Monday, December 25, 2006

When I was about 9 I had a large abscess in my mouth. The side of my face was swollen and very painful. Aunt Esther took me to Dr Waddell who lanced the side of my face and poured out the pus. He was very sharp and it hurt a lot. He gave us a note to take to the Royal Hospital. Instead of going to the hospital, Aunt Alice took me to a dentist who removed the infected tooth that was causing the trouble.

Dr Waddell was very strict. He allowed no talking in his waiting room. When Granny Lawton was old and sick and very frail, he told her she had to be ad his surgery by half past eight in the morning or he wouldn't see her.


We had a neighbour called Mrs Homer who was a very religious lady. She had grown-up children but she was very fond of me. She would call to me if she wanted me to do anything for her.

When I was nine or ten I used to take her husband's dinner (note - midday meal in local dialect) to him at his work in Bradley in my school dinner hour. Mrs Homer had cooked the dinner and put it in a pudding basin with a cloth over it. Mr Homer would be waiting upstairs at his work. I would hang his dinner on a hook and he would pull it up.

Mrs Homer would pay me a shilling a week.


They were very hard times. The pawn shop in Coseley was near to Darkhouse Chapel. Mrs Grainger, who lived next door but one to us, used to server in it. My dad would send his suit to the pawn shop on a Monday to pay for the rent. He would get the suit out again at the week-end after he had been paid for the week, but he had to pay extra to get the suit back.

I have gone may a time for Granny Ellis to the pawn shop in a street off Dudley Road, Wolverhampton. She would send me with a bundle of clothes. I wasn't old enough to hand the bundle over myself. Someone older in the shop would sign for me to get the ticket.

People would pay Granny Lawton to take clothes to the pawn shop for them. She would sit with me and wait for people to finish their washing before she could take it to the pawn shop. One day, when my dad was going back to work after his dinner, he saw her pushing a pram with clothes in it. He pushed it along for her and told her 'You ay gonna do this no longer.'

Charlie and I would go coal picking on the coal banks by the cornfields in Coseley. We would take a bucket and fill it with our bare hands. People would give us tuppence or three halfpence for a bucket of coal. They were glad of the coat.



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