moved to Pontefract when I was two years old. My Dad had a job at the
local brickworks located down on Ladybalk Lane which in days gone by,
used to be known as Brickyard Lane. Women used to work there as well and
we used to call them the Brickyard Fairies. On an evening local tramps
used to sleep there taking advantage of the warmth.
Round the corner where we lived you
would find Martha who used to sell sweets from her home. She lived alone
and would invite you round anytime. We used to like to go and sit on her
Opposite the bus station was Bullock's shop where
you could buy almost anything. We used to go there to buy sweets before
going to school.
There were some houses down the side of the shop
where a quaint lady called Lizzie lived. She was very tiny and used to
have a big bag with her and wore a hat with cherries on. She was always
picking rubbish up or kicking it out of the way. She used to like
wearing brooches and would always ask you if you’d got one.
the school was Mr. Whitehead who used to mend your shoes. He used to
have them piled up so high but he could always find them for you in a
used to go to Booths shop opposite All Saint’s Church for a penny
drink and then, on the opposite side of the road, we would go for a
stick of root liquorice.
remember my mother used to save jam jars for us so that we could have a
ride on the roundabout, which used to come most weeks. Mr. and Mrs Gilligan owned it.
On a Friday we would listen for a bell ringing and it
would be Mr. Varley with his pots and pans which he would have hanging
up round his van. He also used to sell vinegar and he used to fill a
bottle for you.
We used to get our vegetables from Mr. Raine who
would come round with his horse and cart. The horse would always have a
feast off the privet hedge. My sister Joan and I used to work at
Dunhills' sweet factory and on a Friday we would buy cigarettes for one
of the old men who lived at Northgate Lodge. They used to go round
picking tab ends up and putting then in a tin.
used to like it on a Saturday when my Granddad used to call and give us
each sixpence for the pictures. Granddad used to have an allotment where
he grew carnations and we used to go round selling them for him and he
would give us money for sweets.
the Queen got married surplus food was made up into parcels and
distributed to widows. I remember my mother got one containing tins of
fruit and meat etc. It really was a luxury in those days – it wasn’t
often you got anything like that. They were hard days but good ones and
everybody used to help one another.
Cynthia Dickson (nee Fox)