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The War Years

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Mazfromnorf Report 25 Feb 2008 16:35

Nudge dont forget this thread maz


Jac Report 25 Feb 2008 17:00

Lol Jean - the chamberpots were the ancestors of today's "en suites"!

Lovely thread this - I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Thanks to all for their memories!



ChrisofWessex Report 25 Feb 2008 18:17

Old habits carry on in 1963 I had some beautiful poplin shirts of my fathers and I used them to make miniature shirts for my 3yr old son. Remember being stopped by someone and asked where I had bought them so lady could get some!

Jean (Monmouth)

Jean (Monmouth) Report 25 Feb 2008 19:20

We had a radio , lucky people! It was powered by an accumulator, which was rather like a glass motor cycle battery. We had two of these and each Friday would take one into the garage in town to be charged , then took the other one in the next Friday for the same thing, bringing home the recharged one so that we could listen for another week.
As we had no water laid on at our one down two up cottage , all washing up was done in an enamel or tin bowl on the table, leaving the clean dishes to dry on a tin tray, this was all done by the light of an oil lamp. We children were sat on the table and washed with a flannel. At the weekend Mum lit the fire under the copper in the outhouse to boil enough water for us all to have abath in the galvanised bungalow bath, cleanest in first! Then she used the rest of the water to do the weekly wash.
We went back to Folkestone at the end of the war to a house with cold running water and gas lighting, no electricity. My mother and brother lived in that house until 1955 and nothing changed except that the radio was cable from radio rentals. Jean


MacTheOldGeezer Report 25 Feb 2008 20:38

Blimey Jean,

Compared to you, We lived in luxury in our 2 bed Council Flat, we even had an inside toilet and bath
What we did have that was handy was a Range with an oven in our front room where we could cook in the winter to save Gas

When we went on summer holidays to Gateshead and Whickham, (just outside Gateshead), they had outside loo's in their Pit houses, No lighting, you had to do everything in the dark at night times and even in the summer they were damp & cold

Of course every night we had a gozunder under the bed to save going outside and getting feet wet etc


Auntie Peanut

Auntie Peanut Report 25 Feb 2008 21:15

Having just had my sixth birthday when the war broke out, I was at the age when all things were possible, and I truly believed that the people whose voices I heard coming from the wireless, were actually in there.
My favourite broadcaster was an Arab gentleman riding an all white horse whose name (the Arab, not his horse) was El barney del.

It was some years later (when I was about fifteen) that I realised that my wartime hero was not El barney del, but Alvar Liddell, a news reader.

Still chuckle to myself when I think about that. lol



MacTheOldGeezer Report 25 Feb 2008 21:24

This is the six oclock news and this is Alvar Liddell reading it



BrendafromWales Report 25 Feb 2008 22:31

What a lovely voice Alvar Liddell had.
Also Valentine Dyall.....the man in black,who used to scare me,and I would imagine all sorts of things when I went to bed,but didn't stop me listening!


Fairways3 Report 26 Feb 2008 14:33

The 9 o'clock news used to be broadcast to N.Z.through waves of static but Big Ben chiming was always the first thing you heard . We had to go to the pictures every Saturday night to see what was happening overseas. The newspaper had lots of pictures but you never knew how old they were.
When the U.S. Marines arrived it was like a bit of Hollywood. They had uniforms for just about every climate in the world and they would wear bits of all of them and when they took the young girls out in our neighbourhood they all seemed to have a jeep or a vehicle of some kind to go out in. As kids we used to sit outside one house around the corner from us and watch them arrive with their corsages of flowers and boxes of candy. Very glamourous. They were very well mannered. The local lads couldn't get a look in.
Just before they were all shipped off and that Battle of Tarawa was fought up in the Pacific Islands somewhere every young girl around us from seventeen upwards married a yank and about three weeks later they were all widows. That was very sad, such a waste of fine looking young men.
We used to hover around the local phone box with two pennies and wait for an american to come to use the phone and they would swap us two florins for two pennies, then we would all run to the shop for an ice-cream. Ice cream must have been made with honey because it was a fawn colour. They advertised it as ice cream gone into wartime camoflage. Chocolate bombs appeared then too. Bomb shaped ice creams with an imitation chocolate coating. They were served in ice cream cones and the shop assistant would pick them out of the container with her fingers, put them into the cone and pass them to us. Hygiene wasn't much in fashion then. Nothing was ever wrapped or picked up with tongs no wonder we used to get occasional bouts of "the devil's grip" or bad stomach aches.
There was a big army camp a few miles from us and we used to run around the block to the Main Road, steal apples out of an orchard that had a big house and garden and a high wooden fence all around it then sit on the fence eating apples and watching the convoys of trucks and guns and tanks that rumbled up and down the road.


Harry Report 26 Feb 2008 20:48

With the mention of Alvar Liddell and reading the news. My favourite was Bruce Belfridge.
Another radio programme perhaps worth a mention was the "Man born to be king" - a beautiful subject (Jesus) and all delivered with perfect diction, but of course that was the BBC in those days.

Happy days

Jean (Monmouth)

Jean (Monmouth) Report 27 Feb 2008 19:31

Mac, it may seem bad now , but at the time we knew no one in any better conditions. I remember the blacklead stove which had an open fire with a dropdown lid to stand pots on. You could also close up the front of some. We cooked in the oven at the side and jolly good cookers they were if you had a good draw in the chimney and no downdraft. I have seen these stoves with a boiler at the side, holding about a gallon of water. You filled it from the top, and there was a tap at the bottom .

My mother used to help with the harvest on the nearby farm, and at haymaking time we used to go with her. My5yr old brother would be lifted up onto the back of the Clydesdale pulling the hay wagon and I at 9yrs old, would be given the reins to hold to walk the horse up and down the rows while the adults pitched hay up onto the cart .
Before we got the cottage we had lived in digs, sharing houses with people who did not want us in their homes. They had no choice because if they had a spare room they had someone billeted on them. Jean


BrendafromWales Report 27 Feb 2008 19:57

The mention of the black leaded stove has stirred my memory again.
We had a back to back oven.This was an ordinary fire in the front room,and a blackleaded oven in the kitchen,with about 3 rings on it,and you could pull a damper and the fire would draw right to the oven,in fact you could lift these rings and see the flames underneath.

My mum made all her own bread in this oven.It was regularly polished with Zebo.(You can still get this,as I got some a couple of years ago to polish a fire basket for flowers)
The water was always boiling hot,and I remember my mum running the hot water off as it rumbled,as she should have been a stoker!!!
My bedroom was always warm as the pipes ran under the floor so the lino wasn't cold.


MacTheOldGeezer Report 27 Feb 2008 20:05

Thats the same kitchen range we had

Dad didn,t go much on it.

If he was late home from air raid warden duties his dinner was all dried up and the tea in the pot on the front was stewed

He had to drink it because there was no way it was going to be wasted

I can remember during a Air Raid I was under the dining table with the lady from upstairs and her dog when the bombs were dropping,The doors and windows were rattling and in one near one we got covered in soot when it all came down the chimney and out of the Range all over us

I can't remember where my parents were but Dad was probably on duty at the Post



ChrisofWessex Report 27 Feb 2008 23:50

Do not know about the war years I had a range like that in quarters on IOW in 1960! Going by the other wives I knew I was the only one who blackleaded the range and used steel wool on the decorative bits! And a bath in the kitchen!


GinaS Report 28 Feb 2008 02:10



Lancsmade Report 28 Feb 2008 06:47



MacTheOldGeezer Report 28 Feb 2008 20:07

I had a meal tonight to bring back memories of the war years

I had TRIPE...........Delicious

Get some more from Doncaster Market on Saturday



Abigail Report 28 Feb 2008 21:54

Oh now you're making me feel poorly Mac!

This is a superb thread (I know I have mentioned this before).

Please keep it coming, I would especially like to hear about people going dancing and what you did in the evening in your "spare time!"

I don't watch very much TV and mostly craft if I am not doing chores.


ChrisofWessex Report 28 Feb 2008 23:07

Mac - I can see my father eating tripe and onions now - Mum used to simmer it in milk - looked revolting and he also liked winkles - do not know which was worse the winkle or the pin!


BrendafromWales Report 28 Feb 2008 23:08

I was too young in the war to go dancing etc.
A lot of time was spent around the fire in the winter listening to the radio,or playing board games,and when we visited my gran who lived on the other side of town,which took an hour to get to on a bus and a tram,we would play cards like whist and rummy and old maid for halfpennies,and my mum would go to the off licence with a jug to get draught beer for my granddad and grandma.
Then when we had finished playing cards,my gran would sing all the old songs,verse after verse.
I still remember a lot of them.We would sit just in the firelight which would shine on all her polished brasses around the fireplace.
My aunt,who was only 9 years older than me went dancing,and would dress up.I used to watch her putting make-up on,and combing her hair into"up sweeps" which were very popular in the war years.
I had long ringlets,which were mother's pride and joy,and I didn't have it cut from being 3 till I was 14 when I rebelled and used to push it down into my coat,as folk used to say what lovely hair,and it embarassed me.
One day,I was out with my aunt and her friend,and I was telling them that I wanted to have my hair cut,so they took me into a hairdressers,and had it cut.Boy did we get in trouble when we got back!!
Mum and I used to make duchess sets for the dressing table.We crocheted some,and my dad made a frame with nails all round,and we would wind either cotton or silk across both ways,and then knot them from underneath.When all the knots were done,we would cut it off the frame and brush out the fringe.
We also made small blankets with odd bits of wool.My gran made a hearth rug by cutting out all her old stockings into strips ,which weren't as fine as nowadays,and knitting a rug with very big needles and as it grew it got heavier and heavier.She finished it though!
Make do and mend was the key,and I don't think that ever leaves you.I still think"What could I make with this"

Forgot to tell you that I took my curls to a wig maker in town and got 7s6d for it!!