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Summer's Gone...
Started by: jarvo (28449)  Report abuse
There was a time...

...when the park gates never closed and 'real' ice-cream was sold on Saturdays. Late summer was a memory of red dusk over rooftops, and a warm breeze blew up Standishgate.

Steam trains visited on their way to the Scottish cities with grand names and polished liveries. You could visit Southport, a place of open-top buses and delicious fish and chips. It was three bob down the line.

Summer meant tractors through the cool plantations, passing the conker trees and going over little bridges. At the other end, Haigh Hall in all its musty glory, was a mystery.

Robin Park was a day out; and so was Little Lane. And over the thin grass and rusty rails, Blundells beckoned: long abandoned by the industrial revolution, but a challenge for the kids that roamed the summers before health and safety put the past to bed.

As the rain washes our weekend leaving nothing but these memories, thank God for them; they are precious indeed.

Summer's gone. It died late - in the last century...

Posted by: roylew (2887) Report abuse
It was our childhood that died

Posted by: ann-spam (3260)  Report abuse
Have we had one its nature gone to the dogs

Posted by: roylew (2887) Report abuse
Our childhood created endless blue skies.....we played out more than they do today....I remember taking my sailing boat out many times to next door but one in Queens Drive Golborne because their garden turned into a pond when we had a deluge...still happy days

Posted by: irene (2822)  Report abuse
I remember so well, Jarvo, that first rush of a breeze as the tractor set off from the Plantation Gates. There was always a chill on that first stretch and grasses and plants that the sun never reached at all. You could go in the Hall in those days and I recall faintly musty rooms, one with brass musical instruments in a glass case. The fish-pond with enormous gold fish and lily-pads and the greenhouses full of exotic plants along with more homely ones. Walking back into Wigan marvelling at the "posh" houses near the plantations, then getting the bus back to our little terraced house, still with an outside toilet! But I felt safe there, with my Mam and Dad, and envied not the Wigan Laners! Sometimes, in late summer, we get an afternoon of warm, mellow sunshine, and those afternoons always invoke memories of those Haigh Hall and Wigan Park Sunday outings, as does the sound of the ice-cream man's music, rising and falling as he meanders round the streets.

Posted by: billy (26012)  Report abuse
followed by the rag and bone man, balloons for rags in posher area"s ya got goldfish, later in the early hours of morning the guy with a long pole rattling the bedroom windows and calling out the time.
ahhhh yesss.....I remember it wellll.

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
Billy..I've always wondered who woke the knocker up.???

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
I honestly can't remember any rainy days during my childhood ..playing in
the street,tar bubbling through the cracks in the pavement..getting my
Mams lavender polish tin to play hopscotch,top and whip with different
chalked colours on the top..my Mam taking loads of children down to the
flash with jam butties and bottle of water...going to the allotments on
Sunday for homegrown veg and pick your own bunch of flowers...oh how
simple life seemed to be,and it wasn't through rose coloured glasses, no
litter on the streets..no bottles lying about,you got a penny for every one
you took back...I could go on and on,but...I will just keep my memories and
thrive on them.

Posted by: billy (26012)  Report abuse
he/she was a street gas lighter....he/she did the knocking up on their way homeafter putting the gas lights out.

Posted by: admin (368) Report abuse
I remember the smell of the polish, do they still sell it? I would love to smell that aroma again. I would be back to my childhood in an instant..

Posted by: irene (2822)  Report abuse
Yes, Admin, you can. It seems John Lewis sell it and Amazon. Go into Google and type Lavender Furniture Polish. It brings up a line of pics of lavender polish, some in aerosols, some in round flat tins like our Mams used, (it seems to be called Furniture Wax). There is an arrow to the right of the images which takes you to other images. I can't recall the name of the polish my Mam used....was it Mansion?

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
My Mam used to get all her bedroom furniture from Penningtons Millgate ..and I used to polish that furniture with Lavender polish. can smell it now....
the wardrobes ,dressing tables,tall boys..as a child I used to love cleaning,
most of all scrubbing the front step and polishing the windowsill,a Bobby
came by one day and said to our next door neighbour,'is this child made to
do this cleaning" the neighbour told him.."you try stopping her"..Irene,I do remember a Mansion polish...it's a well known fact that certain smells can
evoke memories,and Lavender can take me back to when I was little,but
the polish had a smell all of its own.

Posted by: wizzerwin (1487) Report abuse
What have we got now? Our kids safe in their own homes watching hundreds of channels on t.v playing games with their mates over the internet. Not a bad life eh.

Posted by: irene (2822)  Report abuse
No. not a bad life. In fact, not a life at all.

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
I'm so glad I my memories didn't consist of TV mobile phones the net and electrical gadgets..

Posted by: roylew (2887) Report abuse
It did rain you know...I loved my childhood...but it did rain

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
It must have been when I went to bed Roy.

Posted by: wizzerwin (1487) Report abuse
Momac, what did you do on those cold winter nights?

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
I really don't remember any cold nights..can I ask you why.

Posted by: irene (2822)  Report abuse
Jarvo, where are you, lad? I thought you would have been back on this thread by now! x.

Posted by: berylh (1644) Report abuse
As there was no central heating then we all gathered in the living room where the only fire was. If Dad was in charge of the baby sitting he would make us toast on the open fire, we also liked sitting with Dad as dusk came watching the different shapes in the fire. Do you think we would get away with that now?

Posted by: jarvo (28449)  Report abuse
...Down by the brook, watching the 'Coffee Pots' waiting for the 'road'. The signalman would see us safely across, and then the cool glades of Winky Wood with the bluebells fading would envelop us all.

Early summer to late summer, watching the engines passing...

My idea of Heaven.

Posted by: wizzerwin (1487) Report abuse
momac, it seems to me that most people remember the warmer times in their younger lives but find it harder to remember what they did when it was cold, I'm one of those people.

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
Wizzerin,you are so right..I thought hard and long about this last night to be
honest,I do remember as Beryl says of looking into the fire to watch all the
different shapes..and also of going to School in the snow..but apart from that the rest of my memories are of warm Summer days...isn't the memory
a strange thing.

Posted by: grimshaw (1152)  Report abuse
And the open air swimming baths at southport on sunday afternoon.then doughnuts at the fairground.

The long route back to the bus stop down lord street.

Lads and lasses together.

Terrific memories

Posted by: britboy (6761) Report abuse
In winter, the day soon drew to a close, kids were in the house early and quite often ment bedtime was early, under the covers to keep warm.
We used to have a small Yorkshire range (1950’s) in the living room, no other heat source in the house except a stand alone paraffin heater in the kitchen, stopped the pipes freezing in winter.
Dad used to keep stoking up a roaring coal fire, he would bank it up in winter and put a layer of ash on top so that it burned slowly overnight and was still in the next morning. He was always the first up in the morning, before going to work he would clean out the fire, nice hot coals still glowing and load up again with fresh coal, by the time us kids got out of bed the fire was roaring, such a welcome sight in winter.
We were posh, no walking to the end of the yard for the toilet, it was built onto the back of the house, still had to go outside to get there but no long trip.
Dad used to put a candle in a glass jar and place it under the pipe coming into the systern in winter stop it freezing up.
Other aspects of life in the 50’s at home, no electricity, it was all gas lights and gas stove, the kitchen was only really warm in winter when there was cooking going on.
No tv, I used to listen to various kids programs on the wireless, one in particular, Journey into Space, which transported a little boy into dreamland adventures. We had two accumulators which we swopped about, the flat one was charged in pemberton at the cycle shop, I can still see old Jarvis the shop owner of the time, I believe it became Winstanley’s.
One day a man appeared with wires, an electric meter and various bits and pieces, it was a magical time, meter fitted, one power socket and light in the living room and a light in the kitchen, we were immediately transported into the modern world, no more lugging accumulators from Pemberton down city road.
Many more aspects of the 50’s come to mind as a child of that era, innocent times, playtime was always an adventure, Porters Wood in summer with a bottle of Corporation pop and jam butties, making snow barricades in winter rolling up big snow balls to make a fort.
I’ve got many memories and experiences of childhood that most modern children will never witness, my mam and dad, various aunts and uncles, great childhood friend ment a carefree and trouble free life, a good start to growing up.

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
Britboy,I too remember going to the shop for a gas mantle for my Mam,and
being terrified of it breaking they were that fragile..I can only liken them to a butterflies wing..and also the banking up of the coal fire so a lovely glowing
fire would be instant after it was 'riddled'.
In Winter we lived in the parlour as it was a smaller room ..and easier to
keep warm..and whenever I or my Brother had to.be in bed with either the
Chicken pox or Measles my Dad would just get a shovel full of the fire to
take upstairs and start another fire in the grate there,
I could go on ,but you have given a lovely description of the childhood of
that time...and yes ..a good start to growing up.

Posted by: jodav (206) Report abuse

Into my heart on air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad.

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
A lovely poem Jodav..and so true.

Posted by: britboy (6761) Report abuse
momac! very posh, a parlor and fireplaces upstairs as well, the height of luxury

The one thing my mam and dad kept away from us children was that we were poor, we kids never noticed that at all as we were alway kept well fed, clothed and loved.... although I am obviously bias, I had the best of parents

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
Britboy,I thought all old houses had fireplaces upstairs..and yes I know that
we didn't have much but as you say,we never knew we were poor..but only
poor in finance...never in love.

Posted by: britboy (6761) Report abuse
I did do a note about “baby boomers” but like some comments, erased it...unless it was spotted before I did erase.
At times some personal observations don’t need sharing on WW.

Posted by: blackrodweaver (518) Report abuse
what a great post and great comments on our growing up in the 50's. now I think kids have everything but are missing a childhood we had.

songwriter: ??

Rows of back to back houses, covered in smoke and grime
Children skipping in the street, and washing on the line
A scarf tucked down your jersey, to keep you from the cold
I wore a woolly balaclava when I was nine years old

When I was a lad, neighbours were neighbours
When I was a lad, doing you favours
People giving people a hand, no matter how small
When I was a lad, dolly (?) mixtures
When I was a lad, Saturday pictures
When I was a lad, those were the greatest days of all

School from Monday to Friday, I learned to read and write
Grandad sitting on the doorstep in the fading light
Tin bath hanging from a six-inch nail, lino on the floor
Lavatory out in the back-yard, sit with your foot against the door

Times were hard in winter, but mother kept us fed
All night huddled round the fireside, overcoats on the bed
We were a great big family, we all slept head to toe
In a big brass bed up in the backroom, and it seems so long ago

Posted by: momac (9051)  Report abuse
Blackrodweaver,your poem says it all doesn't it..it has jogged my memory
of my Grandma putting a warm wooly scarf around my neck then crossing
over my chest..finally pinning it at the back. they're lovely memories to have.

Posted by: britboy (6761) Report abuse
This particular post jogs so many memories so long forgotten but when reminded become as vivid as yesterday.

Posted by: billy (26012)  Report abuse
true...so true.


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