Monday, March 30, 2015

LAWS FAMILY REGISTER Mar 2015 Number 470

Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 


A Child of the Twenties

A suburban childhood of the Twenties 

seen from the Ninteen Nineties

by John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 7


Until school age there was not a lot of contact with adults outside the family. One saw the neighbour in their gardens from time to time but it was not till a little later that a family came next door with whom we became friendly. The Kemble’s had five offspring, five daughters for starters the youngest in her late teens, and a son harry a bit older than myself with whom I became quite friendly. For some years we were regular cycling companions.

The tradesmen were the people who are impressed on my memory. Delivery was order of the day despite shopping on an almost daily basis. The milkman had an open backed float with churns in it and would dip the milk out with a long handled measure into your jug. It was not long till he graduated to a horse and cart with four wheels and milk in glass bottles with cardboard tops but in very hot weather, despite two deliveries a day, you still had to boil the milk soon after delivery before it went off. My mother used to tell me that when she lived in Devon as a child they had their own cow and that after milking she would separate the cream which she loved and churn the butter. That was all gone for town dwellers of course, but in the grocers shop the butter would still be scooped up and patted into shape instead of arriving in oblong paper packets.

The grocer delivered as well and his man would arrive at the door step and jog the memory with a verbal list of commodities delivered in a rapid fire voice rather like a market auctioneer."Salt - Pepper - Vinegar-Mustard" he would fire away and then take up his list at the same point after he had been interrupted with an item. The baker's man pulled a two wheeled handcart with a rounded top and a leg at the back so that it didn't tip up when he let go. He would delve into this for the loaf you wanted, warm and crusty and certainly not wrapped or sliced! The postman was distinctive in his blue uniform with red piping and his odd little flat hat, almost a helmet. He did not bring a load of junk mail for the dustman to take away again, and what he delivered today had been posted yesterday except from foreign parts.

It is odd to have no memory of a butcher delivering at that time, perhaps my mother preferred to select our meat in the shop. There were certainly butchers boys to be seen on their delivery bicycles with a basket on the front, whistling their way around the streets. Later, in the thirties we had a butcher who would call early and then would come back with the meat in time for lunch. Going by the name of Sam Collins he was a big beefy fellow with a perpetual grin who was everybody’s friend.

There were street traders in the twenties as throughout the ages. A muffin man came along the street at weekends ringing his handball with a cloth covering a tray of muffins and crumpets on his head. From time to time a knife grinder would come along with a grinding wheel attached to the front of his bicycle and worked in some mysterious way from the pedals. He called as he came, offering his services and out would come the women with their carvers and kitchen knives to sharpen. Most doorsteps were sandstone anyway so there were plenty who managed well without him.

In the High Street there were those who offered oddments from doorways, matches and lemons spring to mind. Along the gutters the sandwich board men, walked, enclosed in their advertising matter or calls to repentance, sometimes singly sometimes in threes or fours in a straggling crocodile. Occasionally there was an organ grinder on the corner of a side street, winding his handle and his mechanical music would add to the general street noise. There is an impression of noisiness in the High Street. Apart from the street traders there were trams clattering on their steel rails, horses were iron shod and so were the wheels of most of the carts. Lorries vans and cars were less well silenced and there was even the occasional Steam traction engine. However there were no motor scooters and the few motorbikes did not roar around.    

To be continued tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today March 30

1710 - Baptism: John LAWS-9249, Stepney MDX UK
                                                            St Dunstan's Stepney MDX

1735 - Marriage: Cuthbert LAWS-34945 and Elizabeth -34946, Bromfield CUL UK
1740 - Marriage: John KNIGHT-5711 and Margaret LAWS-5MILLER712, Weeting NFK (St Mary             & All Saints) UK
1805 - Baptism: John LAWS-41976, Gateshead DUR UK
1807 - Birth: Joseph COOK-44124, Lamesley DUR UK
1818 - Birth: Abner LAWS-119986,
1834 - Birth & Death: Israel LAWS-31012, Diss NFK
1849 - Birth: Demetrius Ypsilanti LAWS-48451, Pen Yan, Yates County NY USA
1851 - Death: Michael LAWS-37835,
1855 - Admon: Charles Sidney LAWS-123199,
1868 - Death: Eliza BOWDEN-56489, West Row, Mildenhall  SFK
1878 - Miscellaneous: William Witt LAWES (Publisher (Echo Newspaper) Gent -213,
1878 - Will Proved: James LAWES (Railway Stationmaster) -211,
1882 - Death: Arthur LAWS (Scholar) -9543,
1884 - Marriage: Henry HOTCHKISS-55182 and Amy Laura LAWS -54911, West Bromwich STS
1884 - Birth: Lizzie Eliza LAWS-57752, Lambeth SRY UK
1891 - Birth: David R LAWS-49198,
1892 - Birth: Clarence Stanley LAWS-119127, TN USA
1895 - Birth: Lucy Jane LAWS-54703, Molong NSW Australia
1895 - Birth: Abba Frances LAWS-41186, Lebo, Coffey Kansas USA
1897 - Will Proved: John LAWS (Chemist) -8420,
1898 - Birth: Marjorie Mabel LAWS-121288,
1898 - Death: Sarah LAWS (Widow) -8303, Coltishall NFK UK
1909 - Death: John LAWS-115064, Islington MDX UK
1916 - Burial: Robert John LAWS-119591, Wareham DOR UK
1925 - Death: George LAWS-6436, Felling DUR UK
1926 - Birth: Sheila Maria LAWS-43612, Kingston Upon Hull ERY UK
1927 - Birth: Edwin John LAWS-53943, Isle of Dogs MDX
1927 - Birth: Roy Allen LAWES-122335,
1927 - Birth: Joan Margaret LAWS-118742,
1927 - Birth: Edwin John LAWS-53943, Isle of Dogs MDX UK
1927 - Admon: Robert LAWS-8622,
1934 - Birth: Bettie Louisa LAWS-123876, Turnersburg NC USA
1940 - Birth: Arthur William LAWS (Company Director) -46483,
1944 - Miscellaneous: H LAWS (RAF Sergeant (Nav.) -45068,
1946 - Death: Harry Augustus Percy LAWES-45012, Carshalton SRY UK
1950 - Marriage: Cyril George BATT-43565 and Elizabeth CHARTERS (Nurse) -34608, Wingate              WRY UK
1950 - Marriage: James William LAWS-118962 and Awdrey Fay RIDDELL-118963, Burwood,                    NSW Australia
1954 - Birth: Brenda Gayle LAWS-40354, TX USA
1955 - Miscellaneous: Maggie Lavinia LAWS-43098,
1955 - Admon: David LAWS (Ag Lab) -4601,
1959 - Birth: Amanda Ann MOORE (Company Director) -46329,
1963 - Marriage: Peter Robin LAWES (Accountant) -59289 and Ann DAVIS-59183, Tunbridge                    Wells KEN UK
1963 - Marriage: William George BERRY (Toolmaker)-6303 and Pamela LAWS (Secretary) -6302,            Althorne ESS UK
1965 - Death: Horace Herbert LAWS-96376, Maidstone KEN UK
1965 - Death: Clement Parker LAWES (Ag Waggoner) -119231, Tilshead WIL UK
1965 - Death: Lucille L LAWS-42395,
1965 - Birth: Kara Lynn LAWS-40470, TX
1966 - Birth: Barbara LAWS (Company Director) -46470,
1967 - Burial: Anne Brigadia FRANCIS-30071, Dutton Park, Brisbane QLD
1972 - Death: Stanley Valentine LAWES-125452, Wellington NZ
1984 - Birth: Charles Emmit LAWS-40727, TX USA
2002 - Marriage: Denis P BREARLEY-117072 and Ann Olivia Chloe LAWS-116875, Salisbury                  WIL UK
2011 - Death: Brenda Mary JENNINGS-34599, Kingston Upon Hull ERY UK

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