News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Growing up on the High Street  (Read 11512 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TonyYoung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Appreciation 11
  • Borden Lab, WARC 1971-1976
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 08:38:59 »
Part 3 – up to infant school

A lot of the memories up to leaving infant school seem to merge so sequences are probably wrong here.
My sister moved into the small bedroom with me when she was about 2years old, after sleeping in a cot in Mum and Dads room. Dad had bought an old bunk bed – all metal frames, metal spring bases and good fun, until I fell off the top bunk to see my sister and suffered a greenstick fracture of my left forearm (they don’t call them greenstick anymore do they?). I remember it hurt like hell and the plaster cast was heavy.  Dad decided it was time for me to move upstairs to my own bedroom at the top of the house – as close to heaven as I could get.

I do remember being taken to school in September 1956 by my mum, and happily saying goodbye, and off to a new adventure. The next day Dad took me and I was in tears for ages! Go figure as a 5 (nearly 6 year old) year old?

After a while, when they were sure I knew the way home, I was allowed to go by myself. It was great, along the High Street to West Street, past the lingerie shop, Davis’s veg shop and sweet shop/newsagent, then the grand Post Office building, the Cedar’s club, the Baptist Church, taking time to look behind to see the Fire Engines at the Fire Station, then past (or rather nip in to) the sweet shop next to Scoone’s motor bikes, the lady in the sweet shop took a shine to me and I received lots of little extras, like cardboard cutout aircraft of BEA and BOAC with a small hole in the tip of one wing, insert a piece of string and whizz them around your head. Great fun! Also, does anyone remember the cardboard disks, generally with serrated outer rim, two holes near the centre, insert string as a loop, twist the disk on the two lines of string and keep pulling the looped ends – the disk spun forever and made an horrendous sound.
 
Anyway, off to school past the Police Station – very carefully cross Park Road. Then past the chemist, another couple of shops then across William St. and past CP Studios Cameras. Then take the high path past the pub, or the low path opposite Pullen’s garage. Finally past the convent and carefully across Ufton Lane, turn left – do not be tempted by Barnes model shop or Barr’s Sweet Shop, get to school – okay along Ufton Lane past the hall where dancing classes were held (uggh – wouldn’t catch me in there).


Then into the school yard – all tarmac and brick, not a blade of grass, or the hint of any plants anywhere. Outside toilet blocks, boys at the North end, girls at the South. Cricket stumps painted on the back playground wall.
 I have to say that I thought the teachers were wonderful, I do not have bad memories of any. Miss Easton was headmistress and a Miss Underwood was involved there as well. The only teacher I remember the name of was a Miss Davies – and I fell in love!

Anyway, now I was meeting other kids and making friends. When some of the boys worked out where I lived, visits were common as the back garden was great and on Sundays we could scale the walls and see what we could find in the back yards of the neighbouring shops. Not a lot of stuff but an adventure!

Some school mates became quite useful, Paul Davis’ mum and dad ran the veg and newsagents just along from 117, Mick Pack’s dad was my dad’s (and my) barber/haircuts across the road in Berry Street and Chris Barr’s dad ran the tobacconist/sweet shop at the bottom of Hollybank Hill.

And of course there were girls….. all very confusing.

Walking to and from school became more of an adventure as I discovered other routes and alleyways, and even into Albany Road Rec to collect conkers in the season. Grand times, but sadly not many school memories except they did teach me to read, write and how to use numbers.

At home life was good. Most of our meals were in the kitchen, it was a long way up to the living room carrying dishes. There was breakfast, lunch and tea – none of this fancy ‘dinner’ stuff. Breakfast in winter was nearly always Scott’s Porridge Oats, but a comination of eggs, bacon, sausages in summer. Lunch was often Shepherd’s Pie and vegetables, tea was sandwiches and sometimes cakes.
On Sunday, though, roast lunch was in the living room, listening to the radio – 2-way family favourites followed by two half hour comedy shows, such as The Clitheroe Kid, The Navy Lark, Hancock’s Half Hour, Beyond our Ken, Round the Horne and many others, wonderful British Comedy and all on the BBC Light Programme. The afternoon radio carried on to Pick of the Pops, followed by the George Mitchell Minstrels who I think translated to TV as The Black and White Minstrels – I may well be wrong in that assumption.

All this was on the Columbia radiogram which Long, Short and Medium wave and a big drawer in the front to play 78rpm records, with a spindle to mount multiple records on.  (See below)

We got a television when I was about 5, BBC only, of course, and a heavy glass lens full of water to sit on the 8inch screen to make it look like a 10 inch screen! – wish I’d kept an eye on that lens, they are worth quite a bit now, I hear.
TV shows during the week closed at three pm after Watch with Mother on Monday, Andy Pandy on Tuesday, Flowerpot Men on Wednesday, Rag,Tag and Bobtail Thursday and the Woodentops (with the BIGGEST spotty dog in the world) on Friday.

The news then started the evening programs at 6pm.

TV shows I remember were Champion the Wonder Horse and Circus Boy.

But, at seven thirty it was off to bed – so good night for now
Life's different upside down

Offline TonyYoung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Appreciation 11
  • Borden Lab, WARC 1971-1976
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 02:22:24 »
Thanks for that Filmer, the Jackson's were there for a long time then, and so were the Ash family, I suspect the stationers had not changed much since the early 1900s. When we were in 117 Ash's had old wooden floors, always a bit dusty, huge (to a 5 year old) counters, beautiful timber with glass tops and pens of all sort - mostly nibs and even quills I remember. As for the assortment of inks, just about every colour - I always bought my ink for my fountain pen (a present when I started at Borden) and Mr Ash gave me a discount!

Shelves full of different parchments and paper - real sizes like foolscap, and so on - not this weird A2 B4 C3 stuff!!!!

I trust the house description matches your memories - you spent a lot of time there.
Life's different upside down

Online filmer01

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
  • Appreciation 9
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 14:48:14 »
A bit of Census snooping.....

Working backwards
1911

117 High Street
William Tress Jackson, 63, Single - Auctioneer, Valuer & Estate Agent (born Newington)

Living with him is his sister-in-law Anne (Meaden?), 59, Single born in Ireland
A female guest, also single and 59, a Professor of music & language (from Sittingbourne??!!)
Two sisters I would guess, Hilda Hales, 25, Cook, & Mary Hales, 19, Housemaid.

Richard Stephen Jackson, 30, Single - Valuer, was a visitor at 42 High Street

Philip Henry Bishop, 46, Married, one child and a general servant, Auctioneers Clerk, lived at 88 West Street, about where Sittingbourne Service Station is now.

115 High Street
Cecil George Ash, 30, Married, Bookseller & Stationer lived with his wife and 3 children.

The parish boudary stops there, all this lot are in Holy Trinity, it then changes to St Michaels.

Interestingly, the house sizes are given in the 1911 Census

115               4 Rooms
117             11 Rooms
119             20 Rooms
121               8 Rooms - also called The Cedars
123             12 Rooms - also called The Lawn

Looks like 117 had expanded over 115

1901

117 High Street

William T Jackson, Head, 53, Single - Auctioneer & Valuer
Richard S Jackson, his Nephew, 20, Single - Auctioneers Clerk
Anne (Meaden?), single, 48, Housekeeper - From Ireland (anyone else getting a little suspicious here??)
Also a 36 year old single Cook, and 20 year old general servant

115A High Street

Shows as uninhabited, tick is in the column "In occupation" infers that the occupants were simply away on that day

115 High Street

Thomas Ash, 56, Married, Bookseller & Stationer (shopkeeper added later)
Sarah his wife, 54 & Cecil their son 20, Bookseller's Assistant

1891

117 High Street

Harriet Jackson, Widow, 75, Head - Living on own means
William T Jackson, son, single, 43 - Auctioneer, Valuer & Estate agent
Anna Meaden, Companion, single, 39 - Ladies Companion (it says in Occupation - just in case you were thinking otherwise)
Also a 26 year old general servant

115A High Street

William Saddleton, Married, 36 - Bootmaker & Leather seller
Also his wife, 3 children (9,3 & 1) and a lodger - 19year old Butcher Arthur Millen

115 High Street

Thomas Ash, 47, Married - Bookseller
No mention of his wife
Three sons, Albert 14, Cecil 11, Roland 7 - all scholars
Also Georgina Luguiens(spell?) 22 year old single neice from Paris, France

1881

117 High Street

Harriet Jackson, Widow, 65 - Anniutant
Arthur Jackson, Son, Single, 29 - Auctioneer
Also an 18 year old general servant

115 High Street

Henry Hinge, 42 - Grocer & Tobacconist
Along with his wife Mary, 36 and 10 children (18,16,14,13,11,9,6,3,2,8 mnths)

1871

117 High Street

John Jackson, 55 - Registrar of Births & Deaths
Harriet his wife, and 4 children (23,22,20,19)
Also an 18 year old general servant

115 High Street

Osmond Reynolds, 35 - Silversmith
Maria, his wife, 33
Also Rachel Hills, 13 - Domestic servant

The trail goes cold at this point as the Jacksons are shown as living at Ivy House in the 1861 Census, can't be far away, but the "Volunteer" is between them and the Police Station, so more Ufton Lane I would suggest.

In 1851 they were in Newington where all their children had been born. However the detail on the early returns is poor, and road names missing let alone house names!

John Jackson signed both the 1851 and 1861 census books covering where he lived, as the Registrar.

Hope you find that interesting

Illegitimus nil carborundum

Offline TonyYoung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Appreciation 11
  • Borden Lab, WARC 1971-1976
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 09:36:31 »
I found this information from the Sittingbourne, Milton, and District Directory 1908/09:

Registrar of Births and Deaths: Mr. William Tress Jackson,
117, High Street, Sittingbourne
Deputy Registrar of Births and Deaths:
Mr. Philip H. Bishop, 117, High Street, Sittingbourne
Gore Court Cricket Club
Hon. Secretary, Mr. R. S. Jackson, junior, 117, High Street, Sittingbourne

Which seems to indicate that the Births and Deaths office was there, and the Jackson family lived there. Still searching for clarification
Life's different upside down

Minsterboy

  • Guest
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 10:12:10 »
What an amazing account of what does look like it was originally one large and posh house. It's always frustrating with older age and greater hindsight how much potential history we were experiencing when much younger, something that we had no interest in learning about at the time. I go mad at times thinking about the long-gone places that I lived amid and the questions that I never asked.
I guess that you could find out about the place by looking at the Census's up to 1911, or Kelly's Directories.

Offline TonyYoung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Appreciation 11
  • Borden Lab, WARC 1971-1976
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 09:33:25 »
Part 2 – the ‘flat’
Calling the residence above Hawksfield’s Offices at 117 High Street Sittingbourne a flat is a complete misnomer.

The building also included Ash’s the Stationer supply shop at 115 but we only occupied the section at 117. At the top of the ‘flat’ (two storeys up was a passage with a door (that was ALWAYS locked – despite my attempts to pick or unscrew the lock, or the hinges). The passage obviously passed into the building part above Ash’s and I sometimes wondered if the house was at one time a rather grand establishment with upstairs being the quarters for household staff. Has anyone any ideas about that?

The garden also seemed to indicate a rather posh layout, outside was on three levels – level 1 immediately behind the ground floor rooms (and above the glasslight in the ground going down to the cellar), level 2 was about 4 feet from the back of the house with two steps up and stretching back a good 12-15 feet, a path on the right following the wall of the kitchen lead to the outside (and only) toilet. If my memory serves well, the next level was separated from level 2 by a tall privet hedge on a bank about three feet above level 2.  Access was by three rather wide ornamental concrete steps at the right hand end – always thought they looked a bit ‘posh’. Level three then went back a good 20-25 feet. This was all walled in with the walls curving up alongside the step up from level 2 to 3. Level 3 also had 3 pear trees trained along the left (East) wall, a large apple tree at the centre rear and a large pear tree just past the three steps up. The 3 (east) trees produced what I now think must have been Bartletts as they always ended up a nice juicy yellow/brown colour. The apples were always nice and red but the other pear tree produced monster pears that were far too big for the hands of a 5-6 year old, they were always green and never seemed to ripen.

I will describe entering the house from the front door:

The main door was top half glass and opened into a small entrance hall, on the left was the entrance to the Coal Office and in front a solid door with two frosted glass panels and the word PRIVATE in big black letters. Entering here you went into a long passageway with one small step up about halfway along (maybe 8-10 feet), on the left as you stepped up was a door leading down to the cellars. Carrying on the passage opened out with two steps up to a hall about twice the width of the passage. Immediately on the left was a staircase going up and back, at the bottom of the stairs on the left was the door into the rear of the Coal Offices, and then a bit further along a storage space in two sections (top and bottom) squeezed the hallway back to another doorway. This lead into a passage to the left that went out to level 1 of the garden, and a door straight ahead into the kitchen.
The kitchen was for us and had a large Aga type oven/stove in the fireplace at the rear centre, at the rear left was a large sink which also passed as a bath for myself and my sister for quite a few years. It could be embarrassing as there was a small window at the top of the wall above the sink looking out to the garden, this window was just outside the toilet and because the garden level was higher than the floor of the kitchen, people could look in.

Now, go back to the stairs going up from the wider passage, they lead up with a twist to the left at the top onto a small stairwell. Going up on the left are four stairs leading to a small room overlooking the kitchen roof - this was initially my bedroom. To the right a single step takes you up to another passage leading off to the right. Immediately on the left is a wall with a stained glass window set in it about 7 feet up. The window swivels on a centre pin and opens over the roof of the next door shop – a ladies lingerie store. I often wondered about that too, why a stained glass window? Unfortunately youth was not that inquisitive and I never did find out its origin and it was lost when the building was demolished.
In front of you now is another door opening up to another staircase, turn right and along the passage on the left are to more door, one that of a cupboard under the just mentioned stairs, the next leading into a front room overlooking the High Street, there as also a large ‘walk in robe’ in the left corner at the front. This room was Mum and Dads bedroom. At the end of the passage another door opened up a long storeroom going back to the wall separating us from next door. To the right of this three steps lead up to ‘the large room’ which became our living room. Two windows looked out to the garden (one overlooked the kitchen roof).

Finally to the last floor. Up the staircase past the stained glass window, the stairs looped back on themselves 180deg and opened onto the passage with the locked door. To the left though was another room rather like Mum and Dad’s bedroom, with a single window over the High Street and a store in the corner big enough for a small car! This room was to become my bedroom after my sister moved into the smaller downstairs room. This also became the model railway room, the airfix aircraft display from the ceiling and the store a part time chemistry lab – but that was after I started school. One last thing was the hatch into the roof just outside this room’s  door – another exciting place to go!

Any architect reading this may have worked out the house was lopsided, from the garden side there were only two floors, but from the High Street three floors were visible. Another huh?? What??

I might call it a day for now – but can you imagine the fun and games for kids in such a large and split up building!!  I must admit to being very sad when we left in 1965, but I did have 12 great years there.

---------------------------------------
After reading that it sounds very like an old DOS based computer game called Adventure - I almost expected to see the word 'Plughh'
Life's different upside down

Offline oobydooby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 138
  • Appreciation 45
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 17:24:58 »
Carry on mate, I'll be hiding behind the sofa for the later episodes - any similarity between me and any hooligans mentioned will of course be totally accidental, honest  :) :)

Hmm. The plot thickens!
©2014 A Hayes

Astronomers always look into the past.

Online filmer01

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
  • Appreciation 9
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 17:21:14 »
Carry on mate, I'll be hiding behind the sofa for the later episodes - any similarity between me and any hooligans mentioned will of course be totally accidental, honest  :) :)
Illegitimus nil carborundum

Offline Lyn L

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1127
  • Appreciation 84
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 13:05:08 »
Yes please TonyYoung  :)
I'm an avid fan of ALL these wonderful Life Stories  :)
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline oobydooby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 138
  • Appreciation 45
Re: Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 10:59:17 »
I am sure there will be interest in your story.  I am looking forward to the next episode.  Keep 'em coming say I. :)
©2014 A Hayes

Astronomers always look into the past.

Offline TonyYoung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Appreciation 11
  • Borden Lab, WARC 1971-1976
Growing up on the High Street
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 06:24:26 »
I thought I might enter the life history writer's guild, if that's okay? Don't worry Filmer, I will pass the next few past to you for censorship!!!

Part One - Very Early Memories
-----------------------------------

I was born in the upstairs front bedroom of a house in Nightingale Road, Dover at 1:20 am on 19th September 1950.  I was told all about it later in life (of course) by various Aunts who were in attendance to my Mum. My ‘Aunt’ Mue hopped on her push bike at the time and cycled down to Dover Engineering Works, to tell my Dad he had a son.
‘Aunt’ Mue in italics as she was originally married to my mother’s brother Claude, who was killed in 1945. Mue later married another good friend of my Dad’s, so they were ‘Aunty Mue and Uncle John’ despite no real family relationship – but lots more of them and my cousin and ‘sort-of-cousin’ later.

My earliest memory is from August  1953 – dated because I can remember my Dad lifting me up to look through the window of the Whitfield Hospital ward to see my new baby sister and my Mum. Matrons did not allow young kids into hospitals back then!  I also remember quite vividly around the same time sitting in a large room looking at a Mobil Pegasus sign leaning on a wall next to a fireplace and Dad telling me this would be our new home. At the time we lived in Chatham, having left Dover in late 1952, but in September 1953 we moved into 117 High Street, Sittingbourne – with the large room from which the Pegasus had been removed. The ‘flat’, as it was always called, was two stories above the Hawksfield Coal (who also sold Mobil Oils – hence Pegasus) offices with a kitchen out back on the ground floor – outside toilet in the ‘huge’ walled garden (at least it always seemed huge) – and a cellar!  An absolute playground for young kids – alright, maybe not for me in 1953, but as I started going to school and getting schoolmates – it was a wonderland of cupboards, hidey-holes and passages indoors, and huge trees to climb in the garden – not to mention walls to climb over and explore the rear sections of neighbouring shops.  More of that later.

Growing up is a bit hazy in my memory but I remember Aunty Dot (Mum’s sister) and Uncle George used to visit regularly from Dover and every year for about three years they took me to Butlin’s – twice to Skegness and once to Filey – not many memories of that – don’t even remember the journeys – I think George worked on the railway so got concessional fares. One memory, I even have a photo of it, was having a huge bird sitting on my shoulder – it was a Cockatoo, and it’s head looked over the top of mine. I do have some autograph books back at my Mum’s in Sittingbourne with several autographs from the Redcoats at the Butlins’ camps – I will look them out next time I go to the UK. Dot and George used to take me back to Dover regularly as well where they lived in Ruskin Terrace on the Buckland prefab estate. Uncle George had the keys for the children’s playground there so I was always treated well by the other kids as he threatened to lock the swings and roundabouts up if anything happened to me.

I also found out (much later) that Uncle George’s visits to Sittingbourne used to coincide with tools going missing from the workshop dad had set up in the cellar. That was why Dad often used to drive down to Dover in the Morris 8 when he knew George was on shift, and the tools were repatriated back to Sittingbourne!

When in Dover I also met ‘Aunty’ Renee and her two daughters – Renee was some number cousin of my Grandmother (Mum’s side) and lived in Glenfield Road – for the first time I remember they had something that I really wanted – a Kaleidoscope. Wonderful – three-D images of all sorts of stuff – Fairy Tales, places to visit – I eventually got one (and still have it) – with picture disks of places in Vancouver, Canada (another Aunt and Uncle emigrated there in the late 50’s), Mickey Mouse stories – amazing!

Anyway, back home at 117 life went on around Dad working for Seeboard (office just across the road on the corner of Crescent Street), and Mum working as secretary for Mr Scott, the manager of Hawksfields in Sittingbourne (Mum walked into the job as she got the house rental agreement from Peter Hawksfield who she used to be secretary for in Dover –not what you know, but who!!)
Part two will describe life in a multistorey playground, coming to grips with ‘new’ technology and starting school (If anyone is interested)
Life's different upside down

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines