THE GOOD OLD DAYS
I lived in Delius Avenue, Ravenscliife from 1942 until 1953. I went to Hutton school, first to the nursery and then to the infants. I can remember a building called the Annexe oposite the school - might have been an old Chapel. We used to go over there for some lessons. I recall that there was a toymakers shop at the end of a path running along the side of the building. We were given orange juice and codliver oil every day and a quart of milk. Every May Day we would take our decorated prams, bicycles etc to school. There would be a May Day procession around the school yard and dancing round the Maypole. The Winter of 1947 was very very cold and it seemed to snow for days. I remember walking up Harrogate Road on the way to school and not being able to see the road. We had no coal delivery when the weather was at it's worst and we had to sit round the gas oven in the kitchen to keep warm. It seemed a long haul up Station Road to school. After school the ones to put their chair up on the desk first and who stood quietly by their desks with their arms by their sides were allowed to leave first. Then we used to race home, the ones who were let out later trying to overtake the ones who had a head start.
My mother worked at a 'Burler's and Mender's' at the bottom of Station Road near the cricket field. (Burling and Mending was a trade where a 'piece' (a roll of worsted suiting material, straight from the loom) was checked for faults and repaired before going on to being finished cloth. The knots, (caused by the yarn having to be changed during the weaving) were pulled through with tweezers (called burlers) until there were two ends showing (these were later cut off in the finishing department). All faults were repaired by hand with a needle which had a blunt end following the exact pattern of the weave. Thread for mending was attached to every piece. My mother also used to mend a piece or two a week in the spare bedroom. She was working at a piece when we heard on the radio that King George had died. I was sat in the folds of the piece reading ( the cloth was made of wool and it was a warm place to sit when the rooms were cold). My fondest memories of those days was attending the Methodist Sunday School on Ravenscliffe Avenue. Buying sweets and gripping a coupon from the ration book between finger and thumb so it wouldn't blow away. No sweets could be bought without a coupon. Going to the Saturday matinee at the cinema down in Greengates. Afterwards we would gallop up Harrogate Road, pretending to be Roy Rogers, Gene Autry or Indians. We would play in the little Park at the Harrogate Road end of Ravenscliife Avenue and play on Lambourne and Benbow avenues at skipping and ball games.
There was only the odd car and life was very carefree. One Christmas my parents bought me a walking doll who's head fell off on Boxing Day and we took it to the Dolls Hospital in the old Kirkgate Market to be mended. Every Whitsuntide we would get new clothes - go to church and then in the afternoon or early evening go for a walk. There was always a Whit Monday walk and we would cheer the walkers on as they came up Harrogate Road - Where they started or where they ended I am not sure. My parents took me out walking a lot often along Ravenscliffe Avenue, round by Ravenscliffe Woods and the reservoir and back home in a circular walk. We also used to walk along Moorside Road - which was rural in those days as was Greengates and Apperley Bridge. My parents used to take me to the beer garden of the George and Dragon and we would walk along the canal tow path. The most exciting programme on the radio was Dick Barton Special Agent. We used to sit around the radio to listen to it. We had a lamplighter who used switch the gas lamps on every evening and I suppose switch them off next morning.
We didn't have TV until I was about ten years old. All the kids in the road used come in our house and sit on the floor to watch Children's TV. When the programmes had finished there would be a break in transmission until the evening programmes began. We had plenty of trips to the dales and to Morecambe and Heysham - to Shipley Glen and the Glen Tramway, Baildon Moor, Ilkley Moor, Harry Ramsden's etc., but I was never more happy than when I was around home - Playing hopscotch, skipping and ballgames in the avenues near my home, I had a swing in the garden and had plenty of friends. Things were coming off ration and everything was becoming plentiful. New things were being invented - new foods coming on to the market. A new age was beginning and as in every era the past would only be remembered as long there was someone there to remember it, record it, or simply pass it on by word of mouth, and of course nowadays we have the wonderful world of photography. May our past never be forgotton. Val Smith (nee Clayton)
I remember it just like yesterday, the great times I had as a
being brought up in Bradford (Yorkshire) England. I lived in Eccleshill
which was a suburb of Bradford. First in Norbury Road, later we moved to
Ravenscliffe Avenue until 1951. I attended the Greengates School and later
attended the Hutton School until leaving for Australia in 1951. School
recollections are, as an infant having to sleep in the afternoon at school.
Borrowing books to read from the teacher at night, (no TV in those days)
Orange juice, cod-liver oil & milk provided free every day, a hot meal
available for a small cost I think it was three pence in the winter months
Growing up was carefree we played all the usual games in the street
Cricket we all wanted to be Len Hutton, Yorkshire and later England's
Hide & Seek, Cowboys and Indians. Nearest picture theater was at
Greengates, matinees were held every Saturday afternoon. Forget about having
sweets at the pictures they were rationed till about 1950 The first picture
I saw at night time was Superman, I did not tell my dad I had seen it
before at a Saturday matinee (as a treat like attending the pictures at
night was not to be missed)
Great memories are snow lots of it and sledging down Norbury Road,
us had our own sledge (none of this plastic stuff) as the air-raid shelters
were being dug out of the backyards we improvised and made sledges out of
them. Going to the rugby matches to see Bradford Northern win and having a
pie and mushy peas before the match. Ploging for bonfire night (collecting
wood from the Fagley woods and the Greengates forest) just down the road
and over the stream. Attending the local cricket matches, Seeing cricketers
that played for their local team and Yorkshire cricket club, and watching
any steam train that past by on the branch line at the back of the cricket
ground. Other highlights are the local church & attending Sunday school.
Evening time was radio time (remember Dick Barton special agent?) During
summer we used to dam the local stream and make our own swimming pool
before it reached the reservoir. Bird hunting nest raiding for
eggs. Comics available at that time were Beano. Eagle & Dandy. Many other
activities were available for families to attend. Just a few I remember,
Walker's that used to go down Harrogate Road. Saint Patrick's Day
procession, Saint Georges Day Held in Bradfords Cathedral & visits to
Manningham Park, Shipley Glen and other local places of interest. Do you
remember the allotments that most families used to provide that extra food
for the table? Remember Littlewoods used to visit house to house selling
clothing through a catalogue? What about the P.O.W’s used for some construction
work going on around 1948-1950 in our area. Remember the various means of
transport, trams to the Undercliffe corporation shops, Red Yorkshire buses,
using Harrogate Road, council buses going down Ravenscliffe Avenue to the
local shopping area. Yes we even had two football teams, Bradford Park
Avenue & Bradford City. One of my only disappointments is not seeing
Bradford City play (Premier League) all the time I have been following them
1939----,(yes I did see them on T.V but its not the same as being there)
it's a long way to go from Australia to see a game of football. In
Australia its called soccer..
Hope this small item is of interest.
Alan Foulstone now living in Melbourne Australia