Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ted's mother had an old-fashioned cart that Bessie's husband Jim used to drive to fetch things for the farm. He would fetch grain from the brewery for pig food. Ted's sister Bessie and Edie Perry used to delivery milk by cart. They would go round Sedgley and Gornal with cans of milk. People would come out of their houses with their jugs and Edie would dip a measuring can in the milk and tip it in the jug.

One sunny afternoon, while Ted was away in the army, Ted's mother said, 'Come on, we'll go for a ride in the country'. She said she would take Stella, Charlie, Violet and me to Ebstree in the cart. The pony was named Bob. He was a lovely pony and he was used to stopping at the pub at Ebstree when Jim used to drive him.

They had gone to the trouble of putting rubber wheels on the cart. We got to Ebstree and we'd just started back when the rubber started to come off. The wheels started to make such a row that the pony took fright. I could see the rubber coming off and I said, 'I'm taking no risks'. Charlie, Violet and me all jumped off. Stella and Ted's mother managed to stop the cart by the police station. They had to leave the cart all night and get a wheelwright to fix the wheel. Charlie had to walk the pony back to Penn Common and me and Violet had to walk all the way back to Coseley.


In the Second World War there were doodlebugs. We thought the German planes followed the canals in Coseley. We looked for searchlights in the sky and then we knew bombs were coming. As soon as I knew, I dashed into one of the school shelters. Once I went into a shelter that was all in darkness and I was on my own. It was a really frightening time. We could hear the German planes overhead when we were in the shelters.

There was only Ted and a man named Tom Baker who wouldn't go down in the shelters. One night there were bombs dropped on Roseville and Ted darted under the table.

Eventually little house shelters we built of brick and put on main roads and we used them. Once when Violet and me were out shopping, the sirens went and we shelters in somebody's own Anderson shelter. We didn't know the people but they let us in.

Food was rationed in the war and afterwards. We had ration books with coupons. We got the books from an office in Roseville. You could use the coupones for a quarter of a pound of butter, say, but when you had used all the coupons up, you couldn't get any more food. The rationing was very tight. Margaret, my Uncle Jim's widow, got ham on the black market. She would give my dad a slive and we would have to sit and watch him eat it for his breakfast.

In 1946, I heard there were Jaffa oranges on Dudley market. I was as big as could be because my baby was very nearly due. I went to Dudley and stood in a queue for the oranges. The were beautiful big Jaffas, lovely and juicy.



Post a Comment

<< Home