including memories of growing up in Rawmarsh
Part of the Jackson Family History
Alternative web address: http://www.hilarymaryjackson.co.uk/Hicklings%20Shop.htm
Updated 23 April 2008
|Dixon Family||Our Canadians||Braithwaite Research||School Days||Vaughan Family||Abraham Thompson|
My Mother, Irene Braithwaite, told me that they opened the shop on Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh in 1926. The shop apparently was bought by them, prior to the 1926 General Strike, although they were not living in the property when the strike began. Her Mother, Mary Hickling, had advised them that they ought to be living in the house as she envisaged problems arising if No 50 Kilnhurst Road was unoccupied. Irene Hickling was already known as an established Milliner at 52 Kilnhurst Road and that is possibly why they continued trading under the name 'Hickling' after she married my Father.
However consulting the 1926 Kelly's directory the occupier is shown as:
Beckett Thomas, shopkeeper, 50 Kilnhurst road, Ryecroft
She eventually arrives (according to Kelly's) in 1928:
Hickling Miss Irene, milliner, 50
Hickling Mrs. Mary, butcher, 52
The 1911 Census shows a different family in residence:
|Walter Pashley, Head, aged 32, Married, Shopkeeper*, General Dealer, Own Account (Home), born Swinton, Yorkshire, British||Rose Blanche Pashley, wife, age 34, Married 10 years - no children, Shopkeeper*, General Dealer, Own Account (Home), born Kilnhurst, Yorkshire, British||Kathleen Annie Flavell, Neice, age 9, born Wath on Dearne, Yorkshire, British||Charlotte Lanceley, Servent, age 16, Single, General Servent, born Green Lane, Yorkshire, British|
|There were 6 rooms in the house - not including the shop||Walter signed - the postal address was shown as 50 Kilnhurst Rd, Ryecroft, Rawmarsh, Rotherham.|
Picture 1: left shows Mother clearing the snow on Kilnhurst Road, Ryecroft a district in Rawmarsh, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire.
Picture 2: was taken in about 1960. Mother is seen in front of the shop on Kilnhurst Road, at Rawmarsh, with her Granddaughter, Ann Braithwaite - Ann was on a visit from Canada with her Mother, Alma Elizabeth Braithwaite nee Driver.
Picture 3 and 4: shows Mother serving a customer, notice the well-stocked shelves with 2d off Vim! in Picture 3; that's me pretending to be a customer in both pictures!
Picture 5: was taken in about 1930 and shows my brother with Mary Emma Templeton nee Simms on the right, and someone unknown on the left.
Picture 6: was also taken about 1930 and shows Rosehill School in the distance and on the right 50 Kilnhurst Road, my mother's shop with the blind out; 52 my Grandparents house; and 54 my Uncle Charlie's butcher's shop and that could be Uncle Charlie or Uncle Bill in the butcher's apron.
Remaining pictures: show 50 Kilnhurst Road over the years with the last picture showing the shop in 2006, the building is now a William Hill's betting shop with a flat on the 2nd floor. Larger versions can be viewed by clicking on each image; use the top left hand 'Back' button to return to read the rest of this page.
My Mother sold almost everything in the shop, except food. She started work originally as an apprentice to a milliner in the Effingham Street or Frederick Street area of Rotherham. After Mother and Dad were married in December 1925, they opened the shop in 1926. I have no idea what she sold at this time, but when I was a girl (I was born in 1940) she sold all kinds of underwear for children and adults; ladies and children's fashions - dresses, suits, jumpers, socks of all sizes, stockings and hats. She stocked all sewing materials, buttons, sewing cotton, Sylko, embroidery cotton, elastic, needles, pins, bias binding as well as everything for the knitter. One bedroom upstairs was used for additional wool storage.
Cosmetics and costume jewellery were available; California Poppy, Evening in Paris, Devon Violets perfumes; patent medicines; Toni and Pin-up perms, shampoos. These were all stored on one side of the shop.
The other side was devoted to hardware - brushes, bowls, pots, soap powder, screws and nails of every size. She even sold pieces of leather so that shoes could be soled and rubber heels and segs if required. This side of the shop would have to make way for the toys and annuals stocked before Christmas.
Larger items such as chicken wire and roofing felt in rolls were stored in a lean-to in the yard. This was known as the "Lanry hut" as the bleach bottles in crates were also stored there. She also sold a large quantity of cigarettes and tobacco. These had to be stored carefully, so a special large drawer was kept aside for these.
At one time my Mother also ran a "lending library" - these books were stored in the "room" in a book case set aside for this purpose. My Dad used to take photographs in and around the locality and these were developed as post cards and sold in the shop. He used to develop these photographs using the kitchen or possibly the cellar as a 'dark room'. I still have one of the red bulbs he used in the light fitting on those occasions. I think some of the photographs shown above must have been taken by Dad.
***Mother also stocked a large quantity of greeting cards and all stationery items. Her prices for greeting cards were always marked down as Mother believed the recommended price for these items was too high for her customers to pay - I can't remember her reducing any other commodity except when she had a 'sale'.
She had been trained in window dressing and the windows always looked attractive when she first set out a new display. However, Mum used to keep adding items until sometimes the displays were too cramped - she would make the excuse that if customers couldn't see an item they would not know she sold it.
Mum sold toys that were in season, such as whip and tops, marbles, snobs, cricket bats and balls, beach balls, footballs. Mother always applied for a fireworks license to sell fireworks and she always had plenty available for Bonfire Night. If she didn't stock it, she would order it for her customers. We also had a twice weekly laundry and dry cleaning service for which she acted as agent.
The shop was known as "Hickling's" or "Irene Hickling's", much to my Dad's annoyance. I don't think anyone called it "Braithwaite's". I believe Hickling's was the name initially adopted when the shop was first taken over because my mother was already an established milliner in the area, trading from the family home at No. 52 Kilnhurst Road, before her marriage to my dad, Albert Braithwaite, and that is possibly why they continued trading under the 'Hickling' name after they were married - as the Kelly's 1928 directory shows.
My mother was quite keen on horse-racing, the betting side that is! She used to favour a jockey called Scobie Breasley and she was quite lucky in a small way.
This was the era of the 'bookies runner' when it was quite illegal to indulge in street betting. Our local bookies runner was Vic Bullens and he used to stand across the road from my Mother's shop, close to the red public telephone box.
Standing here was quite handy for Vic as he could keep his eye out for the Police Constable and also take his phone calls. The Policeman could be seen approaching from several directions - Heatons Bank, down South Street or from either side of Kilnhurst Road. If Vic spotted him he would rush across the road and hide in Mother's shop, peeping through the dresses in the 'fashion' window. If the Policeman approached the shop, he would be shown into the back to hide in the house.
Mother placed her bets with Vic and was able to keep a close eye on the results which were passed on to him.
When betting became legal, he opened a betting shop, just up the road, on the corner of Main Street and Kilnhurst Road. This used to be "Stamp's" fruit shop and was run by friends of my mother and dad, Agnes Stamp and her husband, Horace. See Gallery 3 for a photograph of Agnes and Horace.
My Mother and Father were paid-up members of Ryecroft Working Men's Club and the Committee organised an annual trip to the seaside.
This led to an almost mass evacuation of the Ryecroft area of Rawmarsh with the hiring of many buses to take us to Bridlington, Skegness, Scarborough, Cleethorpes or Blackpool. The kids all used to try and get on the bus on which Vic Bullens was the steward, as this meant a good time going and coming back.
He used to organise competitions to keep everyone from getting bored and gave money to the winners. He also sometimes had quite a bit to drink on the way back which caused some amusement to the kids on the bus. Here's a few photographs some of which contain Rawmarsh people:
|1-2||We used to go on holiday to Whitley Bay - I loved it - there was an open air swimming pool, carved out of the rocks on the sea shore. I think the first two photos and possibly the 3rd photo were taken at Whitley Bay|
|3||Me with Christopher and Robin Ottoway|
|4||This beach crowd photograph shows a trip of Rawmarsh/Ryecroft people visiting the seaside - My Mother is on the 3rd row from the front; next left is Lillian Briggs; then Lillian's Mother, Jane Ethel Briggs (nee Froggatt); just behind to her left, in a hat, is her older daughter Beatrice Alice Kirk (nee Briggs); on the same row holding a spade is (we think) Douglas Briggs. Christine Ellis nee Kirk gave me this one as well as photo number 4.|
|5-7||These three other photos were in my parents collection and I think might be a group from Ryecroft WMC.|
|8||Friends - left to right Patricia Wass, Margaret Crawshaw, Barbara Kingston, Christine Kirk and in front, Michael and Angela Kirk on Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh|
Mrs Potter - Mrs Potter, known to my dad as "Ma Potter" used to appear in our shop every morning and afternoon, for her twice-daily 'drag'.
According to Mrs Potter, her husband hated smoking and was unaware of her clandestine habit; so she used to appear, propping up our shop counter and satisfying her habit.
My Mother at this time was a prolific smoker, one who kept her cigarette in her mouth all the time, the ash freely dropping everywhere; I remember the cash drawer, containing her fallen cigarette ash. I hated it - she put me off smoking when I was older!
Mother used to buy goods from a man called Mr Crewe - he used to live in Whitley Bay and his wife ran a boarding house - we used to stay there regularly even during the second world war.
These tradesmen were referred to by my Mother as "travellers" and Mr Crewe was an especial favourite. He used to wear a trilby hat and very politely doffed it when greeting people. I think he sold clothes to Mum for stocking in the shop and was a source of 'nylons' which were very scarce during the war. Mr Crewe lived in Whitley Bay and his wife kept a "Boarding House" - this is where we stayed when we went to Whitley Bay on holiday. Another "traveller" we Mr Obell, he always was smart and wore a bow tie.
I used to like the salesmen who brought toys and books to sell - my Mother used to increase her stock in these commodities ready for the Christmas period. Customers used to prepare early by choosing goods and "laying them away" - paying so much each week, with Mother putting the items in a huge cupboard in the "room" until the customer had paid for them.
We had only the kitchen and the "room" downstairs, behind the shop. Upstairs we had our guest lounge with its lovely fireplace, only used when we had visitors, and we had three bedrooms. We didn't have a bathroom at that time, the bath was "portable" - a huge tin bath, kept in the coalhouse and dragged out for baths in front of the fire.
Everyone washed in the kitchen sink until my brother, Roy qualified as a plumber. We then converted the boxroom into a bathroom with a fashionable green and black bathroom suite with an airing cupboard and immersion heater if we needed hot water. Normally though, the water was heated by the range in the kitchen.
In the kitchen we had a corner sink and a cabinet which had a folding table. This table was always out - I can't remember it ever being closed. The cabinet held our pots and condiments. The pantry and cellar could be reached from the kitchen.
The back door to the house was from the kitchen and led to the back yard. Just outside the kitchen door the yard was flat and had been concreted to a flat level surface.
My brother Roy, used to fly his model aircraft here using a hole in the centre of the yard; the aircraft would be fastened to a length of string, tied to a pole which was fixed into the hole. He would fly the aircraft round and round the yard, until the fuel ran out.
I remember one occasion when I was playing down the street in St Nicholas Road, things got a bit out of control and this girl and I started arguing, then we started fighting and as I was losing this particular fight, I set off running home to our house. The girl I was quarrelling with followed me and I ran into the back yard, avoiding our Roy's treasured aeroplane and ran into the house. The girl, though wasn't so lucky! She ran smack into the plane - our Roy was not pleased!
Below the yard we had a very untidy rockery which my Dad used to tidy up now and again. Gardening was not something he enjoyed, so it was usually very untidy, with grass growing freely at the bottom. We did have a few raspberry canes and just one solitary tiger lily plant which persisted in growing every year despite the neglect. At the bottom of the garden we had three garages, two of which were let to Alfie Clifford and a Mr Griffiths. We had the remaining one. Mr Griffiths used to run a car repair business from his garage. Some of the photos in the photo galleries show our untidy back garden.
Here are some thoughts of friends who remember Mother's shop -
Christine Ellis (nee Kirk) a friend of mine, who used to live across the road at 113 Kilnhurst Road, thought that it was like Aladdin's Cave; her husband Keith remembers that Mother used to sell little painted lead soldiers, which the lads bought with their pocket money and it was rumoured that Roy, my brother made them for Mother to sell; he also recollects that people used to take their wireless batteries into the shop for charging. My father used to see to this part of the business. Keith listed items which were for sale - nails, hammers, felt for roofs, wire netting, gas mantles, copper shovels, fire bricks, pots, pans, lovely clothes for kids and ladies, hats, jewellery, jumpers, handkerchiefs, toiletries and lots more and that Mother had what she called a "lending library" loaning books out - this was in the back room.
A friend of Christine's called Eileen Rhodes used to save her bus fare and walk from Roundwood Grove to School - this was so that she could buy lipstick etc at the shop - Eileen also used to pay 2d a week on a card, this was saved over the year to buy her Mum a fancy lipstick for Christmas that cost 8 shillings and 9 pence Christine added that they always liked my Mum, that she had lots of patience and was always pleasant. The shop was always very interesting.
Angela, Christine's sister, who now lives in Niagara on the Lake in Canada states - I always remember being sent over to your shop for some 'Lanry', never forgotten that, and also I think your mother used to sell 'soda water' in those elaborate bottles that we took her for exchange. I think we were regulars for that stuff, I was such a 'sickly' kid and was always getting 'Indian brandy' soda water etc. pushed down me. Actually it's not much different today, only now I take 'Gravol' , must have been born with the 'funny tummy'. Remember also your Mum, always seemed to have mounds of 'stuff' around everywhere, don't know how she knew where to find stuff, but it used to fascinate me, especially when she re-did the window and put those blouses, and of course toys on display. Your Dad seemed to be kind of 'loitering' in the background, not too much in the shop, but hanging around the back, your Mum always at the counter...............
Jean Cutts (nee Kissack) who still lives in Rawmarsh remembers buying dresses from the shop and taking them home to try on. She recollects buying some lovely dresses from the shop. Jean in later years became the owner of a shop a few yards down the street; the shop used to be a small sweet shop, known as "White's". Jean started a very nice fashion shop and I remember buying my clothes from her - she used to have some really fashionable clothes. I particularly remember buying a cat suit and hot pants! what a picture that conjures up! This shop had, according to my friend Christine Kirk, been owned by several different people over the years. Before Whites it was the Hawkins family; and at some time before that Christine's Grandma Briggs had owned it and ran a drapery business - this was Number 60 Kilnhurst Road. Christine's Mother, Alice Kirk (nee Briggs) had helped her Mother in the shop and Christine was born there in 1939.
Martin Ensor when asked if he remembered the shop, said "Don't get me wrong, your Mother was a lovely person, but she was quite a character . . ."
In one corner of the shop where the customer waited to be served Mother used to display hardware, bowls and such. One day, much to Mother's disgust, a dog brought in the shop by a customer, urinated in one of the bowls. Mother was so incensed by this that she quickly wrote a cardboard poster requesting -
"Please don't bring your dogs in here as they make a convenience of my buckets and bowls."
This notice caused some amusement amongst the customers. I met someone a few years ago who, when he found out that I was the daughter of Irene Hickling, remembered that occasion vividly.
A friend of mine, Glen Ashall (nee Haddrell), sent me the following snippet:
talked to my mum about your mum and this is what she said:
She remembers Vic Bullins, the bookmaker standing near the phone box and the business your mum conducted with him.
She says people could try clothes on upstairs. There were always girls white dresses for Whitsuntide.
When she was a girl about 10 , my Grandma bought my mum some bright yellow socks from the shop. My mum hated them and took them off when she left the house to go to school and went without any socks all day until she returned home after school when she put them back on.
There were lots of toys bought in for Xmas. You could join the Xmas club for a halfpenny a week. A doll cost 2s 6p.
When your mum had been in hospital, she told my mum how many yards of intestine there is in your body. She even drew a diagram on some paper on the counter.
She used to stock "accumulators" for radios. These had to be filled with acid which she stocked. Of course, you had to have a spare while the other was being refilled.
The snippets bit is very interesting - I remember some of these things too - you should have written a book."
Mother and Father used to invite friends around to the house on Sunday evenings to play cards, usually Solo or Bridge. We had a special "card table" for this occasion, a folding square table with a green baize top. I remember, my Dad never liked to "partner" my Mother on these occasions because she always played her own hand, never trying to guestimate her partner's cards.
We had a beautiful Pianola in the "room". Chambers 20th Century Dictionary definition states "a pneumatic contrivance for playing the piano by means of a perforated roll (registered trademark)." I loved this instrument. We kept the Pianola rolls in one of the room cupboards, which were set in an alcove at the side of the fireplace.
These fascinated me. We had all manner of music rolls from The Sheik of Araby, Old Black Joe, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and many more. I loved sitting there, pedalling away, pretending that I was playing those tunes and sometimes singing along - my singing though was not a pleasant thing to hear! I did go to piano lessons, faithfully, sometimes reluctantly, every Saturday morning for seven years, to Miss Marceline Colclough who lived at the big house on the top of Holly Bush Street, Parkgate. When I got married my Dad wanted me to have the piano but Barry refused it. I could have wept! My dad then swopped it for a record player! I have though, some years since bought a second hand piano from the Nelson's who were leaving Rawmarsh and did not want to take it with them; and this moved with us from Rawmarsh to Kilnhurst. I occasionally play it, but to say I had all those lessons, I am not very good! But I still enjoy "tinkling the ivories" and will not be persuaded to part with it.
The picture on the right was taken by local photographer Frank Cuckson on the occasion of my 21st birthday. The Pianola can just be seen in the background.
On the photograph, on the top left, are two dresses, hanging from the picture rail. These would have been items "laid away" by a customer. They would pay so much each week and then when the payment was made, the customer would receive the items put aside. Mother though was at times too generous with people. Some took advantage of her. If Mother had known a customer a long time, she allowed them to have the goods and still pay so much each week - "On the tick". One lady in particular used to take dresses on a regular basis. My Mother realised eventually that the lady never wore these clothes, she always seemed shabbily dressed and the dresses she took away were very fashionable clothes. She sold the items on to someone else - my Mother used to regularly see her in Ryecroft WMC, but always in the same attire. Mother thought that she had a drink problem and eventually she did stop her taking any more goods. However, she was in debt to the shop for years and never did settle up when the shop closed.
Holidays at Home - Rosehill Park (Victoria Park) - I have happy memories of these occasions. Rawmarsh Urban District Council organised a week-long programme of events which included a parade, concerts and competitions.
The park used to be packed with people, it was so popular. I believe these events were organised during the Second World War and continued afterwards. One of my most vivid recollections is of a boy called Billy Larder. Billy used to enter the Talent Competitions which were held around the Bandstand. He would always (or it seemed so to me) choose to sing "Beautiful Dreamer" and whenever I hear this tune it always brings a lump to my throat.
Victoria Park was the 'official' name of the park, but it was known locally as Rosehill Park.
Many years later, I was part of a group from Rawmarsh Labour Party who tried to bring back a little of the nostalgia of those occasions. We set up Rawmarsh, Kilnhurst & Parkgate Gala Committee.
We organised a parade, this time though leaving from the Rosehill Park locality and walking to the Rawmarsh Leisure Centre, via Dale Road. When the parade arrived, various activities would then start. A Dog Show, Children's Races, Fancy Dress, a Football competition, a Fun Run and there were lots of stalls.
This Gala was held for several years on August Bank Holiday Monday. It was becoming increasingly popular and busier with thousands attending, but the organising committee were getting smaller! So eventually, the event finished.
However in recent years, Community Action has started organising a Rawmarsh Fun Day in Rosehill Park and this could yet again become an annual event which gets bigger and better. There are plans in the pipeline to improve the park as it has become a little worse for wear with the paths full of pot holes, the paddling pool and sandpit now fenced off, a no-go area, and the vandals have spoilt many of the features which have been there for many years.
The Chapels held the Annual Whit Walk for many years. A brass band would be at the front of the procession. I remember assembling in Broad Street, Parkgate and walking behind the Ryecroft Methodist Banner and Tableaux. Each Sunday School would choose a story from the Bible and a scene from the story would provide the tableaux on the float. The Sunday School Queen and attendants would either walk behind the lorry or on some occasions, be on another lorry. I was even on one of the lorries, one year as an attendant of the Sunday School Queen. (See 2nd picture on the left.) When all the walkers and floats reached the park, a service was held, followed by the judging of the tableau's. The first picture on the left was taken in 1952 - the float from Ryecroft Methodist Chapel, one of the year's they won the cup.
The second picture shows Ryecroft Methodists' Sunday School Queen and attendants on the float in the Whit Sunday Procession - 1945ish. Named so far are top left, Madeline Shephard, Maureen Longden, Maureen Jackson, Molly Bailey - Sunday School Queen, Joan Hickling, Christine Kirk; front on the left, Margaret Crawshaw and me! If anyone can identify the other girls, or the three girls on the ladder, please email me, using the email at the bottom on the page.
Children almost always had their new clothes at Whitsuntide and wore them for the first time when taking part in this parade. The streets from Parkgate to Rawmarsh used to be lined with people, in their Whitsun clothes, watching the parade; lots of them would then follow behind and stay in Rosehill Park for the service.
I received the interesting email on 27 April 2005 from a former resident of North Street, Rawmarsh which I am repeating below:
Quite by accident I have just come across your web site and spent a fascinating hour reading mostly about Ryecroft.
My name is Graham Uttley and, from being born in 1949 up until 1973 I lived in North Street. Mum and Dad, Cath and Arthur Uttley, had lived there since their marriage in 1935 and continued to do so until their deaths - dad in 1982 and Mum in 1994. There are so many things I remember that you have written about and, although a few years after you, I took many of the same paths as you while growing up. Ryecroft Infants, Rosehill Junior School and Ryecroft Methodist Chapel were all big parts of my early life. Mum was president of the Ryecroft Methodist Sisterhood for many years before her death (although when my Grandma Uttley, who also lived in North Street, was a regular attender it was called 'The Bright Hour'!). Many years of coffee mornings, Autumn Fayres and other fundraising events led of course to the new chapel being built. Although Mum died in our local cottage hospital (I lived in Selby at the time) she went back to her beloved chapel, which was packed to the doors for her funeral. Dad worked all his life at Parkgate 'Forge' (as did Grandpa Uttley), and liked nothing better than a stroll up to George Eyre's 'woodyard' (behind the Queens Hotel) for a smoke and a chat with George and to see if there were any 'offcuts' he could use for a bit of diy or woodcarving.
I remember your mum's shop very well, being one of a number along Kilnhurst Road which served our every requirement - who needed supermarkets? Mum use to go 'up the street' to do her shopping every day. Bread from Pearce's, meat from Charlie Hicklings and veg from Horace Stamps or Gil Naylors. My own abiding memory of your Mum's shop was her firework club. For weeks I used to take my spending money in to be entered onto a card until the great day when Dad would take me in to choose my fireworks. Your mention of Mrs White's shop reminded me of my first paid job. On a Saturday morning I used to run Mrs White's errands for her along Kilnhurst Road. For this I was paid the princely sum of one shilling. She used to get most of it back quite quickly due to my fondness for Hagues of Parkgate's pop!
Other things on your site which rung a bell included Vic Bullens running bets. I think the actual bookmaker was called Broughton and he lived in South Street - I lived next door to his son Harold when I married and went to live in Swinton. Dad used to tell a story about Vic running down 'the backs' in North Street, pursued by the local bobby, frantically eating betting slips in case he was caught (not sure if that was actually true!). I remember the Kirk family - Dad and Cliff Kirk were good friends. Like most of the neighbourhood boys I had a crush on Christine Kirk (its a blonde thing I think). We later both sang in the choir at Ryecroft but I never did tell her! Dad became a regular customer at Keith's shop as his diy continued after his retirement. I was also interested to read that Angela now lives in Canada, they also had a brother, Mick I think. Also, Dad was in the same class at school as Albert Simms, though that didn't stop us from scrumping apples and pears from his trees which were over our garden wall!
There are so many other things on your site that brought back memories, almost all of those connected with growing up in Ryecroft were good ones. As for me, I now live in Pocklington in East Yorkshire. My three daughters are 27, 24 and 22 and living in Glasgow, London and Sydney (travelling) and, since mum died I have no need to come back to Rawmarsh. The last time I did, Kilnhurst Road was looking a bit shabby, so I prefer to remember it as it was when we were children.
Thank you for transporting me back in time Hilary, I really enjoyed it. I hope you keep well and continue to develop your web site as you find more things to write about.
One of the nice things about having this website is that I hear from other people who lived or still live in Rawmarsh and in November 2006 I had an email from another former Ryecroft resident, Marion Petford nee Shawcroft:
I've just spent a happy hour reading your account. I was born Marion Shawcroft at 64 Kilnhurst Rd., next to Pearce's bakery, some two years after yourself. Mum worked at Steel's and I'm sure you remember that everyone knew everyone else's immediate family history, so it was no great surprise to find that Irene Hickling (her that married ...) had a daughter called Hilary Braithwaite. I don't think your dad ever came into my consciousness.
In my earlier recollections there was a cobblers shop next door to yours, and Naylors was just a wet fish shop. Crawshaws veg was opposite, where we used to get home-made ice lollies, and slippers etc were bought from 'Nan's'. Mum did the shopping on her way to and from work but I spent hours with my 3d bit and coupons choosing sweets from Mrs Whites! Although you wouldn't know it, Whites was not just a sweet shop, but one which had all sorts of out-of-the-way items, stored in boxes of different sizes, and probably dating, some of them from the time of Grandma Briggs!
Schooldays, piano lessons up Hollybush with Miss Colclough, Whit walks .... all these are echoed in my own account for my daughter, so you really brought back my childhood. I do remember your mum's shop window though - not the 'everything' window but the clothes one on the right. When first changed it really looked spendid. Your piece explained why it gradually deteriorated.
Of course shops changed but, when I left, Kilnhurst Road was essentially the same comfortable place it had always been. Links with Ryecroft were broken in 1980 when mum came to live with us here in Birmingham and when we returned in 2003 for her funeral I didn't like what I saw, so thank you for reminding me of people and places which represent a very happy childhood.
Keep up the good work,
Marion Petford nee Shawcroft
Discussing Marion's recollections with my friends Christine and Keith Ellis, the first cobbler's shop used to be a few blocks down from our house, not next door. This was placed after our neighbours shop (Flavel's shop and their yard/worskshop) next was the drive down to what used to be my Grandparents' field, later known as Simm's field - my Uncle Norman used to live high up on the top end of this field in a former bus. There was also a huge garage where Tinker's used to mend vehicles. Next to the drive was Mr Oate's yard - Mr Oates was a Funeral Director and I think, he had a joinery business as there were loads of wood stacked high in this yard. This is where Mr Carr, the Cobbler had his first shop. When Mr Oates began to build a bungalow at the front of his land, Mr Carr had to move his shop a few blocks further down Kilnhurst Road to a plot near the bus terminus.
and the latest was two emails from Phyllis Elias who used to live in at Upper Haugh and Parkgate -
I have so enjoyed reading your account of life in Rycroft. I lived at Upper Haugh from 1945 to 1953. when my father's job took us to live at Aldwarke Terrace Parkgate. How I hated that move. It was, of course, so much better for Dad to be literally 2 minutes from his office, but from Warren House to there was like going to inhabit a different planet. My mother hated it too, but eventually we all got used to it
We had very close friends who had a shop in Claypit Lane, called Phyl and Jim Davies. They were welsh, like my father, so became really good friends. They had one daughter, Diane, and we would all go dancing every weekend to either Rawmarsh Baths, in the winter, or Rotherham Assembly Rooms.
I am sure you are really not interested in my memories, but I really did want to thank you so much for sharing yours. It is so lovely to hear the stories of life from the other side of the counter, so to speak. My first job, when I was about 14, was working for Miss Holroyd, who had a wonderful haberdashery shop, all polished mahogany and glass cases, across from the Post Office in Rawmarsh. I loved working for her (it was only a Saturday job) and remember saving my wages to buy one of those new fangled radios - a black plastic cased transistor radio, which I had for many years! I bought it from Denhams in Parkgate.
I now live in Scotland, coming here via Staffordshire and Cheshire, having married a welshman who happened to come from the same village as my father.
Kindest regards - Phyllis Elias
The second email from Phyllis contained these photographs:
Phyllis added -
Since I last was in touch with you I have been trawling through my memories and photos, and recalling happy days spent in the Brownies and Guides at St Mary's Rawmarsh. Mrs Sykes was our Guider, and what a busy lady she was - and always a warm welcome if ever I called to see her. I have also found some old photos of us all going to Guide Camp at Legbourne Abbey, near Louth, Lincs. I think it would have been about 1952. It rained and rained, but the smiles and happy times didn't seem to dampen our spirits. You will see from the photos that we slept in bell tents, in a big circle, feet to the central pole, and the abiding memory I have of that is of what seemed to be hundreds of baby frogs which invaded every place you didn't want to see them. Namely, our sleeping bags!
Mrs Sykes' son, David, was always with us on those trips, and I think he got more than his share of teasing for it. I recall a couple of names from those days, Pat Vickers being one. She was a friend of mine as I recall. Once we moved to Park Gate, and I went off to Oakwood to School, I lost touch with everyone but have obviously always held on to the photos. I do hope they may be of some use to you, but please remember the originals are tiny 1½ x 1½" prints!
As a more personal update, I have very recently had a reunion with another friend from those days, and it is great to share and compare the courses our lives took, full circle to back together after over 50 years. If anyone can identify anyone on these photos I would be so happy to know them. Whilst the faces are very familiar, I just cannot place the names.
If anyone wants to get in touch with me regarding anything on this site please please contact me at -
hilary.jcksn "followed by" @googlemail.com and if anyone objects to anything being included on any page, or if you spot any errors/assumptions made, please also let me know.
Updated 23 April 2008 (not yet completed)