BarnsleyandFamily

Barnsleymemories

 

The war had just finished and he had been allowed a months leave. He had fought in the North African Campaign and then in Italy and was at the Battle of Monte Casino . The month flew by, and when we went to see him off, ( he had to go back to Italy for another six months), I was carried kicking and screaming from the Railway Station.

 The Court House Station (which is now a pub), in Regent Street, Barnsley.

This was the Station known as the "bottom" Station, the other one being Barnsley Court House, which was accessed from Regent Street.


 

He was demobbed under the Class 'B' system, which meant that if the need arose, then he would be one of the first to be recalled back into the army. It wasn't long before I heard the exciting news that I was to have a new
sister or brother, but before this big event in my life took place a trauma was heading our way. My mother was seven months pregnant, and I awoke during the middle of one night in November 1946 to the sound of rushing water,
and people shouting outside. I could here my mother and Dad struggling to get something up the stairs, it transpired later that it was their precious radiogram, which they had bought just before the war had started. It had been kept at my Aunt's until we could have a house with electricity. My mother used to send "The Melody Maker", music newspaper to my Dad, whilst he was overseas and he would write and ask her to try and buy certain records for him, for when he came home. I am digressing a bit now, but this love of music which was shared by my Mum & Dad was passed to me, and many's the time Mum & I

went to Days record shop, to see if the ordered records had arrived. By the time he came home, Dad had a fairly good collection, mainly jazz records and Bing Crosby. ( He wasn't too thrilled when he learned that I had made a plant pot out of one of his prized jazz records).
To return to the flood, it was a miracle that it had happened when it had, if it had been a few hours later, then all we children would have been on our way to school. the flood in Burton Grange in 1946, The flood was caused by the canal at Monk Bretton, bursting it's banks and the water gushed down to the lowest point, which is where we lived. There could have been a real tragedy,
it was bad enough all of our furniture being ruined, all the baby clothes, which my mother had so lovingly knitted were ruined and most of my clothes as well. They were always kept downstairs, where it was warmer. Help came at last, and I climbed out of the back bedroom window, with the help of a fireman and I was rowed across the back garden

I recently found a notebook, which contained some of my mum's memories, which she had written in 1992, she writes about the flood and how it affected her, I have put it into another chapter of the website.
 

to the railway embankment, where people were standing, eager to help. All I had on, in the form of clothes, was my nightie and a hat, which I had been given, I looked behind and saw my mother being helped out of the window, and I learned afterwards (about 10 years) that Dad had whispered to the fireman that Mum was pregnant and she was too shy to mention it herself. That was the last they saw of me all day, notices were posted in all the shops in Lundwood, "Has anybody seen Mary Feeley"?
A very kind lady called Mrs. Hayes had taken me in and dressed me in her daughter Enid's clothes.
We were re-united in the early evening of that very distressing day. My mother ended up in St. Helen's Hospital with bronchitis, and shortly afterwards my brother John was born on the 20 February, 1947, this was the year of the big freeze, the winter to end all winters.


I adored my brother from the moment I was allowed to hold him in the taxi, when we brought him home, and I still do. Three years later my sister Elizabeth made an appearance, and once again, I was thrilled to bits to have yet another new baby in our midst. It had always been my Mum & Dad's ambition to live at Wilthorpe, where my mum had lived for 4 years before they were married. On the 5 May 1951, this ambition was achieved, by this time, I had passed my 11+ exam ( that was a miracle) and was attending Barnsley Girls' High School. We lived at 27 Wilthorpe Crescent, and life jogged along, very pleasantly for the next few years, I left school two weeks short of my 16th birthday, and then I was to find out what life was really all about.

BARNSLEYANDFAMILY

During the war years I was constantly with my cousins and we would get up to all kinds of mischief, one thing we did and received a well deserved smack for doing it, was to go down some of the streets off Sackville Street, push our fingers into the cardboard top of the full milk bottles and drink the cream from the top of the milk. 

    Fitzwilliam Street, Barnsley, was the scene of the crime.  We used to poke our finger through the milk bottle tops, this one looks as if we have been attacking it.

This was soon stopped when we were spotted and our mothers were told. We were confined to barracks for quite a while for that one.


When my Dad was " called up" into the army, as young as I was, I thought it was the end of the world,

 

for over 4 years I carried the dread that I would never see him again.

I was one of the first children in Barnsley to have the whooping cough inoculation and remember my mother taking me to the Town Hall to have the injection. We went into a room on the first floor and we were seated on some very tall chairs.

 

(I didn't find out the reason for these chairs until I started working there. The accountants used to sit at very high benches with huge ledgers into which all the accounts of the Borough were entered, therefore they had to have very high chairs.)

My mother had worked at Hickson, Lloyd & King, at Redbrook as a weaver before I came along, and when my Dad went into the army, because they hadn't any debts, she only received the basic army pay of about 22/- per week. It became necessary for her to return to work, she did this very reluctantly, and I was looked after by Mrs Brown of 2 High Street, Westgate.
Sometimes I would be taken down to the mill and allowed to watch the weavers, it was very hot and noisy. This Company was famous for weaving Barnsley Linen, I still have a tablecloth which is about 63 years old. I became spoiled by Mrs. Brown and when my mother came home from work, I was a horror, so after a while she gave her job up.

I can remember falling one day, landing on a rusty nail, I had to go to Beckett Hospital for 3 stitches in my forehead, and I still have the scar to prove it. I screamed the place down, no local anesthetic in those days. Beckett Hospital was situated opposite the top of the ginnel, where we lived. There used to be a very narrow path between the hospital and S. Mary's Church burial ground,

   The path can be seen under the over hanging trees by the side of Beckett Hospital.

this lead to Fairfield House at the top, which was to become the School of Art. I played for hours with my cousins in the Burial Ground, hide & seek and dobby amongst the tomb stones, monuments and graves. It never occurred to us to be scared, we just enjoyed ourselves.

Above this photograph was taken in front of the old "School of Art" and overlooks the park, which used to be St. Mary's old burial ground.

The building which is now the Cooper Gallery,

 

originally was Barnsley Grammar School - no, I cannot remember that, but I do remember it being an annexe of Beckett's, for patients who were getting better. By the way there is still a path between S.Mary's Church and the Cooper Park.


 

On Saturdays we were allowed to go to the "pictures", usually the Princess at the bottom of Racecommon Road, affectionately known as "the Prinny". "Old Mother Riley" was our favourite and Frank Randall. Sometimes we were allowed to go to the "Pav", Pavilion.

  Old Mother Riley with Kitty McShane

My cousins Jack & Tony used to try and go without me, but I would always catch up with them, they muttering under their breath, why has our Marty got to come every time.


Churchfield had streets running from it, Roper Street, North Pavement (where the Spiritualist Church was), School Street, where my Dad's local pub was "The Black Boy".

  V.E. Celebrations, a street party which was held in Roper Street, outside my dad's local, "The Black Boy".

Mrs Stanley was the landlady and she
used to hide me under her kitchen table if my Dad had gone in for a sneaky pint. (this was just before he went into the army.


When I was just turned five years old, I had a big change in my life, my mother had been trying to get a Council House for a long time, the cottage had been condemned just before the war, but all new building ceased once the war started. Eventually she managed to get an exchange and we went to live in Lang Avenue, Burton Grange, I had to leave S. Mary's Infants' School and go to Littleworth. We were both very unhappy at this time, it felt as if we had
emigrated, the buses were so infrequent, and I felt isolated from my cousins and aunts.
However, on my first day at Littleworth School, I met my friend Pamela Fisher (nee Thorpe). She drew me a little dutch girl to try and stop me from crying and a friendship was formed which has endured ever since. I soon settled down, after this, but still fretted for my Dad to come home.

   Pam Thorpe           Pam Thorpe and Mary Feeley - 1948

We used to write to him nearly every day,
and I still treasure the letters which he sent home to me. I have also in my possession most of the letters which he sent to my
mother, and there is a wealth of history contained in those pages.

Letters from overseas.

My Dad was a prolific letter writer, I have said earlier that I have letters which he wrote to me whilst he was on Active Service, overseas, which I treasure. My mother received lots of letters from him, and it was the highlight of the day, when we received some. Whilst we living in the cottage in Church Lane, I would stand at the top of the ginnel with my mum, and if the post lady was smiling, then we knew that she had a letter (letters for us). As an aside, they were nearly all post ladies, because, the men were either in the Forces or working down the pit. Sometimes it would be a single air mail, where Dad used every inch, writing down the side and his writing was so small. Some days there was the bonus of the Green Envelope (pictured),

it is obvious why they were called Green Envelopes, because of the colour of the print. These envelopes were strictly rationed in the Forces, because, a). up to three letters could be included, and b) they were uncensored, the sender signing on his honour that they were private and to the effect that there was nothing in them which the enemy could use, against the allies.We used to receive more than the normal ration of these Green Envelopes, Dad was so keen to write to us that he used to swap cigarettes for other soldiers' allocation. Sadly some of the men had no-one to write to, for a variety of reasons. Dad used to have his leg pulled by some of the men, saying "we know that you can't be married, because you are always writing home". I wish I could extract some of the experiences that Dad had during the war, from his letters, but there are so many of them, that it would be an enormous task.  Below is a picture of the front and back on one of them.  The front has the censor's stamp, which meant that the censor had read it, to make sure that it contained no information which would help the enemy.

The back has the declaration, which all service men had to sign on every letter, which was sent home, it read,

"I certify on my honour that the contents of this letter refer to nothing but private and family matters"

Signed J. Feeley

 

 


  

 

 



One night I was fast asleep in bed and I felt a tap on my shoulder, and heard my mother say "Mary, do you know who this is"? I opened my eyes to see this soldier standing at the side of the bed, I can remember so clearly, flinging myarms around him, saying "It's my Dad".

The war had just finished and he had been allowed a months leave. He had fought in the North African Campaign and then in Italy and was at the Battle of Monte Casino . The month flew by, and when we went to see him off, ( he had to go back to Italy for another six months), I was carried kicking and screaming from the Railway Station.

 The Court House Station (which is now a pub), in Regent Street, Barnsley.

This was the Station known as the "bottom" Station, the other one being Barnsley Court House, which was accessed from Regent Street.


 

He was demobbed under the Class 'B' system, which meant that if the need arose, then he would be one of the first to be recalled back into the army. It wasn't long before I heard the exciting news that I was to have a new
sister or brother, but before this big event in my life took place a trauma was heading our way. My mother was seven months pregnant, and I awoke during the middle of one night in November 1946 to the sound of rushing water,
and people shouting outside. I could here my mother and Dad struggling to get something up the stairs, it transpired later that it was their precious radiogram, which they had bought just before the war had started. It had been kept at my Aunt's until we could have a house with electricity. My mother used to send "The Melody Maker", music newspaper to my Dad, whilst he was overseas and he would write and ask her to try and buy certain records for him, for when he came home. I am digressing a bit now, but this love of music which was shared by my Mum & Dad was passed to me, and many's the time Mum & I

went to Days record shop, to see if the ordered records had arrived. By the time he came home, Dad had a fairly good collection, mainly jazz records and Bing Crosby. ( He wasn't too thrilled when he learned that I had made a plant pot out of one of his prized jazz records).
To return to the flood, it was a miracle that it had happened when it had, if it had been a few hours later, then all we children would have been on our way to school. the flood in Burton Grange in 1946, The flood was caused by the canal at Monk Bretton, bursting it's banks and the water gushed down to the lowest point, which is where we lived. There could have been a real tragedy,
it was bad enough all of our furniture being ruined, all the baby clothes, which my mother had so lovingly knitted were ruined and most of my clothes as well. They were always kept downstairs, where it was warmer. Help came at last, and I climbed out of the back bedroom window, with the help of a fireman and I was rowed across the back garden

I recently found a notebook, which contained some of my mum's memories, which she had written in 1992, she writes about the flood and how it affected her, I have put it into another chapter of the website.
 

to the railway embankment, where people were standing, eager to help. All I had on, in the form of clothes, was my nightie and a hat, which I had been given, I looked behind and saw my mother being helped out of the window, and I learned afterwards (about 10 years) that Dad had whispered to the fireman that Mum was pregnant and she was too shy to mention it herself. That was the last they saw of me all day, notices were posted in all the shops in Lundwood, "Has anybody seen Mary Feeley"?
A very kind lady called Mrs. Hayes had taken me in and dressed me in her daughter Enid's clothes.
We were re-united in the early evening of that very distressing day. My mother ended up in St. Helen's Hospital with bronchitis, and shortly afterwards my brother John was born on the 20 February, 1947, this was the year of the big freeze, the winter to end all winters.

 

Lang Avenue, November 1946, we lived round the corner to the left of the picture.

 


I adored my brother from the moment I was allowed to hold him in the taxi, when we brought him home, and I still do. Three years later my sister Elizabeth made an appearance, and once again, I was thrilled to bits to have yet another new baby in our midst. It had always been my Mum & Dad's ambition to live at Wilthorpe, where my mum had lived for 4 years before they were married. On the 5 May 1951, this ambition was achieved, by this time, I had passed my 11+ exam ( that was a miracle) and was attending Barnsley Girls' High School. We lived at 27 Wilthorpe Crescent, and life jogged along, very pleasantly for the next few years, I left school two weeks short of my 16th birthday, and then I was to find out what life was really all about.

                                  music "As Time goes Bye

 

 

 

 

Memories from a Barnsley Lad. - Stewart Hoyle.

 

MARY

II have no problems in putting a few of my stories on your WEB Site . In fact I would feel it an honour . I have put a few finishing touches to the story and have hadded two more stories . By the way I still live in Lundwood .

THE LIKELY LADS

At the time of this story I lived in Lundwood or as people used to call it Burton Grange . The Likely Lads where a group of boys that I used to hang about with about 1960 . There was Ron Goldthorpe , he was about two years older . Then there was Roy Larking , he was one years older . Then there was me . We had two things in common . We liked bike riding and we liked train spotting . For the latter we used to go down to Cudworth Station . Ron had saddle bags on his bike and we used to lode it with pop and crisps . If we had to use the loo the bushes came in handy . The station was British Rail property and quite often we where moved on by the Station Master . In between trains we used to play at cards . This was not for money a peg board was used to keep the scores . As I remember the peg board was kept in Ronfs saddle bags .

Set in this back ground is the first story witch I know to be true . One day the boys at the station where buzzing . The story had got around that someone important was to go past Cudworth Station at night . Who started the rumour going we will never know but it got the boys fired up . The Station Master was know use . He did not know ore edid he ? e. Every time the story was told it was a little different . If you have ever played the game Chinees wispers you will know what I meen . (At this on a corse in London about report writing . We where asked to memorize a statement and then pass it on to the next person . The statement said (send reforcmeents whe har going to advance . The last person had to tell the class what the message said . The man red what he had writen , the message red ) send 3and six whe har going to a dance ).

The boys were playing at cards in between trains . One of the boys , I think that his name was Frank , came out with a blinder . It stopped everyone in there tracks . At first the story was that Elvis , who was in the US Army , was paying a visit to London . Is plane would land at Prestwick and he would take the overnight train to London . Being a big Elvis fan this was news to my hears . A reporter from the news papers got hold of the story and he must have rang the base to fined out if the story was true . The reporter drew a blank and for a day ore two the story died down . Ore did hit ?. That his the best thing about whispers they are always festering .

The boys started to buzz again . The story went around the boys that the Queen was to pass the station on her way to Scotland . The story rang true as the news of the Queenfs visit to Sheffield had been in the papers for quite a wile . I asked dad if I was able to spend the night at Cudworth Station and he told me YES , so with Ron and Roy and a lot of boys we went to the station For the night . We had food and drink and so we where set for the night Everything was dark at the station , but someone had left the waiting room open . The bikes where put away and we went into the station for the night . Whe never gave it a thort that someone was playing a trick on us .

Every time the signal went down we rushed to see the train go past . There was know sign of the Queen . The boys began to drift away and by about three in the morning we headed for home . The bike was put away in the shed . I knocked on the door and mother came to open it . The last thing that I did that night was to look at the calender . IT WAS APRIL THE FIRST . )

THE PAPER SHOP

THIS EXTRACT FROM ONE OF MY BOOKS TELLS THE TIME I WAS A PAPERBOY

I was working at the time as a paperboy for Stan Cooper . I delivered the papers on a Sunday and collected the paper money . It was not so bad until it came to putting the clocks forward ore back .

One spring whe had to put the clocks forward . I remembered to tern the clock in my room forward by 1 hour . I went to bed and must have been asleep when my dad came home from The Lundwood Hotel . He was in a good mood as he came into my room to put the clock forward by one hour . The alarm went a few times before I stopped it . I felt a bit ruff as I came down the stairs and into the kitchen to make a cup of tea . The streets where empty as I made my way to the paper shop . .

The shop was in darkness as I looked inside . There was know where to sit and leaned on the lamp post . The street was in darkness and there was know body about in the streets . I got a durty look from a man who was taking the dog for a walk but stil know sines of the shop opening . Where were the papers . Just at that moment a van pulled up , the man opened the back door of the van to get the Newspapers he wanted . He put the papers on the floor at the side of the shop . As he was getting into the van he muttered something about being early . It was then I started to smell a rat .

To cut a long story short I was leaning on the lamp post for quite a long time before Stan opened the doors of the shop . I helpped take the papers inside the shop . Stan told me that his very first job was to put the kettle on to boil . I looked at the clock in the shop . I was right . I had put the clock in my bedroom forward by one hour and so had my dad . Did he get it at breakfast time .

@

BEESON AND CLARKS

Speaking of putting the clocks forward ore back I remember the time that I was working at Beeson and Clarks as a sorter . The alarm went to get me up . The alarm went again . I slowley got up . I looked at the alarm clock ., there was time to make a drink before the shift started .

At the time I had a bright Red Vauxhall van . I took the back road to the Glass Works that went through Hoyle Mill . There was no one about as I put the ban in the car park . I looked about for other members of the shift , it seemed like I was early . I opend the door of the factory and the clock was right in front of me , but there was something rong . The clock told me that the time was a 5 fifteen in the morning . No wonder there was nobody about they where stil in there beds . I closed the door , went into the car park to get the van . The van was started and I made my way home . I had got away with it .

After a drink I made my way back to Beesonfs and Clarks . When I got there the place was buzzing . I clocked in and sat down on one of the pallets . The first person to speak was the Forman Operater . He asked if I was early for work and was that the reson that I went home . There was no anser to that question . I took a bit of a ribbing from the rest of the shift .

Thank you Stewart for sharing your memories.

Copyright Stewart Hoyle.