Early years

Early years

A Chapter by Wild Rose

1936 May; Arthur

Early Days

Harry was born early May 1936 to Arthur and Mary (May) Worth.

 

 

Arthur and May's house was up a flight of three steps, then over to large flag in which the grate where the coal was delivered and up one further step.

Typically families had little in the way of furniture; a dining table & chairs. two easy chairs and a sideboard.

The floor was covered with Linoleum and a carpet square in the centre where the table and chairs stood. The square was often turned around during the spring clean; in order to even the wear.

 

For entertainment they had a wireless (radio) which ran on lead acid batteries, these were taken to either the gents hair dresser or an electrical shop for recharging; they would be taken in on the Monday night and brought back on the Friday night, so during the week they had no communication from the outside world.

The working day for mill workers was seven o'clock in the morning until six in the evening. With all the mills being located in the bottom of the valley by the water, the houses were built on the valley sides so some workers had two or three miles to walk each way to and from work.

 

When baby Harry came along it was a difficult job to drag the heavy coach-built pram up and down the three steps up into the house. After some time a house became vacant across the road [Mays mother (also Mary) was related to the building firm who owned all the houses in the street, Gran (as she now was known by baby Harry) had a share in the business. The new house had just one step up into the house otherwise everything was similar.

 

Mount Pleasant

At one time a hamlet about one mile from the centre of Batley.

It has a shopping centre, built either side of the main road from Batley to a junction with the Dewsbury to Halifax road in Staincliffe in a further mile.

 

There are shops at the cross roads formed with Oxford Street. On the North West corner there is a Fried Fish and Chip shop; next door and right on the corner is Turtons Butchers shop; across the corner North East a Green Grocers, South East; a confectioners, Methodist Chapel a large ornate structure; on the corner with Oxford Road is a Drapers; across Oxford Road Lower is a Co-op Chemist, next door a Co-op general store cum Grocery, a Co-op ladies Hair dresser.

Oxford Road Lower goes down the hill to the Recreation Ground {Batley Rugby League Club, Athletics Club, Cricket Club and Crown Green Bowing Club, and childrens slide & swings}.

 

Going North up Oxford Street Upper

On the West (left hand side) At the junction with Belvedere Road South side a General store, On the northern corner; a grocers shop.

Across on the Eastern side a family Bakers {Speddings} to the north a small electrical shop/ gents Barbers, next door up on the Right Hand another family Bakers.

 

At the northern corner with North Parade "Attacks" Cobblers workshop.

Brierley Street SW corner Jack Wards Green grocers {Arthurs cousin} On the eastern side A Fried Fish and Chip Shop {run by Mary's cousin Harold}, next door to Harolds fish shop Is a Post Office with living quarters.

Across on the North East corner a Butchers shop

Harry's Grandma Ward lives on the western end of Brierley street (Grandma Ward was a widow her husband died of wounds received in the Great War)

 

Going up Oxford Road On the Western side comes Lower North Street May's Aunty Elizabeth (Betty) Brennan lived on here and her Uncle Michael and cousin Jimmy

 

Next street up is Upper North Street on the north east corner is Coggins general store, one of the few shops which could open on a Sunday; in fact this shop was open from early morning with papers and cigarettes, until late every day except Christmas day, when it closed at lunch time (" Ye never know what folk'l run out on " was the saying of its owner Jimmy Goggin)

 

At the far end of Brierley Street was a new council estate (Purlwell Estate) built after the first world war, all red brick with dark green doors and window frames. surrounding this little community were fields or large houses

 

Life went to a pattern every week the same Mondays was washing day, Tuesday ironing, Wednesday and Thursday May went to work for Mr Issacs (the dress making was now in her name to comply with Arthurs football club rules Players wives should not take paid work; self employment was allowed She was now a business woman). She bought a Singer treadle sewing machine, so that she could work at home; there were often fiddly bits which required concentration that was often not possible at Mr Issacs rooms

Friday Shopping in the morning, after lunch she would black lead the Yorkist range and polish the brasses then dust and tidy the room. Arthur worked Saturday morning; unless the team were playing away from home. After lunch Arthur was playing football.

Sunday morning May prepared the meat and vegetables for cooking, then left for the eleven o'clock mass where she sank in the choir. Arthur would put the food on to cook, for it to be ready when May returned home

 

Things began to change; people spoke in whispers everyone was serious; when the news came on the radio at weekends they all listened in silence, attending to every word, then would follow a quiet discussion, as though to prevent others from overhearing.

The working day for mill workers was seven o'clock in the morning until six in the evening. With all the mills being located in the bottom of the valley by the water, the houses were built on the valley sides so some workers had two or three miles to walk each way to and from work.

 

When baby Harry came along it was a difficult job to drag the heavy coach-built pram up and down the three steps up into the house. After some time a house became vacant across the road [Mays mother (also Mary) was related to the building firm who owned all the houses in the street, Gran (as she now was known by baby Harry) had a share in the business. The new house had just one step up into the house otherwise everything was similar.

 

 

Going up Oxford Road On the Western side comes Lower North Street May's Aunty Elizabeth (Betty) Brennan lived on here and her Uncle Michael and cousin Jimmy

 

Next street up is Upper North Street on the north east corner is Coggins general store, one of the few shops which could open on a Sunday; in fact this shop was open from early morning with papers and cigarettes, until late every day except Christmas day, when it closed at lunch time (" Ye never know what folk'l run out on " was the saying of its owner Jimmy Goggin)

 



© 2018 Wild Rose


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I love how you describe everything in good detail. I could see the city and the people. A amazing chapter shared dear friend.
Coyote

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Wild Rose

1 Year Ago

Thank you Coyote.
I was not sure about the detail.
Was it to much
I wanted you .. read more
Loved the detail except the very detailed 'map' of the various shops (too much information lol!). And as Wolf says some repitition of paragraphs. Having been born in the early 50s I can still relate to much of this in poerson. The coach built pram for example. You do have a penchant for history.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

1 Year Ago

Thank you John - An early attempt at writing something other than experiment reports and exam papers.. read more

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Added on April 26, 2018
Last Updated on April 26, 2018
Tags: "Chapter 1" "Harry Worth"


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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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