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You are in... Forums > Hobbies etc... > Recollections > Memories

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HILDAJ1

Joined:

Nov 06

Posts: 12247

HILDAJ1 says:

Memories

Do you have a story to tell? Can you remember the Good Old Days? Let us share your memories.

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kenneth xx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 608

kenneth xx says:

WHEN I WAS YOUNG

     When I was Young

     by J K Beattie (Kenneth)

(first published as a series of letters in the Age-Net Forum)

 

Parts 1 to 5


I`m sure we all have vivid recollections of when we were young, I know I do, About the happenings and people around me then , who coloured my early years, like a painter with his brush. This pic below,  was  taken  from a  1920  engraving

oursteet.jpg picture by Acrilic

Where we lived, there were only two little rows of terraced houses, between which ran the coal lines taking coal down to the staithes on the river Tyne

These sets of trucks were sent down and hauled up with an Inch thick steel cable, from a engine house about 200yards up the line from our houses. the cable rested and ran on steel rollers in the middle of the line.

There were no gates where the lines ran across the road, just a man called mr watson with his little red oil lamp, who held up the horses and carts and any other traffic that were passing, when the tricks were coming up or going down. One winter Sunday the coalman had`nt been that week, so Mam said you and your sister go onto the lines and scrape up the coal dust for me, Here`s a old bowl, just half fill it...(No trucks running that Sunday) so we took two old spoons to scrape the coal dust up, it lay an inch thick between the sleepers, took it back to Mam, who added some liquid soap, then form like large egg shapes and put in our coal house to set. When they were ready they burned a treat, till the coalman came the next day..

 

Part 2.


When one thinks back now, to those days, when hardly anyone locked their front doors through the daytime, when mam was ill one day there were two of our neighbours there like a flash saying "Now Jenny, don`t worry about the bairns I`ll see to them"

When someone in the street died, mam or some other lady of the street would lay the poor sole out ready for the undertaker. There was an old gentleman called mr. Bill Smith , who lived alone in the end house of our street. he never married, never smoked and ate only plain food, except on a Sunday when mam used to say Now son take this plate along to mr. Smiths, this is about teatime every Sunday, on the plate were a maid of honour a butterfly cake and a jam tart, all baked by mam the day before..

On reflection I really don`t know how we managed to sleep with the noise of the trucks going up and down, sometimes well into the night, Ithink our brains must have become used to it. Mam used to tell me about the brake trips(Bus trips today) gran used to take her melodion on and play. That`s where the musical talent comes from in our family, for music played a large part in dad`s and my life.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE..

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kenneth xx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 608

kenneth xx says:

Re: Memories

W.I.W.Y  PART  

Part 3.


Then, Mam started working in a factory making HAMILCAR gliders for the Normandy invasion. 1942. The war was still going on, the main things affecting my sister and I were, Our Dad working 7 days a week, and Mam checking on our ration books, to see what she was able to get us, clothes wise.

When my sister and I came home from school we went straight to Granny`s for she lived just across the coal lines, about 120 yards from our front door, with both Mam and dad not home for us till about 5..0 pm we had our tea, I say tea, but it was more like dinner. There was my sister,me, our two cousins, (Who lived next door to Gran) the four of us sat down to our meal, we always looked forward to rabbit pie, Gran would make a huge pie with 2 rabbits that her son,MAm`s brother used to snare and catch where he worked as a plate layer on the railway line

Dear God!! Friends the smell of the pie when Gran opened the old oven door, was delicious itself, with the pie crust hanging well over the edge of the large pie dish, I should explain ,that the oven was in the old range in the fireplace, where Gran cooked her own loaves as well.

About a mile away from our houses was a battery of anti--aircraft guns and at least two nights a week these big guns would open up on the German aircraft. You must realise we lived as the crow flies about one mile from the river Tyne, where all the shipyards were working 7 days a week building destoyers, for the Navy, and these were what the bombers were after. Our windows shook violently with the noise. One morning on looking into our neighbour`s back yard, there was a huge shell sticking out of the wall it must have been at least 3 feet long.

After the army people had taken it away, I found my two pet rabbits in their hutch in our back yard both dead. Dad said " probably killed by the shock,son," We had a small allotment across the road from our front door, so Dad dug a hole and we said a little prayer and laid them to rest in a little corner, where both me and my sister would put flowers on every week, sometimes daisies, and sometimes buttercups.

In order to protect the shipyards, every 30 yards along our road was put a smokescreen. In the winter time Mam kept a old baked bean tin with a bit of wire round it to dip into the crude oil of the smokescreen to put on our fire to get it going quickly. On our way to school, which was about a mile away, we gathered shrapnel, which seemed to be lying everywhere. some quite hot, to hold.

One morning I saw a barrage balloon struck by lightning and burst into flames, it was all the talk when we got to school. Mam used to give us SPAM sandwiches, and she swore by the packets of dried egg, with a picture of UNCLE SAM ON,with his high top hat.

We used to get all our groceries from the CO--OP STORE. I liked watching the man cutting our butter from the huge barrel shaped mass, and the cheese was also a huge mass this was cut with a sort of wire with a handle on the end. No prepacked stuff them days, and fast food was a thing of the future, and I personally think we were healthier for the lack of it. Dad grew our own tomatos, spuds, carrots, leeks, and cabbages. like everybody else, in those days, we only managed our roast beef joint on a Sunday dinner time, because of the rationing.

 

 

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE..

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las brisas

Joined:

Mar 07

Posts: 8981

las brisas says:

Re: Memories

Fascinating reading Kenneth - thank you:smile:smile:smile

Shirley-Surrey aka Booboo

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stellapea

Joined:

Jul 07

Posts: 9856

stellapea says:

Re: Memories

a pleasure to read Kenneth thankyou for sharing with us

Stella (Stockport) xx

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kenneth xx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 608

kenneth xx says:

Re: Memories

So  glad  ypou  enjoyed  my  ramblings  friends--  lots  more  to  come --- kenneth

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE..

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bet12

Joined:

Jul 07

Posts: 5242

bet12 says:

Re: Memories

I really enjoyed reading your memories Ken can't wait for the next helping:smile

BET - Kent AKA Tootsie Chuckletush. IF IT 'AINT BROKE DON'T FIX IT

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kenneth xx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 608

kenneth xx says:

Re: Memories

W.I.W.Y.-

 

PART 4.

Music...whil`st Mam could knock a tune out on the piano, all the musical ability comes from my Dad`s family. A family of 4 sons who each played something 2 played the violin, uncle Billy played the piano, and Dad played the accordion. they had one sister who was`nt musical at all. Dad`s brother, my uncle Billy never had a music lesson on his life but could play any of the popular songs and dance music of the day..in any key. This, as a youngster, I found amazing.

Dad used to tell me that his mother, my Gran, played the melodeon , on what then, were called brake trips (What today we`d call bus trips) and play for the enjoyment of her friends on the trip. I should explain,A Melodeon is like an accordion but with buttons in place of keys.

When I was about 7, my parents bought a bran new gleaming piano, and I found I was able to pick songs up from the radio, and play the melody with my right hand, but when it was obvious to Dad that I was making progress in my quiet way, he showed me how to vamp accompanyment to go with my right hand melodies. And after hours and hours of dedication by myself, I really started to become quite accomplished, I thought.

Anyway told Mam that he thought I should start music lessons Dad. I had to walk about a mile and a half to a Mrs. Car. where I picked up the gist of different keys to play in..

After 7 months, I found the time I was forced to practice scales was sickening me, when I could play two or three popular tunes, so I moaned on to Mam so much, that when the dark nights came round, Mam told Dad I don`t like Kenneth walking that distance on his own! so ended my music lessons, (Which I came to regret later in my life) However I was, by by then able to read the notes, though not quick enough to play a tune from the music. but looking at a piece of music I could recognise what key the piece was written in, to be continued, when my fingers warm up? Kenneth.

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE..

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kenneth xx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 608

kenneth xx says:

When I was young

Part 5.



Across the wagon way that ran between the two little rows of terraced houses, where Mam`s mother,(My other Gran) lived, there was a family called Mr. and Mrs. Reed, who had 3 daughters. They had a piano too, and I spent many happy hours playing for the enjoyment of the girls(Who were all at least 5 years older than me) Mrs. Reed become to be known as my aunty Nora, Although she was no relation to me at all. Nearing chrismas mam would usually buy me a new suit for the school`s christmas party, I would try it on, then Mam would say " right son, go and show you`re aunty Nora"


I always think of the time I met a lad called Allen Perry (Who played the drums)as the begining of my musical career, such as it`s been, We both were a bit niave to think it would be just a matter of time before we made our way to playing at dances.. Practicing every time Mam and Dad went out ,in real earnest. We stuck together as friends and met another lad who played double bass. The three of us started going to a church dance that was held every Sunday night. We got to know the little band that were playing there, which consisted of two fiddlers, a drumer and a dear old lady on the piano. After a few weeks, (And each aquiring a girlfriend, who we met , only every Sunday night?)( Dear God how wonderful, when you were young, and innocent) Anyway it was`nt long before we were playing through the interval, while the band had a break,
The old lady pianist , took a great interest in my ability to play the dance music without the sheet music being present, she came up one night and said" Kenneth, how do you know which note to play next in any tune you`re playing??" I really could`nt tell her, and if the dear lady was here now I still would`nt be able to explain, how I`m able to do it.


One of the violinists died, and the rest did`nt have the heart to continue, so me and my trio began our first paid enagement in our musical lives. We played there for at least 2 years every Sundy night. Whilst this was happening Dad`s dance band of 6 players, had continuous full bookings, playing a t dances all over the North East. Uncle Billy the brilliant pianist, got a day time job cammourflarging the gas ometer on the banks of the river Tyne. He was working on a sort of cradle used to stand on to paint the huge gas ometer, His workmate said "right
Billy, time for our break" He then pulled the wrong rope and the cradle tipped up on end spilling the two men out, his mate survived,( to commit suicide 6 months later) but Uncle Billy hit the girders on the way down and died 3 hours later. He was 29 years old, with all that talent, what an utter waste. Dad never played again for 2 years, because of this sad event. In the meantime I was getting more and more confident in my own ability. I am now fifteen and a half years old, Dad started to accept private engagements, small dances ect, with me on piano. himself on accordion, a drummer and a double bass player.

trio.jpg picture by Acrilic


My first dance in this capacity was, for the first half hour, a night mare for I was terrified in case I made a mistake, having to play all the intros...However, the second half of the dance I really started to enjoy it all, and Dad said " you did great son" It was a great experience for me to play with Dad because It meant, I had to play every tune in the key it was written , which enhanced my playing ability by a mile.(Anyone who plays just by ear will understand what this means)..to be continued. after half time...................

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE..

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Sheevee

Joined:

Mar 07

Posts: 5814

Sheevee says:

Re: Memories

Playing music by ear is an amazing gift but you must also need a lot of dedication and practice to use it fully.

Different type of skill, but my step-mother used to ice wedding cakes with the most intricate lace patterns and we all took this totally for granted.  When we took my wedding cake to the hotel just prior to the reception, the chef insisted on calling all the staff in to admire her handiwork.  He started asking about patterns and starting points and was just totally stunned that she just picked up the icing bag and off she went yet it was all totally accurate and symetrical.

She was very embarrassed by all the fuss but, I think, secretly pleased to have her talent emphasised in this way.

Have enjoyed reading your story, Kenneth.

Sheevee Buddy: Cabriole (Carole) Fond memories of "Josephine" a real cool buddy

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Toots

Joined:

Oct 06

Posts: 5469

Toots says:

Re: Memories

What a brilliant topic! and thanks for creating it. I will have good read later as I have just tuned in to the forum!:biggrin:

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