Friday, 29 March 2013

Life before money

Hi, The weather has picked up a bit here in North Lincolnshire. Spring has almost sprung, and I have a line full of washing wafting gently in the breeze. Temperatures are a lot higher than yesterday, it won't be long before I am peeling off a few layers. Whoa, steady on, it's not that warm, ha ha.
In response to Anon who has requested some more oldie photo's, I've dug out a few, with a little bit of a story behind them. I was brought up in a Council house on an estate. Today they call it Social Housing, and the new houses are built much closer together. We had lots of room on our estate, a big garden and space to roam about the village and the countryside.
So, who's in this photo? It was taken in January 1965 by me, at the front of the house next door. On the left is Bob who lived there. On the right is Jack, his nephew who came to visit. My mum, brother and sister are in the middle. Jack had gone through the process of applying to emigrate to Australia, I seem to remember that they had a scheme where people could go for £10. He came to say cheerio as it wasn't long before his leaving date. We were all very sad to say goodbye, but wished him well in his new life. He made a promise to us before he left, he said he was going to buy a farm and when he was established he would send for us. We were so excited to think that we might be going to join him later. We talked about it for ages after, to anyone who would listen. Sadly he never did send for us.
I was totally in love with Jack, he was very handsome. I wonder what happened to him.
When we left the council estate, mum found the four of us somewhere else to live. She didn't have much money, living off the maintenance payments from dad, and a little bit from the part time job she had in a factory canteen. She found us a small three bedroom terrace house with no bathroom, no hot water, and no heating. We had a gas fire in the living room that was all. There was a draught coming through all the window frames, and a big hole in the rotten floorboards just inside the front door, which we couldn't use for fear of falling through it. 
This is me tidying my bedroom. There is no plaster on the wall behind me, and the furniture is a mishmash of all kinds of handmedowns and cast offs. On the left you can just about see a bit of the tea chest which I used for a cupboard/table. It has a blanket over the top of it to try and hide the unsightly wooden box.  
Our house was next to a pub called The Black Horse, we never went in there. Mum didn't like pubs after being forced to go to my dad's local for years. On the other side of us were Tom and Mavis, their two girls, and Mavis's mother. They had this lovely German Shepherd called Joker. He was so gorgeous, mum loved him. Our row of houses was like those  you see on Coronation Street, only we were on a busy road.
We had very small back gardens, and the toilet was in a shed outside the back door. Bloomin cold in the winter with the wind whistling under the door. I can remember sitting there reading the squares of newspaper hanging on a nail on the inside of the door. Over the back wall was a factory yard. Roberts and Birch made meat products, I worked there for a while. On a Sunday night a lorry would arrive with a load of squealing pigs. The noise was horrendous, I'm sure they knew they were going to be slaughtered. I got the sack from the factory as it was upsetting me so much and making me feel sick. This was the start of me thinking I ought to become a vegetarian.
So here I am at age 18, (1967) leaving home to go and live in Blackpool. All my worldly possessions in one small plastic case and a plastic carrier bag. Hair dyed, back combed and laquered, wearing my green woolen coat and brown suede calf length boots.
Mum walked with me to the railway station, our little dog Nipper came along as well. Time to go out into the big wide world and start the rest of my life. I was so excited. Mum was very upset. 
I will maybe find some more pics another time, don't want to bore you to death.
My lunch for today, the plate is now clean, I have scoffed the lot. An advocado pear, four mushrooms, banana, melon, strawberry, more melon, pieces of apple, served on a bed of spinach, with a small tub of yogurt which came with the prepared fruit. Lipsmackin fantabulous.
I will only have a light snack later as I'm going out for a meal tonight, with my friends. It's been three months since we last met up at Arties Mill, so time for another get together and chinwag. I have no plans for this Easter, might go out somewhere, might not. I will do what ever takes my fancy, don't I always, ha ha. I hope you have a nice holiday with whatever you are doing. Toodle pip.

33 comments:

  1. Hi Illona,
    Patricia here.
    My goodness you haven`t changed in those photos. Your life in that very small house, reminds me of all the school holidays, I spent staying with my Grandmother. We didn`t have much, but boy did she spoil me. She was almost blind and I was her constant companion. She instilled in me the morals I have today. Much the same as yours.
    Enjoy your evening.
    Patricia Brambley

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  2. Those are wonderful photographs!

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  3. I love the photo of you walking off to your new life!
    Jane x

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  4. Thanks for the stories along with the photos! I love knowing the stories behind the faces. :) (P.S. Jack IS very handsome!! :D)

    My only Easter plan is to try and get some seeds into my containers outside. I'm a bit worried the frost might get them, but I do have a lot of seeds and not much room, so if they die I can always try again!!

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  5. Loved your story and photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Sylvia

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  6. Lovely photos, I could look at old snaps for hours LOL Just taking a break from reading through your archives and enjoying them very much. BTW, congratulations on your 600th follower - I've been one myself for quite a while but hadn't read back through past years. Dianne

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  7. Your childhood home sounds just like the one I grew up in. I can remember reading the newspaper squares too. No hot water, no bathroom and an outside loo. Oh how I love my shower and warm bathroom now. It is and will always be my luxury.

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  8. Hello Ilona and all, from House fairy

    Love the old photo's of times gone by.How times have changed. I remember my family getting a colour tv and telephone in the house.
    My own children, now adults will remember first computers and mobile phones.

    I do not really remember family. When I was small my family moved from up north to down south and cut us the children from all family ties.

    Still we cannot go backwards and have to move forward. I wish the summer heat would hurry up, I am fed up of being cold.

    Take care and have a lovely evening out.

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  9. I love those photos Ilona, brought back memories of our first house - no bathroom and a scary outside loo. I remember scraping ice off the inside of the windows too, the only heating was a gas miser in the middle room. There may have been one in the front room but we only went in there at Christmas so it's hard to remember.... When we moved to a new house in 1966 with an inside bathroom and a hall heater we thought we were very posh!
    You were very spunky going off to Blackpool at only 18. I left home at 21, I bought my first house then, couldn't do it nowadays, I had a good job and wasn't too far from home..... Looking forward to seeing any more piccies you can find :0)
    Hope you had a nice meal this evening....

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  10. Ilona, you are soooo not boring. This is really interesting. Isn't it funny, well I find it so anyway, that only 40 years ago the world seemed such a different place!?!

    My father came out to Australia as a ten pound Pom. His whole family came - two sisters, one brother, mother and father. Some settled, some had itchy feet and never felt right in either place - here or England and always jumped back and forth. Like you I have a German mother. She too came to Australia on a boat but it wasn't as cheap as the assisted English migration. Mum came here in 1960. A different world.

    Weren't you brave walking into your future, moving away on your own with so little possessions? You Look so excited, so full of hope. And when you are young you don't need material backing to go out into the world, your desire is enough.

    Give us more, please.

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  11. Love the photos, keep posting those oldies, no you've not changed. Love that plateful. Just my cup of tea.

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  12. Hi Ilona, Really enjoyed that. I've lived in houses like you're terraced one and that wasn't so long ago. Things haven't changed so much for single mums. Loved your photos.

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  13. Happy Easter Ilona. I love the old photos, they remind me of my youth. Hope you enjoy your night out.

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  14. From Nancy in Northern California ~ I love how someone took a photo of you actually leaving for Blackpool with your mom and dog (not a posed photo but very real with you walking with your suitcase down the street). Did you go to Blackpool by yourself and with a job waiting? It was so different in the 60's compared to now (finding employment/apartment in another city). And am really looking forward to more of your photos from long ago. Thanks for sharing all of this about yourself.

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  15. Hi Ilona, this is Joyce (the same anon who asked for old photos). Thank you so much for opening up the family album. You are a terrific storyteller. That photo of you and your Mum walking to the station was very poignant. And you looked smashing in those boots!!

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  16. Goodness I'd have been totally in love with Jack as well - what a handsome dude! I reckon the cold conditions moved away from Lincolnshire and down to Devon yesterday. Still blooming freezing here! x

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  17. I think those of us born in the era of outside nettys , no bathrooms, no CH etc have an easier time going back to frugality because we servived.

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  18. Ilona,
    What a treat this has been. Thanks for sharing your pics with us, really enjoyed them and especially your writing about them.

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  19. I loved your post. The photo's were fantastic.

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  20. love your photos and the poignant stories behind them. More please!

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  21. I so enjoyed the pictures! You looked so happy to be starting out on your own. You turned out well!

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  22. Fascinating stuff, Ilona. I can remember the pigs squealing at the place when I was a kid. You stood at the train station and could hear. I went there as a vegetarian student when it converted to Kerry Foods. Desperately needed the money but not my finest hour as an animal lover! Have you any pictures of Burton? Would be thrilled to see : ) Keep up with the frugal living. You are truly an inspiration that there is life outside of money : ) Best wishes, Louise

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    1. Hi Louise. Sadly I didn't take any photo's of buildings and places, my photo's are of people.

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  23. Hi Ilona,Im curious to know what happened next ,after you got on the train ,not at all bored wish you had gone on ,maybe another entry ?..love Jan xx

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    1. Patience Jan. More instalments to follow :o)

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  24. I loved this post Ilona. What a handsome chap your neighbour was! xxx

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  25. Love the old pics. My parents are your age and I always love seeing pics from the late '60's. You were stylin! :)

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  26. I wasn't bored at all...your story was quite interesting, and the old photos a delight to look at.
    You're lucky to have a photo of you going off into the world.

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  27. Not boring at all. Show us some more!!x

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  28. I hope is it ok to send you a message on these older post,but i just want to say how much i have enjoyed looking at your old photos.You havent altered!,The photo of you in your bedroom made me smile ,cause all the ...trendy places...in London have exposed brick walls now!,So much enjoying all your post,Thanks,Debi,Leic,x

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  29. I hope is it ok to send you a message on these older post,but i just want to say how much i have enjoyed looking at your old photos.You havent altered!,The photo of you in your bedroom made me smile ,cause all the ...trendy places...in London have exposed brick walls now!,So much enjoying all your post,Thanks,Debi,Leic,x

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  30. Beautiful photo's! I am hoping I find some more of Jack in later posts, I might be drooling all over my keyboard!

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    1. Hi. Never saw Jack again. He went down under, and didn't come back.

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