Monday, 27 April 2015

I remember (bits and pieces).....

.....wearing hotpants and very high platform shoes, well it was the end of the 1960s start of the 1970s. My favourite pair of hotpants were heavy brown suede. Mini skirts could be a problem if you needed to bend over or go upstairs on the bus but hotpants gave us enough freedom and stay respectable. Platform shoes had to be the biggest for me as I'm so short, but I made sure my now Hubby didn't wear his so I could at least come up to his shoulder in our wedding photos. a young teenager having very backcombed hair and peel-off eyeliner over false eyelashes, very Dusty Springfield.

.....melting my plastic finger nails in the cinema as I carelessly flicked cigarette ash into the ashtray. The smell of melting plastic seemed to amuse my date while I was mortified. holidays by the's string at Canvey Island which was a free holiday for us as our next door neighbours and very good friends owned the caravan.

.....roller skating one footed as we only had one pair of roller skates, the sort that adjusted and strapped to your shoes. Wanting to play out as sisters together wasn't a problem as often two of us would have just one skate each and propel with the other foot like a scooter.

.....having to pull a very loose tooth before my parents went out and mum not wanting to get too close as she was all dressed up. I did it and they knew it was under my pillow. I can't remember what the going fairy rate was though, probably a silver sixpence!

.....having my one and only fight at school, think I was second year so 11 or 12 years old. Her name was Elizabeth Lockyear and she picked on me for quite some time, nothing major, nothing you would actually call bullying, but enough to chip away at my passive nature until one day in Home Economics class she got flour all over the walk in store cupboard and me then came out to tell the teacher I'd  done it. Her face was a picture when I whispered in her ear "that's it, playground after school, I'm paying you back!" I was shaking from then till home time, but I had a good bunch of friends supporting me. You know in the cartoons a fight is just a big ball of dust with the occasional limb coming out then going back in? Well that's how it felt. She ran off crying and I was left with a handful of her hair, so I considered myself the winner although parts of me were black and blue for weeks. She never bothered me again and thankfully neither did anyone else. greengrocer uncle coming over with dented food cans that had often lost their labels. It was kind of him, better than throwing good food away, but we did feel like the poor relations getting a charity handout. Then of course dinners were a bit of a gamble with mum opening peaches when she really needed peas. Never tasted or even heard of lychees till we discovered them in a dented tin and they were lovely.

.....getting a Saturday job when I was just 13 years old. It was an old fashioned ladies clothes shop (that's old fashioned shop not old fashioned clothes). I had to get two buses or a train and a bus to get there and I worked 8-9 hours, also would go in some school holidays and during sale time I'd go in Sundays to clear up and restock as Saturday would be too busy to get it all done. For a Saturday I earned £1 10s (£1.50) which was a lot more than my friend got at Woolworths.

.....sneaking out from the dress shop one Saturday, when I was asked to do a bit of shopping for one of the sales girls, and nipping into the jewellers and getting my ears pierced.

.....having a cat to keep mice away and having a dog briefly. The cat was actually a stray my brother at about 4 years old, befriended in the street and brought in. The dog was a pedigree minature poodle, chocolate brown so we called him Cocoa.  UncleM said it was a gift, but we found out that he'd actually bought it for himself and his wife refused to have it in the house. Unfortunately sisterP was terrified of dogs and the dog was terrified of the cat so uncleM was called back to find it another home.

.....Dr Rhodes Boyson was headmaster when  I was at Robert Montefiore Comprehensive School. He was later knighted and also an MP under Margaret Thatcher. He was very strict with all pupils and staff alike and we were all terrified of him. He always wore his masters black gown, which in an East London school full of children from very low income families l guess looked quite odd.

.....saving really hard from my Saturday job and paying it into the school bank for a school skiing holiday. My parents couldn't afford to contribute and I'd worked out that I could just about make the cost of the holiday and the cost of equipment hire there but absolutely nothing more, so I was hoping to beg and borrow warm clothing etc, however, just a few weeks before we were meant to go the UK devalued the £ making the whole trip so much more expensive. I couldn't go. I withdrew all my money and went shopping! I'd probably have broken my leg, suffered hyperthermia or something anyway!

.....having lunch with Cliff Richard, but this is now quite a long post so I'll leave you guessing on that one and post again when I have another page full starting with my lunch with Cliff :-)


Michelle said...

My first job was also aged 13. On a fruit and veg stall on St. Albans market. Shops wouldn't take until 14. It was really hard work and mega early start that my mother was kind enough to drive me (too early for buses iirc but could just be that it was easier for her to drive me then know she was shot of me for the day. It was very good money. £25 for the day and they would buy lunch and hot or cold drinks (depending on the time of year). Nicest team of people I've ever worked with. Once I turned 14 I was able to get a job at the bookshop Patons Books" which was easier (and warmer) but could be very boring but I was there for years every Saturday. Finally we fell out when I was 19 and they kept wanting me to go out and do leafleting which I absolutely hated. Not putting leaflets through doors but trying to put them in people's hands in the high street. They wanted me to leave though as I was more expensive then as I stayed local for higher education so stayed in the job. Everybody else went away to Uni.

C also started working aged 13. She was made redundant yesterday aged 14 and a half. She did her last lesson with Cerys yesterday and is now jobless.

My mum talks about Uncle Arthur working at the canning factory and he would give them tins without labels but they learnt what the code stamps meant so didn't have surprises.

MumB / @mumbosh said...

That's fun comparing three generations of work at 13 :-) My two both did the deliveries for the weekly free paper and leaflets, very heavy and big rounds and got paid a pittance!

MumB / @mumbosh said...

That's fun comparing three generations of work at 13 :-) My two both did the deliveries for the weekly free paper and leaflets, very heavy and big rounds and got paid a pittance!