came across them in my paper-lad days. I thought that Jim Daley who lived at about #8 next to Derek Salisbury were the first to have tv---I remember not being impressed with Muffin the Mule. Derek's step dad used to be a conductor on the Ribble buses.
Clare Williams, I believe, was a war widow whose husband never saw his daughter Joyce. Joyce was always immaculately turned out---Clare did a good job. Tina Whiting and our next door neighbour, Mrs Edwards, often carried out verbal warfare addressing each other in all manner of expletives from their respective doorsteps. I had no idea what a hooer was until much older when I realised 'hooer' was being spoken in the vernacular. During these bouts, everybody kept their heads down but doors held slightly ajar so as not to miss anything.
Bob, perhaps you could drop me a pm for an update on the family
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Postby Bob Greenhalgh » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:29 pm

Does anybody remember Mr Pratt (Lord Kitchener's double)and his horse driven veg cart with oil lamps hanging along the sides? Or the single decker bus that used to come around the streets with caged animals aboard? Or the old glazier on a bike? The Pratts lived in Glynne Street and had an extension in their back yard from where fresh veg was sold. Peggy Unsworth nee Pratt who lived on the corner of Monfa and Glynne was my Mam's friend. I used to knock about with her son Paul. He had 3 sisters. Beryl, Norma and Carol -I think!
Regards,
Bob
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Postby tine » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:42 pm

Hi George & Bob
We were only talking about the Pratts the other day, and who was the lady a couple of doors away who used to make toffee apples like no-one else could? Mrs Birch in the chandlers and the smell of paraffin. Remember the little paraffin heaters....square shaped like a stand-alone fire with a dome in the middle....at the time they looked quite posh! Being the youngest, I was usually sent to collect the paraffin but never complained because I loved the smell in that shop. The walls were crammed full of things, and bucket and such dangling from the ceiling suspended by string. Heaven!!
Tine
Campbell, Duffy, Davies, Melia, Gibson , O'Donnell, Owen and Evans Families.
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Postby margaret willee » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:22 pm

Thanks again Geargewiliam ... wish i could remember my childhood like you .
i do enjoy reading yours ... Margaret .
have a great day .......
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Postby loko » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:38 pm

hi/ been interesting reading about the klondike my wife was born and lived in 19 gynne st. untill 1968 when we married .she is always saying they had the best street partys ever.any photos around,would be nice to see them.walked around the area afew weeks ago like a ghost town now. .
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Postby georgewiliam » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:51 pm

Bob Greenhalgh, do you remember trotting over to the Ribble Garage to where the conductors handed over the shift takings with change to get a shilling for the gas. Ocassionaly, buses were parked right outside your house on Hawthorne Rd where we would empty the used ticket container to collect the 'white' tickets which could be sort of 'origamied' into an accordion. Possibly before your time, I remember three or more Foden steam lorries parked just up from your place. These trucks had horizontal boilers per steam rollers and looked really old fashioned not at all like the Sentinel steam lorries with their modern vertical boilers----God I'm getting old! I can't now remember which company, on Hawthorne, had the Sentinel lorry fleet. Looking at Google images of these vehicles really makes me feel my age.
Would like to compliment you again on your powers of recall---tremendous.
Tine---what about the hissing Tilley Lamp as a paraffin heater
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Mr Pratt

Postby maureenbrown » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:04 am

I lived up Monfa Road/ Ainsdale Road, and Mr Pratt used to come up will his horse drawn cart, selling vegetables, and other things too. He really was a hardy character, flat hat, and of course, the moustache. Does any one remember the name of his horse.I think Mr Wild from Hanlon Avenue, took the round over after Mr Pratt and his horse retired.
Spensleys was where we went for our sweets.Were they two sisters who had it.Always had nice clean wrap round pinnies on.i had my ration book for my sweets, and a handfull of pennies, this would be about 1952/3
I went to Orrell School, and each week, we would take money in for stamps, because we were encouraged to save.I was the one sent to the postoffice to get all the stamps.
The chemist by the Coronation was not owned by Mr Higham, but Mr Massam.
On that block, was Dooleys shop,bread, ham,cakes,pies,biscuits and so on. The shop was always open Sundays, and always packed.I think the lady's name was Marie.Next was the Co-op where my mum did her weekly shop. I can still remember my mums divi number 113226......They used to have the overhead money carriers, which we all assosciate with the early co-op. Then we had the "Wine Stores". Then there was a butchers, but I dont remember the names any more. most important for any child, the sweet shop, where we would bye Reeces ice cream lollies, and Wessex fireworks.Boxes were 2/6 and 5 bob, and you got loads in them. bangers, roman fountains, mount vesuvius, depth chargers, snow drops, flood lights, golden rain,,rockets, pin wheels, and rip raps..theres loads ive forgotten.
Then there was the cobblers, a busy little shop, which had a smell all of its own...no it wasnt feet,but leather.
Then there was the barbers.. was it Swellwells, or something like that, then Mr Massams the chemist, where we would take our prescriptions.
My mum use to buy me white rain shampoo sachets, and a scented bath cubes, for bath nights.My dad used to send me there for his Gillette razor blades, which we used to take out of his razor, sharpen our pencils, and put the razor blade back.My dad liked the extra strong mints, which were kept in apothacaries jars behind the counter.Lastly on the block was the chippy, and at the front of the shop was a big sloping fish slab. Ive forgotten a lot of the names, :roll: but they are still there, buried in my brain, and they will come to me. :idea: When they do, ill let you know, unless some one else can fill in the gaps. I lived in that area from 1950 untill 1968.
Coffeypot
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Postby frank delamere » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:50 pm

great memories COFFEEPOT. and original monicker also
frank
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Postby Bob Greenhalgh » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:34 pm

Your right Maureen it was Massam's not Higham's. You have a good memory.
Sorry.
:)
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Postby Bob Greenhalgh » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:35 pm

I didn't mean sorry that you have a good memory! Got things in the wrong order.
LOL
:oops:
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