WHEN WAR WAS DECLARED
I was born in
Anchor Yard, Knottingley and went to Ropewalk School until we moved to
Askern where dad was a fitter before moving on to Selby. When my father
left we came back to Knottingley and lived with my granny on Primrose
Hill. I worked in the Chemists for six shillings a week until my granny
got me a job in Tranmer and Jagger’s foundry at ten shillings a week.
I have read
with interest your articles on Wartime memories in The Digest. I remember
I was working in the foundry on Primrose Hill when war was declared. I was
eighteen years old and volunteered for the air force at Eastgate in Leeds
but was told to go home as somebody had to stay at home.
courting when I was nineteen and got married in 1944 to Bessie Acton. We
lived in a house, one up and one down, in Forgehill Lane with a rent of
six shillings per week. My wife worked at Yorkshire Copper Works and then
the Humber works at Ferrybridge. Our daughter was born in 1946 and one of
our sons in 1948. I remember my wife pushing the pram with two kids in it
through the snow and ice. Rationing was a problem as there were coupons
for everything. We used to go shooting water hens in the quarries, selling
them for one and threepence. Our Sunday dinner was a rabbit pie. My mother
used to put an eggcup in the middle of the pie to stop the crust from
falling. I joined the Home Guard and did duty guarding Skew Bridge and the
Water Tower. I remember standing in the Town Hall doorway at night to see
the flash of the bombs being dropped on Sheffield.
football for Bagley’s Glassworks. We had floodlighting – two big arc
lights at each end of the Dutch Barn. To have a bath we put up newspapers
at the wash house windows, put the copper on and got out the tin bath.
There were no such things as toilet rolls, just old newspapers torn into
squares, tied up with string and hung behind the door. We knew when a 1000
bomber raid was happening as planes took off from Pollington, circled a
couple of times and then joined the rest of the bombers. It was always
nice to hear them in the early hours. Hoping this will refresh some