1 Provident terrace the place of my birth...or should i say the place that i lived after my birth....my Grandma and grandads house.Rosa was 10 when i took her to see her mothers first home ...my 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....
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 ...so 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 ....as 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 coal man
Rag and Bone man