Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album



all i want for christmas is A NEW CHRISTMAS TREE!
Photo: Brenda Halsall
Views: 1,823
Item #: 18835
this is me age about 18 months old we do look a bit poverty sruck dont we!I lived on Manchester road then opposite Vartys then moved to Engineer street when i was two.happy days. the year is 1954.

Comment by: irene roberts on 3rd November 2011 at 13:26

Brenda, Peter and I would kill for that three and the decorations! We collect 1950s/60s decs....our tree is covered with them, including a 1950s Woolworth's Fairy, AND we have original paper streamers across the ceiling, original paper bells etc.etc.; all very faded and very loved.We saw a tree like the one in your photo in a charity shop a few years ago and didn't get it because we had nowhere to put it. Of course we regretted it and went back the year after, but they no longer had it. A lovely picture, Brenda. Thanks for letting us see it.

Comment by: halsall on 3rd November 2011 at 15:50

thanks Irene, i think the realistic snow is the best! x

Comment by: dk on 3rd November 2011 at 17:40

I don't know about that Brenda. I see a lot of trouble gone to in the tree - your first 'proper' Christmas; you'd have still been a babe in arms the previous one. I think we are looking at two of your Mam's little treasures.

My brother lived in the last house opposite Varty's for a few years. It was the one at the side of the railway - it still had sleepers for a fence when he lived there about twelve or so years ago.

In about 1966 or 1967 we lived in Withington Lane in New Springs - the bottom row opposite the golf course. 1960s - years of plenty. We had nowt. An attempt was made to pinch a tree off the Wutchie but they were a bit on the big side. We finished up with a bit of a twig of a silver birch or summat painted silver with a few balls hanging off it. It didn't look bad. You can buy 'em now, like that.

Can you not scan? If you need stuff scanning just shout - it's nowt of a job.

Comment by: Chris on 3rd November 2011 at 19:13

Brenda, I love the christmas tree, I remember having the exact same bell lights on our christmas tree when I was a little un, also the cotton wool for snow and those silver hanging strips. Brings back loads of memories, also you look so sweet with the bow in your hair, luv it.

Comment by: irene roberts on 4th November 2011 at 10:13

How right you are, dk and Chris; I can't help keep going back for another look at this photo. I can see a little note containing a child's hopes and dreams being sent in the draught up the chimney to Father Christmas, and a layer of soot coming down the other way to lie on the new paper decorations strung across the ceiling as they twisted and turned in the draughts from ill-fitting doors and windows. I can see my Dad holding a sheet of The Evening Post and Chronicle over the fireplace to get the fire to "draw" on Christmas Eve, and my Mam peeling carrots and turnips in front of the telly, watching "Dixon of Dock Green"in black-and-white; the patterns of frost on the windows next morning, and the tantalising parcels in a pillowcase, silently waiting for a little girl to bring them to life. We WERE a bit poverty-stricken Brenda,with our bottle-brush trees and cotton-wool snow, and yet we were rich beyond words in the things that really mattered.

Comment by: halsall on 4th November 2011 at 15:02

thanks for your comments dk chris and Irene. you couldnt have put it better Irene. Christmas was a wonderful time peeping at the bottom of the bed early morning to see if "hed been yet" pressy's all wrapped up in my pillow case. Christmas eve was special too not only for the anticipation of the morning but my mam always got us new pyjamas to wear. Now i have ten of them for christmas dinner four grandchildren running about and opening pressy's but its still a wonderful time and i love every minute of it. im so lucky.

Comment by: Christine Dunphy(formerly Jones) on 7th November 2011 at 09:29

Oh Irene! I was close to tears when I read your comment. The memories that came flooding back. The smell of Christmas. Freezing cold outside, and walking into the house after the carol service at St. Mary's school where all we little ones (aged about 6) had carried lanterns into the assembly hall, on shepherds crooks decorated with crepe paper and tinsel.The lamps were the little gold ones that you could change the colour of the light on. Clear, green or red. My dad used to spend ages fitting the top of a coat hanger for the hook, a brush handle to carry it with, and then wrapping the whole thing in tinsel and crepe. On the way home to Malvern Crescent, we'd call at the chippy. I have never tasted chips like them since. Hot, full of salt and vinegar eaten out of newspaper, walking home in a thick frost, the smell of the vinegar almost burning your nose because you'd put too much on. Walking into the house and the real fire half way up the chimney. Dad would sometimes put pine cones on the fire that he collected here and there. The smell filled the house as they crackled and spat as the fire got hold of them. The old fashioned decorations on the walls and on the tree. Cotton wool on the tree for snow. My older sister made decorations from ping pong balls dipped in glue and then rolled in glitter, you remember the stuff you used to be able to get in glass tubes? Making lanterns out of crepe paper, and making the decorations for the walls by cutting into strips and lapping them over each other. That was part of Christmas, making the decorations.I cant abide these new "contemporary" trees. Where are all the little memories? I still have ornaments that my son made at nursery school. They still go on the tree every year no matter what. There's just one thing I wondered about, and if you could all help me I'd be very grateful.

I have always put sherry and mince pies out for Father
Christmas, and a carrot or two for the reindeer. As I got older I realised that it must have been my mum or dad eating and drinking the stuff, so I did the same for my son. I carried on doing it for a bit of fun as the years went by. Trouble is, my son isnt eating or drinking it, neither is my husband, and I know for certain I'm not, so where is it going to now? Maybe if I were able to go back and ask the six year old me, she'd remind me that there are different kinds of magic, and as we get older the magic leaves us and we forget. Wish I knew where those mince pies were going though.

Comment by: irene roberts on 7th November 2011 at 13:48

Father Christmas has them Christine, just as he always did. What vivid, beautiful memories you have of childhood Christmases. Never let them go, and always believe in Father Christmas; it's a lovely thought!

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