Monthly Archives: June 2012

WE Ruled Our Streets!

Basically, the streets were empty of cars, as they were a ‘new’ idea just after the war and only the wealthy people had one. This, of course, was great for us as it allowed our games to be played in the street without interference.

I must admit, though, that we did not allow any girls to play our games with us, although we would sometimes join them for a game of ‘Rounders’ – usually in the ‘Resevoir Field’ at the top of Brynfield Road. There we would catch the odd snake, kill it, then leave it on top of the (waist high) wall where entrance to the field was gained. This was to deter some of the girls from entering one of our play areas!

Leeds in 1945

There were, however, some cars about and this was the first police car that I can remember.

Wartime Wolseley police car

Unless I am very much mistaken, the building adjacent to the car is the old ‘Scotland Yard’.

The lack of vehicles passing was a great boon for our parents, who would safely leave us ‘out’ from early am until dusk. The biggest problem was broken windows! It always seemed to be Mrs Taylor’s window that got broken by the ball! I do remember her knocking on our door shortly after one such breakage, and poor old Mum duly paying-up! We’d be OK until Ernie Evans wife came home, then she and Ernie if he was home from the Railway (G.W.R.) would invariably chase us off. I used to love seeing her in the street when I was being ‘good’, as I would always say, “Hello Mrs Evans!” She would glare! he, he!

In the same way, when Copper Ward was passing, I would always say, “Hello Mr Ward!” Boy, the look on his face was something to behold!

Police Constable Ward!

And the look on that face has frightened me off again! Sorry!!!

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Laughing always comes to Crying!

Next door to us, at number 21 Nottage Road, lived the Barry family. There was old Gran Barry, who was virtually blind and very elderly, and her two daughters, Elsie and May. Their brother, Ernie, lived opposite, and kept many chickens at No.21.

Our outside toilet was a square, brick building, with our toilet on our side, and the Barrys’ on t’other side. So we knew them quite well!!!

At the bottom of their garden, was their chicken shed. Goodness only knows how many hours I spent just watching the chickens, but even more so when there were newly-hatched chicks. They were so gorgeous! It was great seeing Mr. Barry collecting the eggs. But what we didn’t really like, was when he would slit one’s throat and hang it upside down on our fence! Poor buggers!

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that there was a waist-high wire fence between our gardens. Rhubarb and Mint grew at the fence and, to ensure proper separation at that point, Mr. Barry placed a tin sign facing us. It was this sign:-

It must have been about 3 feet across, by about 2 feet high. I always reckoned that my Mum got it backwards because she was always chiding us with, “Laughing always come to crying!” And it usually did!!!

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