Category Family

Our living room

I love to close my eyes and see our living room full of people when I was the tender age of seven. Had I been able to film it, I would have captured an assortment of events to rival anything offered as ‘home entertainment’ at the DVD store today. Thin Uncle Dave has just opened his […]

Cap and gown

When I reached the magical age of 14 I had had enough of school, and left. It was my hope then that Dad would be happy for me to learn a trade, either as a plumber or bricklayer, but for some reason that didn’t happen. So for the next three months after I left school […]

Walks with my dad

A few scenes with my dad are rather special to me. Times when I discovered something about how he felt; things that helped shape the way I see and feel about things today. I was about eight years of age at the time of the following events. There always seemed to be so very many […]

The rent man

We lived in a stone cottage in Preston in the 1930s – two up, two down – and shared an outside loo with the folk next door. So the rent wasn’t much, one shilling a week, but it still had to be found in the days of the Depression. The rent man was pleasant enough, […]

Sundays and pastry

We didn’t have much in the way of furniture or clothes, etc, during the Depression, but from my point of view we still enjoyed many things as a family. Our Sunday dinners saw the table full of good food and the sideboard loaded with pies or cakes my eldest sister, Hilda, had baked. Hilda faced […]

Take heed lad

My older sister, Hilda, wrote this in the Lancashire dialect she grew up with. When she wrote it I don’t know, but she’d done well at school and won a scholarship of some sort to go to Deepdale Modern School, Preston (now Deepdale County Modern School). She must have enjoyed reading as she read to […]

Black Magic

It was dreary at times, going through the Depression years, but one day I discovered that Dad had a way of his own to brighten things up a bit. When it happened, it would be on a Saturday afternoon. He would suddenly look at me and say, “How about some Black Magic then, Den?” Smiling, […]

I am a father now

I am a father now, I tell you, I was there … feeling and sharing in a secondary way something of the searing pains my dear wife felt that day. * It was interminably long for her as slowly, push by gasping … crying … straining … push those intermittent hot pulsating surges stretched more […]

Shepherd Street Mission Children’s Home

Here’s some more information on the Shepherd Street Mission, Preston, Lancashire, the organisation that ran the Children’s Home where I spent the first six years of my life, along with my two sisters and brother after our mother died. Our father was eventually able to take us home again, more of which I have written […]

My father’s fare-welling eyes

When last I looked on all that was precious to me then, life before me ever widening, so exciting, fighting so strongly those inner young man urges … stay… or… go! and thus my mind in quite a turmoil reasoned.  * ‘I’ll go,’ I’d say, ‘No opportunities available here; nothing really to make me stay.’ […]