I hope that everyone at your end is well . I hope also that you and Stan har keeping warm and dry . The weather as been the talking point on every bodies lips for the last few days . Whe used to have bad winters with snow and ice but whe used to get through them . These days everything comes to a standstil when snow is about .
The next big event his Christmas . Long gone are the days of the coal fire and putting your list of presents you wanted up the chimney for father Christmas to get . My Grand Dauter , the youngest , stil makes a list but what she does with the list I have no idea . My Gran Mother was born in in the last sentury used to tell me that a Christmas time for there present they used to get and Apple and an orange . How times have changed . I have put down a few true stories for you to read .
At the time that I was growing up around about 1955 it was a big thing to smoke .the men smoked . The women smoke . In a few cases the kids smoked . I was brought up in Lundwood and at least one shop sold cigs in ones . It his only in later life we find out that cigs are not good for you . By then it is too late . I used to play Guitar n a group and my clothes used to smel of cig smoke every time that you opened the case . Speaking of club land , Roy Castle used to play the trumpet in his club act and he died of cancer after a lot of exposure to cig smoke . It is not to say that I never smoked , I did but my dad put paid to that .
I like many kids of my generation copied what the grown ups did , and that included smoking . But the cost of cigs was beyound me . One boy told me that he rolled his own cigs . I remember asking the boy where he got his tobacco from . I was told from spent cigs in the gutter . He told me that the only problem was that you did knot know what tipe of cigs they where . That week I did extra jobs around the house and garden and I got extra pocket money . I got the Risler and the cig papers from Darlys shop . But where to put them .
One of the floor boards in my bedroom was lose . I knew this because every time that I walked on it it made a sound . In those days whe didnt have fittered carpets , the carpet was loose . I soon found out that the floor boards had been removed at some point . It made a good hiding place for the cig papers and the Risler . I used to walk down the street and in the gutters I found a lot of spent cigs . I had to sneak into my bedroom to get the cig papers and the Risler . Then it was up to the top field to make the cigs . There was no such thing as filter tips in those days . After getting the paper of , then using the cig paper and the Risler out came a cig . Well put it this way , it looked like a cig , the only problem that it was not as hard packed as the cigs that you got from the shop . When you lit it , it was quite hot and you got bits of tobacco everywhere . This lasted for a few weeks .
I came home from the Grammar School that day . The moment I got into the house I new that something was rong . I took my case up the stairs and started to do my home work . I looked to ware the floor board was , it was not in the right place . I went over to the floor board . Pulled the rug back , lifted the floor board . The made up cigs , the Risler and the cig papers where all gone . Someone had found my secrat hiding place . After putting everything back I went down the stairs to face the music .
It was a good job that dad was on the afters and I didnt have to face him . I got the story from my mother /. It seemed like she had been cleaning the bedroom and her foot went across the lose floor board . She told dad to bring his hammer up and a few nales . Instead of just using the hammer he looked underneath the floor board . What did he find , the Risler , the cig papers and the cigs that I had made . It was a case of wait until your dad getts home . Put it this way , I was fast asleep in bed when he got home from work .
Not a word was sed the next day about the find , nor the next ore the next . I seemed to have got away . Then it was Christmas Day . After the Christmas Dinner and my mother and Grand Mother where washing up at the sink , dad told me that there was another present for me . He told me that he would go up the stairs to the bedroom to get it . My dad had never given me a present it was always under the Christmas Tree . I spottered a rat . By the looks on my mothers face I was right . Dad came down the stairs and gave me his present , it was long and thin . I pulled the rapping of . It was a cigar . He got his Woodbines out and lit up . He lit the cigar up and past it over . I remember his words as though it was yestardy . So you think that you are a big man , then smoke the cigar . Finish it off no matter how long it takes .
Put it this way . The cigar lasted until the day after Boxing Day . I was sick more than once . It put me off my food . It must have done the trick as I never smoked again .
THE LIKELY LADS AT CHRISTMAS
As the days became shorter and the weather became colder the bike rides to Cudworth Station only appened at the weekend if at all . And when it was midwhiner the bike rides stopped and it was a case of Shanks Poney( on foot ). I walked for miles around the Barnsley with Ron and Roy . We used to walk around all the streets in Cudworth and Shafton . Some days when we where feeling fit a walk to Athersley was on the cards . There was Athersley North witch at the time was a new estate . The houses where a different colour in the South . On the way there whe had to pass New Lodge . The weather must have been good as whe once made the walk to Royston . Whe new every Fish Shop and shops that where open for miles around .
The best time to make the walk was in the days coming up to Christmas . Everybody seemed to have the curtans open to show of there Christmas Tree and trimings . The Christmas Cards came from the shop they where not made at home as they har today . Whe used to walk for miles looking at them . Once we were walking around Cudworth I think that the street was Church Fields . Whe stopped dead in our tracks for coming towards us was Father Christmas on the back of a lorry . Father Christmas gave us a wave as he went past . As he was near the Church was he on his way to there Christmas Party . He sertanly had a big sack .
For years my mother and Grand mother used to make the Christmas Cake . The Lundwood Hotel in the form of my dad got the rum .( My dad and The Lundwood Hotel is a different story ). The Cake went into the uven until it was baked . A few days later the finishing tuches went on Marzipan and iceing suger finished the Cake of ane then it was decorated . These days the cake is lucky to get to the finel stage . My wife makes about 6 Christmas Cakes and they har eaten more or less straight away .
MARY AND STAN
There are many memories of Christmas that I will never forget . One memory his going around the houses of Church members and there families singing Christmas Carols . Another memory is standing on the door step after you had started to sing . A voise would shout from the house , they have been already . Standing on the door step with your hymn book desideing witch hymn to sing next . Going around the area with the Littelworth Crusaders to sing hymns to the old people . Back to Carol Singing . You got at least two verses of the hymn . Next you would say out loud.
Whe wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year .
Glad tidings whe bring to you and your Queen .
Whe wish you an happy Christmas and a happy New Year .
At the door would open and then you would get a copper ore two for your troubles . Over the years this as changed quite a bit . No carol . Knock on the door . Door is opend . Child stands on the door step . Merry Christmas , hand goes out for the money saying that the person as been singing . Dirty look at the amount they reseeved . And that is if you are lucky to get a Carol Singer .
This year there is a lot of talk on the Tv about the Earth warming up . Over the last few weeks the wether as been so different , in fact the country as had a lot of snow . Thankfully in this area whe have had snow once . But everything comes to a standstil . The buses do not run , it his the same with the trains and the roads come to a standstil . But it was not always like that .For some reason there is no school . But other countries have snow and they do not come to a standstil .
We are told that the wether patten as changed , ore is it a fact that we har getting soft . I remember the time roads didnt come to a standstil . Uncle Trevor used to put chains around his tyres for grip . Some cars got stuck trying to get up the hill between Lundwood and Cundy Cross . But people used to give them a puss , they usualy fell down at the top as the car got grip . Before the Priory Campus was built there used to be a big hill witch the kids used to sledge down . Most of the sledges where made at the pit . The only problem was that when you got to the bottom of the hill you had to dragh it up again .
Talking about school I remember the time that I fell in an hole . Read on . That morning Dave called for me as usual . I had a napsack on my back for the spear clothes. . We got to the spot where the Betting Shop now stands and then we had to make a decision . To go to school on the road ore the short cut across the tips . The tips won . By the looks of it we where the first people to go across that way . It was a good job that we had oure wellis on as the snow was deep . We draged our feet in the snow . If anyone can remember that far back the tips where being built and there was an edge. Dave found it . One moment whee where talking away .. . The next moment I was talking to myself . Dave had found the edge of the tip and gone down itit took him quite a wile to get up out of the snow and when he was covered from head to togh in snow .
We were in the huts at the time and not in the main body of the school . I am trying to remember how many Huts there was . The Hut that I was in had two classrooms . Our coats and wellis where left out side by the fires . Whe had to get changed and then leave the clothes on a peg . For foot where we had to bring slippers ore go bear foot . The steam used to rise all morning . Neadless to say that we stayed in the classroom until dinner time , and then it was back to the tips home and dinner . After dinner it was back to school again . .
MARY . STAN
I have not been in tuch with you since Christmas . Hope you did not get too much to drink . Hope that you are feeling a lot better after your trip abroad. We talk of times gone by but can you remember this .
Standing outside some ones house . The sound of a party going on . The time by my watch was just a few minuts before midnight I was going to let the New Year in . I was not the only one in the street as the boys talked to each other . A quick look at the watch , it was a minut before midnight . I walked to the door of the house on Abbotts Road in Lundwoood . The bells of Monk Bretton Church wheere ringing to let the New Year in . A nock on the door before I started .
Old Year out .
New Year in
Please will you let the lucky bird in .
A sharp knock on the door . Make sertan that I had my lump of coal to put on the fire . The door was opened . Happy New Year . Come in lad and have a drink . I would put the coal on the fire . And before long it would start blazing . Whatever was in the drink it warmed me up . I left the house with lots of money in my pockets . It was on to the next house on my list to repeat the operation one more timee .
This was known as first footing and I was not the only kid in the street to let the New Year in . This Year nobody came . It as been a number of Years when they did . I bet they where all on there computers ore there Play Stations .
I remember the time my dad got a lot of mixed drinks from my mothers Club . I think it was Grattons . That Year I let it be nown among the kids that I would be letting the New Year in at homee . My mother and dad where having a party after they had been out to the Lundwood Hotel . The time for me to go outside . The Church Bells where ringing . Armed with my lump of coal , I sed my peace and knocked on the door . I was invited in . I put the coal on the fire . Bean drunk I got quite a lot of money from the gusts at the party . My dad had told me that I was able to be the bar man for the party .
The men drank the beer and the ladies where drinking the shorts . But no one was drinking the Dubonnet . As no one was looking I pored myself a glass . It was not bad at all . As I was working I kept on drinking the Dubonney . I felt good but warm inside . The last dregs whent down . I put the bottol in the sack to be disguarded in the morning . It was then I started to feel a bit sick . My legs started to go . Everybody was looking at me . My Grand Mother pulled up a chair for me to sit on . By this time I was realy feeling sick . People where standing around , giving there serport at the same time as they where drinking . One of the men told my Grand Mother what I neaded was one of Albert Hersts Pork Pies . That did it . I frew up . My Grand Mother was quick to get me away from the drinks .
My mother asked me what I had been eating ore drinking that night . Dad came over with the empty bottol of Dubonnet that he had taken out of the bin . By this time I was anybodies . Every time that I stood up I fell back on the chair . The room was spinning . My Grand Mother told the party that I was drunk . I had to be carried to bed that night . I was sick a few times before I went to sleep and in the morning I stil Felt ruff .
I was working for Redferns Glass Works and being in the quality I was sent to St, alberns on a customer complant . I went down with anouther man . The moment we went into the factory I got a smell that I remembered . There where only two lines and they where both bottling Dubonney . It was a long , long day and I was glad when it was time to go home .
I oz margarine
I oz sugar
I tablespoon of dried milk
I tablespoon of milk
Cream the margarine and sugar. Beat in the milk powder and liquid mil