Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Provident terrace memories dedicated to my mam xxx

1 Provident terrace the place of my birth...or should i say the place that i lived after my Grandma and grandads house.Rosa was 10 when i took her to see her mothers first home mam and dad had a downstairs room and a bedroom they  shared the tiny kitchen with my gran.

It had changed so much the front garden used to be  a tumble of weeds and such an exciting playground it seemed huge at the time.A massive hedge of privet sprouted  behind the garden wall and i remember picking the privet blossom and imagining they were princess s in white as i danced them around  the garden....The front garden was full of Cleavers which we young ones called sticky stuff and it s  tiny  Velcro like balls stuck to our clothes and even our hair!Sunny sunny days spent with my brother  and my cousins who lived in the next street!!

I remembered the fantastic games we played in the cobbled back lane, Monday was wash day and we we had a wash house in the back yard  with a boiler and a poss tub and mangle every housewife done her washing on Monday and i still can remember the smell in the air,   The steam rolling out of the closed wash house door and my mam and gran inside!! The white sheets were slung across the back lane like huge flags blowing in the wind and god help anyone who touched the sheets!!Great big  props hoisted the clean white sheets into the air....

 Rosa is standing in the exact spot of our back lane door...we have a photo of my grandad standing in the same place with his flat cap and waistcoat on a pocket watch dangling from his waistcoat pocket.He worked in the shipyards  and so did my Dad. We had an outside toilet with  a string of newspaper squares  hanging from the huge cistern that to tiny me seemed cathedral like in all its glory ...i still remember the musty smell and the complete blackness  so dark and inky even in the middle of a sunny day.I left the door open a chink the light  hurting my eyes  and i would watch my grandma in the  tiny  kitchen through the window.

The coal house was  next to the loo and i loved it!!!from being tiny i would crawl into the darkness over the coals and just sit ...strange child i was!!!apparently my mam said when i was a baby she would find me in there eating the coal much she went to the doctor and asked if it would make me ill!
The excitement of the coal men calling with their horse and cart full of sacks of coal which they'd lug over their shoulders and toss the contents into the tiny shed....woe betide them if they called on a Monday  the women would be up in arms   NO COAL ON WASHING DAY!!!!the black smuts would ruin the whites hanging up blowing in the wind!

The excitement among the children when we heard the rag man trundling down the back lane shouting RAG AND BONE  RAG AND BONE   and we would  pester my mum and gran for something to take out  because he had balloons  to hand out to any child who brought him something.It was rare in our home as my grandma made proggy mats ...weaving the used clothes into heavy rugs to put down on the lino covered floors!!!In the war they took all the massive railings that surrounded the houses to melt down to make planes.It left little dents in the wall and we would make mikyaka our special name for mud pies which wed serve to the boys tea   just like mam made for dad when he came back from work  dirty and tired   such amazing amazing memories....Rosa's now 10 years older and at university but it feels like yesterday i took her on this special trip!it feels like a blink of an eye since those carefree happy days

A poss tub and mangle

                                             The washouse  

                                       The coal man

                                      Rag and Bone man

                           outside toilet

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