Aireborough Historical Society

Childhood Memories of Jean Lillian Luty


Jean Lillian Luty
Title Childhood Memories
Name Jean Lillian Luty
Gender Female
Date of Birth
Currently Residing Yeadon
Subject
Top Photo: "Me on my bike at the top of Carr Lane, Rawdon."
Upper Middle Photo "A studio portrait of all four of us."
Lower Photo:"Harold at the top of Prospect street outside Grandmas House."
Bottom Photo: "Sitting on a rock at Kirkstall Abbey."

In her own words a few memories from Jean Lillian Luty:

"I was born at home No.4 Carr Lane, Rawdon in a tiny cottage that is no longer there, I must have been early because my first crib was a large dresser drawer.
I can remember that it was really tiny inside the house virtually a one up and down, with a tiny landing bedroom, and an outside privy.
We had some good neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Ingleson, mum had known Mrs. Ingleson or Mary as we knew her a long time, I think from their school days.
I had a baby brother Harold two years later and my mother used to walk to Guiseley with us to the clinic along with any neighbours that were also going, a day out, more leisurely times then, no horrific traffic on the A.65.
Grandma and Grandad Hattersley lived in Prospect Street at this time.
Playing out was no problem, and there were some older girls from the Hogg family , I can remember one was called Sally and they used to take me on walks, they lived on the lane that went round the back of St. Peters parish church, it was Back Lane then.
I was christened there when I was 30 days old, how things have changed.
I was only just over three years old when I went to school, St. Peters, I used to like drawing and making models, one of the things I made was a train with carriages, out of match boxes and sewing bobbins, it was then painted, I do not know how long it took, I suppose it was the nursery class.
We were not very old when we moved to Long Eaton in Nottingham, which you did in those days, because a house usually went with the job, and my father was a builder, he had worked in a few places.
We had a nice house there with a long garden, that went down to a large field and the beginnings of the river ran through it, it was the Erewash ? lots of fun paddling, it was not very deep.
I went to school there, walked all the way there and back, it was quite a long way.
I can remember one day that the teacher sent me home because I had started with a rash, and I walked home alone I was five years old, no phones, but it was quite safe then.
We walked over an iron bridge, over the railway line if the railway crossing gates were closed.

I sometimes went to the co-op for my mum, it used to fascinate me when the assistant put the money into a tube, and it went to the office up above and over some wires to the cash office, it made a lovely clatter as it went along.

In 1940 we came back to Rawdon because our house in Notts. was not far from an ammunition factory and my mother did not feel safe, and I can remember one night seeing a huge balloon in the sky, and searchlights , and of course most people were outside watching.
As usual Grandma Hattersley arranged things and came over, we came back in a large wagon, Grandma, my brother Harold and myself sat in the back of the wagon on the settee, with the top half open, we could see the sky.
My mother was in the front, with my two years old brother Frank on her knee.

Our next house in North Street, Rawdon, number sixteen was scrubbed out all ready to put our things in.
Two large rooms with big fireplaces so it w...as quite cosy, but we had to go down the cellar for coal and there was no electricity. You can guess what we used the cellar for, yes an air raid shelter, the escape route would have been the coal chute.
We had a little table down there so the adults could play cards ,or dominoes, and bunk beds for us to lay on, but we had to use candle light.
Another safety measure was to stick criss cross strips of heavy duty, wide tape on the windows to protect from blast, and also blackout curtains so that no light was showing in the street.
Air raid wardens used to walk the streets at night to check up.

Friday night was bath night, sat in front of the fire in a big tin bath, which lived on a hook in the cellar, for privacy we used a clothes horse draped with a sheet.
Sometimes a Sunday treat was a ride to Horsforth on the bus and then get the tram at New Road Side to Kirkstall Abbey and sit upstairs, you could see the world passing by at a leisurely pace.

We were destined to go to Little London school but it only lasted a week, because my brother Harold did not like it as all the children, two classes, were sat back to back in a large room (personally thinking about it I don’t think that he liked school).
So off we went to the C of E school in Rawdon Town Street for a short while till he was seven years old.
I can remember that it was quite a long way so we had to go on the bus, we went on the little Ledgard ( which was sometime called the Moorfield bus ) which went up Over Lane and along Town Street, but we walked home with some of the older children.
We then went to Littlemoor, when Harold was seven.
My first class was with Miss Busfield, then Miss Bower, we had a big fireplace in this classroom, in winter the crates holding the free milk were put in front of it to melt the ice.
By the time I was eight I had been to five schools, (one of them was twice).
Of course you could not go to school without your gas mask which you carried over your shoulder in a little box, the box also contained your barley sugar stick, I suppose that was in case we had to stay down in the shelter any length of time.
Occaisionally we had air raid training, and went down into the underground shelter which was in the field behind the school.
I did not really like going down there as you had to sit on long wooden benches, and it was quite dark, I suppose that some of the teachers must have had torches.
Basically I think that three of us got on quite well at school, but I can remember that John the youngest, when he was at Little London School used to climb up the coke heap in the yard, climb over the wall and go and play in Micklefield Park, eventually someone would go and tell my mother and she would go and pick him up.

He was always the adventurer, sometimes he would go to Leeds on his own on the bus, stay on it and come back to Rawdon.
I can remember once he came back on the train to Apperley Bridge, when mum asked him how he knew which queue to get in to buy his ticket, he said that he looked for A for Apperley. Needless to say he became a regular in the army, to see the world.

"Christmas’s were a bit sparse, not a lot of money as my father went into the Army after we arrived back in Rawdon, mum had to find little jobs if she could to eke out.
Christmas dinner would be taken at Grandma Hattersley’s, perhaps one or two of their chickens, vegetables from Grandad’s allotment, and to top it off a homemade pudding with the lucky sixpence.
Grandma used to get one day old chicks from the rag and bone man, kept them in the hearth where it was nice and warm, with a tea cosy for them to sleep in.

Grandma used to get up at five in the morning to bake her bread, she had a lot of hungry boys, and then go to work she had a little part time job.
Grandad still worked at this time, for the council, he was the last person to look after the Shire Horses that were stabled in the council yard behind the Coop Stores at Rawdon, being born and brought up on a farm at Kettlesing I suppose he was well suited. If you wanted anything moving just ask Grandad and a horse and cart would arrive at the door, I do not think that any financial arrangements took place with the council.
Grandma was a chatty lady and I was always called Jeannie, but Grandad was very quiet and hardly spoke, said to be from his first world war experiences.

Shopping was done at the Coop who covered everything and the Abbey Stores, there were two bakers shops, Wadsworths and Haiste’s, butchers and Riggs, greengrocers were the Schofield’s and they also had some greenhouses in Micklefield Park, where you could get some lovely tomatoes.
Addy’s were the outfitters where we got a few of our clothes, because you had to use coupons and they did not go very far with four growing children.
Hand me downs were very much the norm, and as a last resort cardboard in your shoes till it was your turn.
There was a room right round the back of the cinema building, I think that it was the W.V.S. that ran it, and they had quite a lot of clothes in there, and I once went and got a hat and coat.
I used to like going to the Co-op, you stood in the middle of the store, and the assistants were on two sides, when a customer left one of them would shout next and you would move over.
The chemist was Mr.Hopper next to the Abbey Stores and he used to live in a big house behind his shop, it is now a restaurant, Peasehill House.
Both the doctors and the dentist were down Micklefield Lane. Sweets and chocolate were in short supply, because we had only two ounces each per week owing to the coupons.
One thing that was free though was the orange juice and cod liver oil, and milk powder for the babies (National Dried ) which you had to get from the Food Office which was based in the stable block at Micklefield House, over the library, it was usually my job to collect it and go to the library as well.
There was also a selection of shops on New Road Side (A65).
One shop on either side of the cinema, an off-license at the bottom of South Street, a wooden hut Mr. Bellerby a grocer opposite it, on the corner of Low Fold.
The fish and chip shop Raistricks at the bottom of North Street, Mrs. Snow at the bottom of Derby Road she sold bits of everything, and then Mc.Dermids decorating shop two doors further down.
Often we went into the slaughter house behind the shop at Rigg’s, and I can remember seeing meat hanging up on hooks, but my favourite thing was watching them make sausages.

Getting back to school I quite enjoyed it , and Sunday School, at the Methodist Chapel, as well as religion it was part of our social life ,concerts, bazaars, the clinic for babies, the Sunday school trip to Bolton Abbey was always a day to look forward to.
Dancing at the Temperance Hall, as well as the Empire Picture House, which changed its programme twice a week.
I can once remember Gypsy Petralingo coming and he had a lovely caravan parked in their car park at the side, to tell fortunes I think.

On Harrogate Road, on the edge of Littlemoor Park there was an air raid shelter, brick built, it was quite large, but I do not know if it was ever used.
It was too dark and spooky inside so I kept well away.

My last teacher at Littlemoor was Miss Hickinson and this is when lessons started to get serious and I sat for my scholarship, we had to go to Aireborough Grammar School for this and I remember that six girls passed out of our class.

I went to Grammar School age ten, and I suppose all in all apart from a few air raids we had an idyllic childhood apart from a father far away, and he did not come home from the war till 1947, as he was a skilled craftsman, he was asked to stay on in Germany to help with the rebuilding programme.

Jean Lillian Luty.




Written July 2013

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