May and Arthur 1

May and Arthur 1

A Chapter by Wild Rose

July 1932


May and Nora lived with their parents James and Mary

James was the son of some Irish immigrants. He worked in the dispatch department at J Taylors textile mill

Mary the grand daughter of Joseph Holdroyd  a local builder, She worked in the mending department at Taylors

The house they lived in No. 5 North Parade belonged to the building firm

May and Nora attended the local Catholic School, Nora was still at School

May worked for Mr Issac's a tailor making bespoke suits for local textile manufacturers and their travellers using their own materials, better to show people how it looks made up than on a roll or in a sample book he would remind them.

She sang in the church choir on Sundays and had recently joined an operatic group where she was singing songs solo in their original language  

Now eighteen May wanted to spread her wings, meet people, go dancing; James said no.

Bill was reticent; he liked his cousin May but not enough to take her to a dance, any way they were cousins and romantic relations would not be possible. 

He just replied "Not really. I don't dance, we just make music for other people to dance to"

She pleaded "Please Bill, I just want to go out and dad says I cant go if I have no one to go with, Please"

Bill gave in "OK then you can help carry some of my gear and see how you go on"



May was putting on her lipstick; she didn’t wear much make up, James was from a strict Irish Catholic family where ladies who wore lipstick were frowned upon. He was prepared to allow a small amount on occasion. 

Tonight she was going to the local Gala dance hall with her cousin Bill (William Pugh). Bill was the band leader he had asked James if May could help him to carry his drum kit to the hall ‘an excuse to get May to the dance’, she just used a light dusting of powder and a light covering on her lips.

Mostly she hung about close to the band just having the occasional dance with lads who looked presentable; one lad kept returning his name was Arthur Worth. May asked the lads in the band if they knew him.

Aye lass yell do well wi’ him. He works for Stubley’s his family have some connection with em and he plays for Leeds United.”

She danced with Arthur more often, refusing several others to do so.

As they danced she sometimes sang the lyrics to the tunes. Arthur suggested she should take up singing “Well I am in the church choir, but that’s all church music, don’t think they would like that on a Saturday night out would they?

No lass” Arthur replied “but you have a good voice and you could learn the words to all the songs from the wireless. Think about it and give it a go, you’ve nothing to lose”

Later she had a word with Bill. “I don’t see why not let’s have a word with the band”

It was agreed that a spot could be arranged within the retinue May was asked to come to a rehearsal to see how she sounded solo. The band liked her singing and agreed to her having a trial on the stage the following Saturday.

Mays song received huge applause, so it was agreed to continue May wasn’t sure which she liked best; Standing on stage singing or the applause; each week she tried have a different number to sing, then people asked if she did requests. So many requests came in that it would have been impossible to fit them all into a full show, a compromise resulted in May selecting a song herself and reading out the names along with short messages

May had started work for Mr Issacs who ran a Gentleman’s Bespoke Tailoring business mostly using cloth made in the customers own woollen mill. They said without fail that this was the best advertisement for their products was to call on customers wearing clothes made from your own materials.

May had suggested to Mr Issacs that perhaps the wives of the gentlemen may also wish to have bespoke garments made. Mr Issacs said he had contacts where he could obtain suitable materials for her. A book of samples arrived further samples following; word was passed around amongst the trade people.

The ladies came for items when they were going for special functions, they could choose their fabric from the books of samples, which was ordered in just sufficient quantity for the individual dress etc. The money from these transactions was May’s which she put aside for her “Bottom Drawer”. May often chose to order a few extra yards for her own use.

Arthur noticed the change in the quality of the materials now used for her dresses and how they were made up, with patterns matching on all the seams. He asked where she had obtained them. “They are all my own work, the material come from samples obtained by Mr Issacs; some of the patterns are from firms others I make up.” “What does this Mr Issacs do then to be able to get small quantities of material and patterns?

May explained how the firm worked (until now all she had said was that she worked as a machinist). She explained how Mr Issacs measured the gentlemen and cut the cloth, and she did the same for the ladies; that the gentlemen mostly provided their own materials, while all the ladies material had to be bought in.

Would you be able to make a suit for me? I am fed up of wearing the Leeds United suit to every function, it would be a change to be able to have one of my own and keep the team suit just for team events.” Arthur asked. May replied ”I’m sure it will be all right. You would have to select the material, Mr Issacs will measure and order the material; that is if we don’t have any suitable in stock, we don’t carry large stocks but quite often a client will bring in sufficient for two or three suits so that they can have a backup suit made, then they bring in a new line. I will speak to him on Monday morning and let you know.”

As promised May had a word with her boss, a time was arranged for Arthur to attend to choose his material and measuring.

Three weeks later Arthur, turned up at a Leeds United home game kitted out in his new suit. Questions were asked; where did he get the clobber, how much did it cost (which Arthur avoided saying one of his lady friends had paid for it), could I have one made, can we order different materials.

Arthur met with Mr Issacs again to request suits for the team members “Did you give them a price, just that I gave you a special price, because May did the sewing in her own time.? “No Arthur replied, I knew it was a special price and a gift from a lady friend”. Arrangements were made for Mr Issacs to meet the team at Leeds United ground, with some samples of cloth and his order book.



© 2020 Wild Rose


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This was a lovely chapter to read about life in 1932. I'm thinking, didn't May do well. She sounds a bit of a canny lass. Had her screwed on the right way, and certainly seemed to have some business acumen. At the end when it resulted in suits being ordered for the whole Leeds United team, I was left thinking "out of acorns huge oaks grow." A good read about that period in time.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

I have had to piece together things from cousins and dad & mums relations
The idea to sort .. read more
Christine Anne Shaw

2 Years Ago

Good idea.It's amazing what you can find out. One of my distant cousins about seven times removed is.. read more
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

I know where Gran parents came from & how they were in business's
Sis was asked to run for En.. read more



Reviews

the plot thickens ... May has taken on the shape of a singer and business woman ... i want to know more! love the colloquial language ...it adds so much color all by itself ... onward says i! onward! :)
E.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

Working on more > Colloquial Language - well that's how folk spoke then
Read about the house.. read more
Einstein Noodle

2 Years Ago

i am beginning to envy your world ;) i love all that "stuff"
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

Thank you >> encouragement to keep on
On reflection I suppose it has been sort of interestin.. read more
You are very talented. You are weaving a tale like a Hemingway's tale. I like May and I like the feel of old days and old rules. You are taking the reader to a place and a time. Thank you Wild Rose for sharing the amazing chapter. I did like this one.
Coyote

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

Thank you Coyote > I began intending to be about living through WWII > with rationing etc
How.. read more
Coyote Poetry

2 Years Ago

You are doing well. I am enjoying the story.
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

I have one chapter ready > But it will be out of place for a book - also the next phase in skeleton .. read more
This is an unusual story (for these current times) told with such attention to detail, it's like you must've lived thru it yourself to be able to tell it so realistically. Since I sewed all my clothes as a teen & young adult, I am fascinated by the storyline & details. Your construction is a little bit bumpy, leading to a few confusing spots here & there, needing to reread to follow the ideas you present at a fairly run-on pace. I prefer that your pacing is quick & not bogged down with too many details, altho your detailing is sufficient & interesting. There's a nice blend between being conversational & yet also having a stilted effect that seems reminiscent of the times (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

Just found this Margie (6 months later) Bit bumpy YES it was written as a draft before I joined WCread more
This was a lovely chapter to read about life in 1932. I'm thinking, didn't May do well. She sounds a bit of a canny lass. Had her screwed on the right way, and certainly seemed to have some business acumen. At the end when it resulted in suits being ordered for the whole Leeds United team, I was left thinking "out of acorns huge oaks grow." A good read about that period in time.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

I have had to piece together things from cousins and dad & mums relations
The idea to sort .. read more
Christine Anne Shaw

2 Years Ago

Good idea.It's amazing what you can find out. One of my distant cousins about seven times removed is.. read more
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

I know where Gran parents came from & how they were in business's
Sis was asked to run for En.. read more

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Added on April 22, 2018
Last Updated on February 11, 2020
Tags: "Harry Worth" "War Time Chidhood


Author

Wild Rose
Wild Rose

Lake Disrtict, Cumbria, United Kingdom



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BA (Hons)Management studies Open University Full tech Cert. Marine: Aviation & Industrial Instrumentation and Conrtol Retired engineering lecturer Ex racing cyclist: fell walker: Camper more..

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