HAPPY GATEACRE MEMORIES - Part 1
by Carole Frayne (née Wilkinson)
My family moved into Gateacre - a prefab at 4 Lineside Road - in 1947. Almost every memory of life in Gateacre, like buying homemade lollies in the shop on Gateacre Brow and taking rags to Cleggs, was a happy one - though I remember a girl by the name of Hazel Forshaw nearly drowning in a frozen pond.
Every Tuesday my Mum would go to the Elder Dempster buildings in town for her allotment (my Dad was in the Merchant Navy) and we had to walk to the top of Gateacre Brow for the bus. I remember standing there and being frightened by the nuns with their winged headwear! As my Mum was paid on a Tuesday, it was 'borrowing time' in our house until Friday when most of the other Dads were paid. What I remember is "Maisie can you lend me five bob till Friday?". The answer was always yes, because we were all so happy and contented together. Nobody had anything more than anyone else.
I remember going to school, and Mr Quayle the headmaster doffing his hat at the Mums as he passed on his bike. The morning prayers were segregated: the Protestants had prayers, the Catholics read comics. I could never understand why! After one Christmas holiday we returned to school and the poor pet rabbits had frozen to death. We were all heartbroken. I was Elizabeth the First in the school pageant, and dressed up as a Chinese girl for May Day.
(To be continued)