Looking at an old photograph can stir memories, even in some Doreen Dementia suffers, like I am. So here are my initial ruminations of looking at this picture… They may come over as a little out of sync, but one’s thought triggers another. I had to be adding them than before I wrote what I was doing… then I forgot what I had started typing. Sometimes remembering later, begin to correct things, and another unrelated memory pops up… to be forgotten about again. Later on, I got all confused but carried on anyway. Sorry about this.
This now embarrassing, brownie-camera photographicalisation shows the signs of authentic poverty in which I grew up. Although, at the time, I believed we were luckier than some of the residents of Brookfield Place. But not many.
Obviously, I was scrubbed up using carbolic soap. I was redressed into pants that didn’t fit; the crumbling walls on the 1899-built two-up, two-down terraced house make me cringe when I see it now. See that? I was nine house bricks high at the time. Not much taller now!
Having a photo taken was an event in those days. I believe Mr Wright, whose family lived at the end of the small terrace, number 10 (I might be wrong, of course). Mr Wright was the only person nearby who was well off enough to own a camera then and generously took pictures and got them developed and given to those in them. A wonderful man.
Christine. Mr Wright and Jane are on holiday in Mablethorpe! I recall feeding the family dog Rover (No pets were allowed on the caravan site in those days.) each time Mr, Mrs Wright, and daughter Christine went on holiday, taking Sister Jane with them; after Jane returned home, I’d better explain that while I think of it.
A better-off side of the family, with five boys, wanted to adopt Sister Jane. Dad opposed this, the fights started, and it was agreed that Jane would of out to Italy with the family. Which left me thinking, Jane was ‘out there’ having a ball, while I was left with Dad (Mother had done another runner from the police). Had to do the cooking and what cleaning I could family. Clean out and set the fire but did not start it until I saw Dad coming home. He thought it was overspending to make a fie for only one person. Give him his dinner, and get the things ready for the morning in the coal house ready for clearing out and resetting again in the morning. So, the crux of it was; that I was a smidge jealous, thinking that Jane was out there, in the sunshine, wanting for nothing, living the life of Riley… While Jane was ‘over there’ thinking that I was at home, living the life of Riley! Hahaha! In truth, poor Jane was miserable and had it a lot worse than me! She was molested, had to be a maid to the boys… When we found out we were both miserable, we had to laugh. As I understand it, each of the lads, who are now men, has been arrested and found guilty of various nefarious offences. Worra family!
Recollections of the folks living near my beloved Brookfield Place came to mind.
From the left, Sister Janet, Inchcock, Christine Wright, Mrs Wright and Walter. Can’t remember what we were doing or where we were when taking the snap. Either Mr Wright to son Brian would have taken it?
This picture, I do remember having being taken. A Door-knock photographer took it (2/3d a photo 11p in today’s money). Not cheap! The rather distinguished-looking (I don’t know how or why I remembered that?) cameraman said it’s usual to have a girl and boys toy in hand. I recall Jame going up to get her teddy from the bedroom, and I nipped next door to borrow a ball from my mate Jack. On my behalf, returning to have the picture taken. But putting on that forced smile was almost painful for me. Har-har!
A terrible picture of my blonde locks. This brings a scary memory back to me. Often I would be in the backyard. Our house was about eight-foot from a railway viaduct. On the left in the top photo) I would be playing or chopping wood in the backyard and the train; it was a busy line, with Arkwright Street Station, high above the houses. We got goods, commuter and the London Express’s all passing throughout the day and night. The houses shook, the windows rattled, the light swayed…
Yet, they never woke me up or bothered me because I grew up with it. Later, when we moved to Ipswich Circus, it was so quiet that I couldn’t sleep for months! True!
I lost my plot there, didn’t I? Sorry, where was I?…
Oh, yes! In the backyard, a neighbour usually would run at me and start to beat me around the head. This is all genuine! I had to wait until they had stopped, to find out why they were clouting me… had I done something naughty (not unknown), or as it usually was, the hot ashes falling from the trains had set my hair on fire again. (Which, more often than not, was the case)
It’s not surprising that I started losing my hair at 20-years of age?
Christine Wright, in front of her house in Brookfield Place.
Not that Inchcock is creeping out behind her? Hehe!
I’ve no memory of this photograph being taken.
I think this one was taken in Wilford or West Bridgford.
Christine and Janet got me to pretend to be knocked over and lay under the Morris Ten car. Haha!
The next one, I can vaguely remember.
The hosepipe was out in the backyard. Fed through the window from Chrissie’s kitchen tap. It’s the summertime, and someone will get soaked, methinks… I vaguely remember grabbing the hosepipe in the cause of self-protection. When those two got together, there was always a danger of me being injured, embarrassed or molested! In this case, all three. And I got a good soaking, to boot!
♫ Memories are made of these… ♫
My family, as such, were Methodists, Wesleyan,
Dad rarely went to church; Mother was an Aryan…
We soon split up, first off to Sicily, went sister Jane,
Brother Pete joined the army to help keep sane…
Mother ran from the police, again and again…
So it was just Dad and me in the main!
Education and affluence, to me, were strange…
No class, I never heard of a counterpane…
Then, I had no bad habits from which to refrain.
As you’ll read above, I got set on fire by many a train,
I’d never dined out or been on holiday or on a jet plane…
I used to get bad headaches, not a posh migraine…
But life was never dull or mundane!
I soon learned that nothing in life is free or certain!
An outside toilet, in winter it froze up, even the chain!
The only interest in sex came from the Chaplain…
I never went abroad, to Italy, France or Bahrain,
Shopped at jumble sales in search of a bargain…
I was considered weird cause I didn’t like John Wayne!
My searches for romance were all in vain!
My hopes for my future were low and uncertain,
I’d sit in my flat, glumly looking out through the curtain,
Plans and designs were ruined cause of my scatterbrain,
At least I’ll never become part of Britain’s brain drain!
My sanity was fluctuateable and hard to retain…
Timourousness, trepidation, and a cruel self-disdain…
My confidence and self-esteem had been mislain!
Don’t suppose I’ll ever find them again?
Is my Alto-Ego me, or am I?
Why do I even wonder why?
Would I be happier as a troglodyte?
Would I still like Marmite?
I think I’m losing this brain fight…
My last driblets of sanity are taking flight…
I’ve tried to do moral things and not to be profane,
Up to now, I’ve avoided trying out cocaine,
From alcohol, greed and bullying, I abstain,
Yet feel my life is almost transmundane…
Are my thoughts really mine or nongermane?
Shit!… I’ve forgotten what I was going to write!