Wednesday, April 01, 2015


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 9.


Besides cars, the other result of the internal combustion engine was the increasing number of aircraft in the sky. With development forced ahead of WWI they had now become a practicable though expensive form of transport. Small air shows with two or three small aeroplanes would tour the summer holiday resorts seeking out a suitable field to set up their circus. They would offer a quick circuit of the town at five bob a go and give a little show of aerobatics. With a small charge for admission to the field they struggles on for a few years before going broke or in a very few cases managed to get an airline or charter business going.
As well as these little efforts, the RAF put up an annual show at Hendon which was very impressive at the time though very small beer by today’s standards. In my late schooldays I went there on my bike and found a hillside field overlooking the aerodrome where one could see it all for free. The highlight of the show was a low wing monoplane, probably a prototype Hurricane which came through a shallow dive at over three hundred miles an hour. There were still ten years to wait for the first jet engines.
Another lusty industry of my early years was the cinema. The silent screen with its overworked pianist trying to provide theme music was just beginning to give way to the ‘talkies’. Charlie Chaplin carried on without a word eating his boots in ‘The Gold rush’ but the soundtrack was with us and although it all continued to be black and white the musical was on its way and the cinema was moving into its few decades of boom years. One of the more treasured toys of my under ten years was a movie projector and its few cans of film. It had no motor and had to be cranked by hand, like the early movie cameras, but it was well made and worked well. The was no eight millimetre then and it used the full size 35mm so the films were short and ran perhaps five or ten minutes. I knew them all off by heart before long but this did not detract from the fascination of something that actually worked.   
Although the early thirties were just crawling out of depression there were more large houses being built than cheap semis. The extension to the Piccadilly Line of the Underground railway to Enfield West now called Oakwood, and then to Cockfosters which influenced our move to Southgate was an important event. Free tickets to try it out were given out to all households in the catchment area. A building project which interested me more was however was the new ice rink at Harringay. It was after we had moved to Southgate when I was able to get there, but Harry and I became regulars. Being already able to roller skate made it much easier to get going on ice though not without a few tumbles. At one of our first visits we were offered free admission to the evening ice hockey if we would take part in a farcical match with brooms and a football in the interval of the ice hockey. We accepted of course and I seem to remember it brought the house down. Next Monday a school I found that I had been observed was asked why I had been acting the clown.
Innovations in materials was less noticeable than other major changes but nonetheless on the way with enormous potential. Plywood soon replaced solid panels in all but the most expensive furniture. A brief reign of a few decades  before chipboard came, bring back the use of veneering which had existed a couple of hundred years earlier. In our old fashioned furniture the wood was solid and in our kitchen the knives were sharp, made before the new stainless steel became de rigour for cutlery. They had to be cleaned of course and the knife cleaner, a wooden machine with rotary brushes turned with a cast iron handle stood in the kitchen with its tin of abrasive powder nearby. There was no plastic except celluloid which was highly inflammable and used for little except toys, and ebonite which was used for a while in electrical goods. Even the plug tops for our new electric points were ceramic. Cooking pots and saucepans were iron, vitreous enamel or copper, aluminium on the way for a few years later and stainless steel way in the future. Plastic bags were a blessing yet to come. This means that few groceries were pre-packed, the grocer weighed out your biscuits from a large tin into a paper bag and the broken ones were sold off cheap.

To be continued tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today April 1

1750 - Marriage: Samuel HINT-8560 and Margaret LAWS-8032, Pauls Wharf MDX 
           (St.Benets) UK
1813 - Birth: Althea MATTHEWS-48225, Wheeling VA USA
1820 - Baptism: William WATSON OR WALTON (Tea Dealer & Grocer) -38921, Warmfield            WRY UK
1828 - Birth: Robert WING-31870, St Marylebone MDX UK
1837 - Will Proved: Michael LAWS (Gentleman) -29817, Strand MDX
1837 - Birth: Jane LAWS-9022, Chertsey SRY UK

                                                    Chertsey Surrey UK

1849 - Death: Sophia CORY-3747, Stratton Strawless NFK UK

                                                Stratton Strawless Norfolk UK

1850 - Birth: Marion Jane LAWS (Milliner) -5006, St Pancras MDX UK

                                                      St Pancras Church MDX UK

1852 - Birth: Mary Ann LAWS-4047, Tivetshall St Mary NFK

                                               Tivetshall St Mary Norfolk UK

1862 - Birth: Margaret Jane Mckenzie LAWS-43738, Morpheth DUR UK
1863 - Occupation: Thomas Francis Cresswell LAWS (Ships Steward) -57936,                                MELBOURNE to SYDNEY
1864 - Burial: Phillip LAWS (Bathchair Lender) -7457, 
1877 - Death: Bertha LAWS-124318, Jersey City Heights NJ USA
1882 - Birth: Lou MESSENGER-40914, KS USA
1891 - Census: Edwin James LAWES (Canadian Army Private) -38776, Bishops Waltham              HAM UK
1894 - Birth: Ethel Irene MCDANIEL (Supervisor) -42270, Schaal, Howard Co. AK USA
1895 - Birth: Edgar Eli LAWES-125250, 
1896 - Birth: Henry William LAWS (Stoker 1st Class K/25137) HMS "Erebus" -45085,                      Camberwell, QLD AUSTRALIA
1896 - Birth: Andrew Thomas LAWS (Baker) -37129, Dunston, Gateshead DUR UK
1897 - Death: Sidney James LAWES-43244, Coombe Bissett WIL UK

                                Coombe Bissett Wiltshire (St Michael All Angels)

1901 - Occupation: Charles Joseph LAWS (Timekeeper /Clerk CC) (Private Canadian 180              Btn 86245) -36777, 
1901 - Birth: John M LAWS (Metal polisher & Buffer) -123476, Wolf Creek, Whitley Co, KY              USA
1907 - Marriage: Marshall James PIKE (Fireman) -121530 and Jane Elizabeth LAWS                    -121529, Lewisham KEN UK
1907 - Birth: Tamar Hargreaves Hayes GIBSON-52401, Cholton LAN UK
1907 - Death: Henry ASHDOWN-6001, Burt Street, Balmain South, Sydney NSW Australia
1909 - Birth: Lola LAWS-120469, 
1910 - Birth: Arthur Edward LAWS-42212, Kingston Upon Hull ERY UK

                   Kingston upon Hull East Riding of Yorkshire  (with the Humber Estury beyond)

1911 - Census: Fred Mclean LAWS (Railway Signalman) -119209, Peterborough CAM UK
1918 - Death: James Albert LAWS (ARMY Private 871424) -6866, Vimy, Pas de Calais                    FRANCE
1920 - Birth: Thomas Joseph LAWS-43607, Kingston Upon Hull ERY UK
1920 - Birth: Opal J Parker LAWS-42398, Grand Chain, Pulaski Co IL USA
1927 - Birth: Agnes Edna Muras LAWS-55184, Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK

                         Newcastle upon Tyne Northumberland (looking South East)

1929 - Marriage: Samuel Stanley Alfred LAWES-121895 and Edith Hilda POWLEY-124397,            Catton NFK UK
1931 - Birth: Doris LAWES-118936, 
1931 - Death: Dorethy L LAWS-41475, Boyle Co KY USA
1937 - Miscellaneous: Maud Rosetta WILLOUGHBY (Shirt Ironer) -38511, 
1937 - Will Proved: William Alfred LAWS (Fish Porter) -9691, 
1940 - Residence: Ralph Lonzo (Farmer) LAWS-125471, Bryson City NC USA & 
           1940 - Census: Nantahala, Swain NC USA
1940 - Miscellaneous: William LAWES (General Labourer) -116486, 
1941 - Death: Doris LAWES-118936, 
1941 - Military: Robert Alexander LAWS (Technical Illustrator) -39405, Military Medal
1943 - Death: Alice Louisa LAWS (Barmaid) -3670, Swainsthorpe NFK UK
1943 - Birth: Peter John LAWES (Chartered Engineer)-1297, Whitby, NRY UK

                                              Whitby NRY UK (Harbour at night)

1944 - Death: Sarah Matilda LAWS-40952, Los Angeles CA USA
1944 - Miscellaneous: Charles LAWS (AUSTRALIAN ARMY) -32313, 
1946 - Birth: Peyton LAWS-40213, Harris Co TX USA
1948 - Birth: Fay Rena LAWS-40253, Harris Co TX USA
1948 - Death: Agnes JOHNSON (Shopkeeper) -30974, Bournemouth HAM UK

                        Bournemouth on the border beteen Hampshire and Dorset

1950 - Birth: Linda Louise LAWS-40302, TX USA
1957 - Miscellaneous: Sidney Lionel LAWS (Storehouse Assistant) -123212, 
1957 - Admon: Bertie LAWS-123211, 
1959 - Death: Olivia LAWS-36737, Watford HRT UK
1960 - Birth: Ann LAWS (Company Director) -46487, 
1961 - Marriage: Frank WILLIS-115550 and Sheila Marie LAWS-53922, Dawdon DUR UK
1961 - Marriage: Cecil James BAXTER-32686, Auburn NSW AUSTRALIA
1965 - Miscellaneous: Mary Ann Frances STEEL-43389, 
1965 - Admon: Charles LAWS-41918, 
1966 - Burial: Fred LAWS (PFC US Army) -37954, South Madison TN USA
1968 - Birth: Steven LAWS-54631, Hebburn Colliery DUR UK
1972 - Death: Leslie Michael IRWIN-3517, 
1973 - Death: Elizabeth Ida LAWS (Spinster) -5858, Great Yarmouth NFK UK
                                                     Great Yarmouth Norfolk

1976 - Death: Edward John LAWS-39431, Hamilton County, Cincinnati, OH USA
1978 - Death: Thomas Henry LAWS-121585, 
2004 - Death: Clifford Oliver DODSON-3548, Shepparton VIC AUSTRALIA
2006 - Death: Esther LAWS-167480, 

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