Archive for the ‘Children’s Day’ Category

Kenneth’s Tale

June 1, 2012

Kenneth’s Tale

I saw a gentleman looking reverently at St Savour’s Church. He looked the age of one who could have enjoyed good old East Leeds in its heyday. I unashamedly mugged him for his memories and he was kind enough to send me this account 

Kenneth, who attended St Saviour’s school wishes to point out that any old school mates will know him as: Kenneth Hawkins, as he only took on the name: Heptinstall, after he had tragically lost both parents and been legally adopted by his grandparents close to the time he left school.

 

                          The Memories of Kenneth (Hawkins) Heptinstall

                                                 ***********

I was a pupil at St Saviour’s School and I would walk to school along the Low Fold, which was a path that ran alongside the river from the old Suspension Bridge whereSouth Accommodation Roadcrossed the river, to come out inEast Streetclose to school. In the early days I would enjoy watching the horses towing the barges along the river by means of a long rope Later the horse gave way to tugs which pulled several barges loaded with goods of one kind or another.

            The part of East Leeds where I lived in from 1924 to circa 1936 seemed vast to me as a child. It included the Bank area, Cross Green,Richmond Hill,East EndParkand other areas in the vicinity. There was much poverty about but to us children the streets, yards, ginnels, and bits of spare ground were there for our enjoyment, we used them to the full. The area had lots of small shops and a few large ones such as the Co-op, Gallons and the Maypole but nothing like today’s supermarkets etc. Churches seemed to dominate the area: St Hilda’s, St Saviour’s, Mount St Mary’s, All Saints as well as the chapels. There were schools to all the churches, some other schools were non-church schools such asRichmond HillandEllerby Lane. Scouts and Girl Guides were part of the churches, with Boy’s Brigades belonged to the chapels. One of my memories was of the Boy’s Brigade marching from the chapel to the bottom ofEllerby Laneon a Sunday after the service and we children would march alongside them on the pavement.

            There were also lots of pubs: The Black Dog, fisherman’s Hut, Cross Green, Spring Close, The Hampton, Prospect and Yew Tree. The landlord of theHamptonat one time was Dolly Dawson who was a member of the famous Hunslet Rugby League team. There were several cinemas in the area: Easy Road, Princess, Victoria inYork Road, and the Premier inSouth Accommodation Road– the Victoria later became: The Star.

            I was christened at St Hilda’s but I attended St Saviour’s school. It was a good school and I thought the teachers to be strict but dedicated. Being a mixed school there were separate classes for girls and boys but being a church school we started together for assembly, prayers, hymns and scripture lessons. Mister Ridley was the headmaster; we did plays under his guidance. He was in amateur dramatics and I think he thought doing plays would give us the confidence to speak out. Other teachers also became involved. There was one gentleman called Mr Smith who was a top man at Ringtons Tea and he too had been a pupil at St saviours School. He knew that children that attended the school were from poor backgrounds and twice a year: Christmas Day and Empire Day (which was celebrated in those days) he would send round sweets and on Empire Day a medal bearing the king’s head. In one of the plays we did we were Sikhs and all in Indian dress. The girls helped with the costumes and the boys with the scenery. When Children’s Day came along a van was hired, the scenery from the play was erected and placed on the vehicle then we dressed in the costumes and a sign advertising Ringtons Tea was displayed around the sides of the vehicle. We then joined the parade from the city centre up toRoundhayPark.   

            When St saviours Church was built the tower was left off, we were left to believe that his was due to the ground being on a hill making the foundations risky. We were also told it was due to lack of money, which I think was more likely. However the tower was added in the thirties. I was told it was Mr Smith of Rintons who provided the money. When the church was built it would have been in grey stone but due to fogs and industry it became dark, the tower stood out after being added as it was in the original grey but as can now be seen, due to air conditions over the years this now looks no different.

Some of the things I remember

People putting bread cakes on the windowsill to cool, lines of washing hung across the street that was hauled up when horse and carts came along the street, men walking up the streets cap in hand singing, a man with a tingaleri who sometimes let us wind the handle while he went and knocked on doors for donations, Walls ice cream carried on a three wheel bike. Sometimes if we helped push him up the hill he would cut one of his triangular ice creams in two for helping. Some of the lads had bogeys made of a short plank and four wheels, the front held on by a vertical bolt which enabled it to be steered. Also a steel ring like a large wheel which we rolled along pushed by a steel rod shaped like a hook which fitted round the rim and enabled it to be pushed and steered whilst running alongside it. Marbles or ‘tors’ as we called the game  played ideally on cobbled streets, along with football, kick out can and numerous other games – hide and seek known locally as ‘hiddy’ and ‘tig’ around the streets sometimes dividing into two teams. The girls had their own games: skipping and hopscotch being just two.

            If we managed to go toEast EndParkthere were football pitches. The first one inside the park was a cinder pitch which didn’t do the legs much good! There were policemen patrolling the area. One had the name ‘Bobby Rocking-Horse’ because of the way he walked, rocking from side to side!  Men in the area used to gamble – tossing coins – as it was illegal the police used to raid and the men used to run through passages and into people’s houses. Those who were caught were taken to the police station in a van known as the ‘Black Maria’

            In the mid thirties we had slum clearances when we were moved on to new housing estates. It was nice to have hot water, bathrooms and gardens. I still had a couple of years to go until I finished school so I used to travel so far on the tram and walk the rest.

Great tale, Kenneth. Times were not always easy but how many of us would not want to be back there if we could?

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Growing up on the other side of the bridge.

November 2, 2007

Life on the Other Side of the BridgeThis is an account By Mrs Muriel Parkin (nee Bailey) of living in Hunslet, attending South Accommodation Road School and Later Ellerby Lane School in the 1940s. Coal Collecting in Winter, Jam jar collections  and the joy of Children’s Day at Roundhay Park, Leeds.   

Muriel Parkin (nee Bailey)

Growing up on the Other Side of the Bridge

I don’t suppose growing up on the either side of South Accommodation Road Bridge was much different, after all most of the kids from Leeds ten finished up going to Ellerby Lane School anyway. I only ever made two real friends the rest were just girls in the class. I remember one Saturday, it was about a week before Children’s Day; teacher asked if we would sell flags, another girl and I spent all Saturday morning standing on the corner of Ellerby Lane and Dial Street – mind you we did non-stop business as Saturday was the best day for shopping even through some food was still on ration. It was all a far cry from that which we have today. The five years we had to spend without Dad, who was in the army, seemed to be forever; but we had to get on with life and somehow manage without him. The only boys and girls I played with at first were those belonging to Mam and Dad’s friends but once school started I mixed much better.

            Shelters began to be built for the use of families in the street but we never used them. There was one neighbour across the street who had her cellar converted into a shelter and we always asked if we could shelter in hers if there was a raid. That particular lady’s husband had not been called up into the army, instead he patrolled the streets in his tin helmet and an armband on which was written: ARP. One morning while I was on my way to school I found a large piece of shrapnel near to our step; I still have it to this day, wrapped in newspaper and stored in a drawer.

            I began by attending South Accommodation Road School, where I made loads of friends; you couldn’t help but make friends as we all lived in nearby houses. When I was about seven there was about a dozen kids in our street: Albert Street – it was a great place to grow up there. A new girl came to live next door and I grew to like her very much. Her Dad had been killed in the army and her mam and my mam became firm friends. We were the two oldest in the street and played all the kid’s games together: kick-out-ball, rounders, and hide-and-seek, whip-and-top, hop-scotch and every other ball game there was, and skipping too of course, there was very little falling out and if we did it was all forgotten the next day. During the summer we would take sandwiches and bottles of water to East End Park; we knew how to have fun.        The park wasn’t as it appears today, there were shrubs and the big gates where you entered were locked at night. There was a paddling pool, a sand pit, swings, round-a-bout, and a water fountain; I wonder how many mouths went over that? The park was so full of kids you could always guarantee to be waiting your turn to get on anything. A large board told of all the ‘do’s and don’ts’ you had to adhere to while in the park.

          Folk in other stories have mentioned ‘Red Walls’ our name for the little bridge across Black Road was ‘Red Bricks’ One day we all went there and I went into the stream, stood on some glass and had to walk ‘tip toeing’ all the way home without my shoe. The glass was fast in and Dad had to remove it with pliers. As I was a year older than most of the kids in our street they tended to treat me like the boss, so along with my friend (Pat Towers) we decided to ask the other kids if their mams would give them a halfpenny every Friday, which I then saved in a tin box. When they had saved enough I would take them all round to the café where Mam worked to have buns, tea or lemonade. It was a real treat and the kids loved it.

Coal Collecting

1947 was a very hard winter, we had icicles all way down our drainpipes: one particular day it was so cold and as there was no heating on in the classrooms at schools we were sent home. When I arrived home even though it was snowing like crazy Mam and Grandad were all togged up ready to go out. I asked where they were going; they looked at each other, then at me and said, ‘Down Black road coal picking.’ I was thirteen years old and had never heard of coal picking. ‘Can I come?’ I asked. And I was allowed to accompany them but Black Road in the freezing winter was a lot different to the summer outings we had down there. There were lots of other folk collecting coal on prams and barrows, anything that came to hand. We managed to get enough coal from the outcrop to keep the fire burning.

            When I first started at Ellerby Lane School I was terrified, I had heard from my aunt, who had also been a pupil there; that just the look of Miss Kelly was enough to make you shake. Anyway I had three years to go before I would be in her class. Miss Darnell was my first teacher; she was okay but could be very strict on occasions.

Children’s Day

I hadn’t heard of Children’s Day until I attended Ellerby Lane School, but that very first year at the new school, Barbara Burton; our head girl, was chosen to be the Children’s Day Queen. Some of the other girls were also doing some kind of display in the arena and I asked Mam and Dad if we could all have the day out in Roundhay Park.  The day finally dawned; it was the 6th of June 1946, we packed sandwiches, cakes and a little stove on which to boil the kettle. It was to be a day I was always to remember – we still have some photographs of it somewhere of those girls in their white blouses and blue gym shorts. I don’t know what it was about that day but I felt so proud, maybe it was because it was my first year in the new school and we were lucky enough to have Barbara Burton in our class. The next year we had Miss Grinstead; she was a small teacher and I always tried to keep out of he way. If any of us girls got anything wrong she would grab us by the chin and rock our heads backwards and forwards. As I was quite small I usually had to sit in the front desk alongside my friend from South Accomm, Jean Parker. For my final year at school my teacher was to be the dreaded Miss Kelly. Unfortunately, I was hospitalized for a while to have my tonsils out that year and while away they had a jam jar collection. By the time I got back to school they were already on the last day of the collection so my contribution was very small. Naturally I came bottom of the collection class and Miss Kelly really laid into me as if it had been my fault that I had been ill. After that I made sure that I would be well prepared for any future jam jar week by collecting jam jars every week and putting them washed and away in Grandad’s cellar. 

            By 1948 I was seeing less of the kids in the street, my sister was now ten, the same age I had been when I looked after the street kids and I was fourteen and doing the grown up jobs to help Mam around the house. I also met my first boyfriend and with my parents consent we used to go to the nearby picture houses (later I became an usherette at the Premier Picture House). We were together until I was eighteen and then I lost him to national service – and another girl!

            During my teenage years in Hunslet I discovered what it was like to go into the pubs, not to drink beer, just shandy, at first as I was only nineteen. There was the Albert Inn at the end of our street, the Queens on the corner of Clarence Road – where I celebrated my wedding and the Prince of Wales on South Accomm. Towards the end of the road there was Billy Walton’s fish shop where I would get fish and chips five times every Friday dinner time for Mam and Dad, my two sisters and I and all for half a crown 22 ½ pence in today’s money. 

            I have saved my ration book too and photographs taken of us all in our Whitsuntide clothes, you knew you would not get anymore clothes until the following year as our parents were too busy trying to keep up with our school clothes. I was glad I had parents in the tailoring trade. Like most folk now in their seventies, I believe we grew up in better times than the kids today. They may be better off but take it from me they don’t love their parents like we did!

 

 

 

Muriel Parkin (nee Bailey)

Growing up on the Other Side of the Bridge

I don’t suppose growing up on the either side of South Accommodation Road Bridge was much different, after all most of the kids from Leeds ten finished up going to Ellerby Lane School anyway. I only ever made two real friends the rest were just girls in the class. I remember one Saturday, it was about a week before Children’s Day; teacher asked if we would sell flags, another girl and I spent all Saturday morning standing on the corner of Ellerby Lane and Dial Street – mind you we did non-stop business as Saturday was the best day for shopping even through some food was still on ration. It was all a far cry from that which we have today. The five years we had to spend without Dad, who was in the army, seemed to be forever; but we had to get on with life and somehow manage without him. The only boys and girls I played with at first were those belonging to Mam and Dad’s friends but once school started I mixed much better.

            Shelters began to be built for the use of families in the street but we never used them. There was one neighbour across the street who had her cellar converted into a shelter and we always asked if we could shelter in hers if there was a raid. That particular lady’s husband had not been called up into the army, instead he patrolled the streets in his tin helmet and an armband on which was written: ARP. One morning while I was on my way to school I found a large piece of shrapnel near to our step; I still have it to this day, wrapped in newspaper and stored in a drawer.

            I began by attending South Accommodation Road School, where I made loads of friends; you couldn’t help but make friends as we all lived in nearby houses. When I was about seven there was about a dozen kids in our street: Albert Street – it was a great place to grow up there. A new girl came to live next door and I grew to like her very much. Her Dad had been killed in the army and her mam and my mam became firm friends. We were the two oldest in the street and played all the kid’s games together: kick-out-ball, rounders, and hide-and-seek, whip-and-top, hop-scotch and every other ball game there was, and skipping too of course, there was very little falling out and if we did it was all forgotten the next day. During the summer we would take sandwiches and bottles of water to East End Park; we knew how to have fun.        The park wasn’t as it appears today, there were shrubs and the big gates where you entered were locked at night. There was a paddling pool, a sand pit, swings, round-a-bout, and a water fountain; I wonder how many mouths went over that? The park was so full of kids you could always guarantee to be waiting your turn to get on anything. A large board told of all the ‘do’s and don’ts’ you had to adhere to while in the park.

          Folk in other stories have mentioned ‘Red Walls’ our name for the little bridge across Black Road was ‘Red Bricks’ One day we all went there and I went into the stream, stood on some glass and had to walk ‘tip toeing’ all the way home without my shoe. The glass was fast in and Dad had to remove it with pliers. As I was a year older than most of the kids in our street they tended to treat me like the boss, so along with my friend (Pat Towers) we decided to ask the other kids if their mams would give them a halfpenny every Friday, which I then saved in a tin box. When they had saved enough I would take them all round to the café where Mam worked to have buns, tea or lemonade. It was a real treat and the kids loved it.

Coal Collecting

1947 was a very hard winter, we had icicles all way down our drainpipes: one particular day it was so cold and as there was no heating on in the classrooms at schools we were sent home. When I arrived home even though it was snowing like crazy Mam and Grandad were all togged up ready to go out. I asked where they were going; they looked at each other, then at me and said, ‘Down Black road coal picking.’ I was thirteen years old and had never heard of coal picking. ‘Can I come?’ I asked. And I was allowed to accompany them but Black Road in the freezing winter was a lot different to the summer outings we had down there. There were lots of other folk collecting coal on prams and barrows, anything that came to hand. We managed to get enough coal from the outcrop to keep the fire burning.

            When I first started at Ellerby Lane School I was terrified, I had heard from my aunt, who had also been a pupil there; that just the look of Miss Kelly was enough to make you shake. Anyway I had three years to go before I would be in her class. Miss Darnell was my first teacher; she was okay but could be very strict on occasions.

Children’s Day

I hadn’t heard of Children’s Day until I attended Ellerby Lane School, but that very first year at the new school, Barbara Burton; our head girl, was chosen to be the Children’s Day Queen. Some of the other girls were also doing some kind of display in the arena and I asked Mam and Dad if we could all have the day out in Roundhay Park.  The day finally dawned; it was the 6th of June 1946, we packed sandwiches, cakes and a little stove on which to boil the kettle. It was to be a day I was always to remember – we still have some photographs of it somewhere of those girls in their white blouses and blue gym shorts. I don’t know what it was about that day but I felt so proud, maybe it was because it was my first year in the new school and we were lucky enough to have Barbara Burton in our class. The next year we had Miss Grinstead; she was a small teacher and I always tried to keep out of he way. If any of us girls got anything wrong she would grab us by the chin and rock our heads backwards and forwards. As I was quite small I usually had to sit in the front desk alongside my friend from South Accomm, Jean Parker. For my final year at school my teacher was to be the dreaded Miss Kelly. Unfortunately, I was hospitalized for a while to have my tonsils out that year and while away they had a jam jar collection. By the time I got back to school they were already on the last day of the collection so my contribution was very small. Naturally I came bottom of the collection class and Miss Kelly really laid into me as if it had been my fault that I had been ill. After that I made sure that I would be well prepared for any future jam jar week by collecting jam jars every week and putting them washed and away in Grandad’s cellar. 

            By 1948 I was seeing less of the kids in the street, my sister was now ten, the same age I had been when I looked after the street kids and I was fourteen and doing the grown up jobs to help Mam around the house. I also met my first boyfriend and with my parents consent we used to go to the nearby picture houses (later I became an usherette at the Premier Picture House). We were together until I was eighteen and then I lost him to national service – and another girl!

            During my teenage years in Hunslet I discovered what it was like to go into the pubs, not to drink beer, just shandy, at first as I was only nineteen. There was the Albert Inn at the end of our street, the Queens on the corner of Clarence Road – where I celebrated my wedding and the Prince of Wales on South Accomm. Towards the end of the road there was Billy Walton’s fish shop where I would get fish and chips five times every Friday dinner time for Mam and Dad, my two sisters and I and all for half a crown 22 ½ pence in today’s money. 

            I have saved my ration book too and photographs taken of us all in our Whitsuntide clothes, you knew you would not get anymore clothes until the following year as our parents were too busy trying to keep up with our school clothes. I was glad I had parents in the tailoring trade. Like most folk now in their seventies, I believe we grew up in better times than the kids today. They may be better off but take it from me they don’t love their parents like we did!