LETTER: Making the best of what we had
I am what the media portray as a baby boomer, born in the 40s, had free milk at school, along with the lack of heating and atrocious school dinners, no days off for inclement weather/ teacher training etc compelled to do PE and other wholesome activities in all kinds of weather.
We were allowed to play in the streets and local fields, digging holes in the ground covered with whatever material was at hand to make a camp, scrounged candles for lighting, making fire cans out of dried milk cans, using old metal poles to vault what we always called the black brook, because of the pollution from factories along its banks.
Playing tip-cat, kick the can, football etc in the street, not many cars about then, no popping in the house for a biscuit or a can of pop, you would be lucky to get a cup of water and a slice of bread and margarine.
You could earn a few bob at Christmas, singing carols at people’s doors, hoping the occupants would be sympathetic to the strangled voices attempting to sing Away in a Manger or some other carol.
Saturday morning cinema club was the highlight of the week, serials such as Flash Gordon, Hopalong Cassidy, and Superman etc.
Stopping of at the Maypole cook shop on the way home, for a 1d dip – for the uninitiated a dip is a slice of bread dipped in the meat juices – or into Billy Mitchell’s fish shop were you could actually purchase a 1d bag of chips with batters.
I consider myself fortunate to have been born in a time when everyone knew, not only their neighbours, but everyone in the area.
Neighbours would pop in to borrow a cup of sugar or a penny for the gas.
Day trips, weekends in Blackpool for the lights, were all organised by a local lady Mrs Cooper and her husband.
In the early 50s I along with most of my family spent all of August fruit and hop picking along the River Teme at Stamford Bridge.
No-one was rich, everyone just made the best of what they had and worked hard for little reward.
Keith V Joyce