if I remember correctly, Appleyards Motor Dealers took over Smart& Batty. who when I first started work, were based in Sheffield Road, Barnsley, George Wards Motor Cycles, and Garner's Motor Cycles were based up there too. Other leading motor car dealers in Barnsley were, 

Eyre Bros, Regent Street, (they opened premises on Huddersfield Road
Wilthorpe). Rowland Winns, New Street, JC Snell, Doncaster Road, Stairfoot, LV Grimes, Foundry Street, Barnsley. The Service
Garage, later to become Polar Motors. Service Garage was built by the 3 partners, Eric Jackson (rally driver), Arthur Burgess and Peter Schofield. 

I can remember being told that these 3 had worked during the night 

with tilly lamps, to build their first premises. 

Downend & Lister were motor cycle dealers in Shambles Street. 

When petrol rationing was introduced in 1956 due to the Suez Crisis, 



there was a boom in the selling of motor scooters, Lambrettas being the leader, with Vespas not being far behind. Small motors were also fitted to bicycles, cyclemaster being one of them. These cost 17/6d per year
for the road fund licence. I can remember seeing one of my bosses Arthur Walker, tootling up Grahams Orchard on one of these, it was a lot easier than peddle pushing.


Returning to my Motor Tax days, Barnsley County Borough Council's letters were HE, and one of the Founders of Eyre Bros. had HE 1 for years, it may still belong to the family, I saw it the other day. 

If a car owner had what was called a "cherished" number, provided they had held that registration number for a minimum period of 6 months, 

then it could be transferred on to a brand new motor car for a fee of £5. 

It was not allowed to transfer registration numbers from 

Commercial Vehicles or motor cycles in those days, 

they were not considered by the Ministry of Transport to be "cherished". 

It was possible to re-issue the early numbers for the same fee, 

if that number had not been used i.e. the vehicle 

had been scrapped, for 10 years. 

Dr. McNeil the Medical Officer of Health for Barnsley had a collection of "mini's, and believe that he had HE 2, HE 3, HE 4, 5, 6 & 7 all at the same time. I don't think that I am betraying any confidentiality after
all these years. 

THE 1 was the coveted number, and we used to have lots of applications for that one, it is well known that it is on the Mayoral Car, 

and worth quite a lot of money.


Well now back to the older memories.

One thing which I meant to mention was that, 

When the war was over, my Mum and my Aunties arranged to take
all we children for a walk round Barnsley, to see the street lights, which were now allowed to switched on. 

By this time another cousin, David Watson had joined our family in 1943, he would be only 2 years old at the end of the war, we were all mesmerised by seeing actual lights on outside. I have a lovely colour photo of 


Barnsley Town Hall, which was all lit up on V.E. night.


Winning the Pools!

My Mum & Dad were married on the 19 February 1938 

and went to live in the cottage straight away. 

The address was No 4, Court 1, Church Lane, Barnsley


Mum carried on working at Hickson, Lloyd & King as a weaver, 

and Dad was working as a brick layer. They have both told me, 

that they did not intend starting a family straight away, 

because money was tight,  as it was for most people in those days.
However, in October 1938 an unexpected windfall changed their plans, 

Dad won the Football Pools, the magnificent sum of
 £151/14 shillings, it was a fortune, 





(If you click the left picture you can see all of the actual pools telegram 

or click the right picture to see just the bottom half, which is a smaller file)

Mum wanted to use some of it as a deposit on a house, 

there were some being built at Queens Drive, Wilthorpe, costing £200. 

Dad wouldn't hear of it, it meant getting into debt and that wasn't in his book at all, however there was a happy outcome, as far as I was concerned, they decided that they could afford a baby after all. 

That baby was me, and I was born on the 8 August 1939, 

I was often teased that I was a "pools" baby. Naturally I didn't
understand until I was much older, in fact when I used to look at their wedding photographs, I always asked, where was I Mam?. 

Behind the curtain she would say, and I believed her.



I remember Mr. Steel (Sam) who used to live at the top of our ginnel on Church Lane, Barnsley, much to my mum annoyance he taught me how to swear, he was a grand old chap.   Maybe to my two- three year old eyes, he looked a lot older than he was.
  I used to go their house and knock on the door. Sam would say "is it our Mary have you come for a peer drop"? , he meant pear drop, "what do you say"? asked Sam. "may I have a pear drop please"? I would answer, I then used to have to say, "Let me in you silly old bugger", in I went and I would be given a couple of peer drops, Mrs. Steel used to tell Sam off, but he only roared with laughter.

She was a very dignified lady, but Sam didn't care.
I can remember when he died, I was taken upstairs, (bodies were kept at home in those days), Mrs Steel lifted me up and I nearly finished up in the coffin with old Sam. "Oeer" said I, "very nice". I can still bring his face to my mind's eye, it was still red when he was dead.

music ~ "The Days of Wine and Roses"