Memories In My Life
At 7am on 26th August 1943 in a place called Rose Cottage at School Green, Thornton, Bradford, something stirred.
It was me.
My mother, Hilda, had been waiting for my arrival for the past nine months and now was the time for my big entrance into the world, and, oh boy, I just couldn’t wait.
My grandmother, Nellie, had held a deep fear of hospitals all her life and although my mother was an only child, she just could not bring herself to accompany my mother to hospital. So a close neighbour and friend, Mrs Naylor, had agreed to deputise for her.
As the ambulance arrived, I was well on my way and Mrs Naylor was given a pad to hold me in to prevent my birthplace being forever shown on my birth certificate as ‘in the back …show more content…
I am told that I cried almost constantly for the first six months of my life, but that 's not hard to understand bearing in mind the frustration I must have felt, being so keen to get on with my life and not being able to walk or talk! No wonder I cried all the time!
My first memory was actually two years later when I was at home at number 12, Thorpe Avenue, Thornton, Bradford, playing in the snow. I remember I was wearing a pair of mittens connected to each other by a piece of string that ran up the arm, across the neck and down the other sleeve.
I was busy making snowballs and piling them up into pyramids when a boy came along sitting in a toy train. It had pedals and was green in colour, which perfectly matched the colour of my face. This was some toy. The boy was called Tracy, I remember, a stupid name for a boy I thought, and he drove up to me with an air of superiority. Come to think of it, this will have been a Christmas present for him from his mum and dad, which just about beat my Christmas present of mittens, hand-knitted by my grandma!
It was at this point that I had a cunning plan. My first thought was to use my arsenal of snowballs to pelt him senseless as I knew that ‘mummy wouldn’t like’ him to get involved in something as brutal as a snowball …show more content…
This meant my father travelling each Monday to stay in digs in Bury to give him access to his work in nearby Rochdale, then travelling home across the Pennines each Friday evening.
My parents decided to sell up and take rented accommodation in a large terraced house near to the centre of Bury. My grandmother had a large number of brothers and sisters in Bradford and I can only imagine how hard it must have been to leave them and move to, what seemed then, the other side of the world.
I can hear her now saying, “I’ve just enough money in my purse for the bus fares for me and you to Bradford. Shall we go this weekend?” and off we’d go together.
On arrival in Bradford we’d go to one of her brothers or sisters and she’d leave me at the front door, knock on the door, then hide until the door was answered with “Ee it’s our Tony!”
We’d then spend the entire weekend going by bus from one relative to another. This sounds easy until you realise that I was always a bad traveller and was invariably sick on the bus! However this in no way put off my grandmother from taking me the next time she had “just enough money in her purse”, thank goodness. I loved every