The stoops were certainly the hottest place to be on a Sunday afternoon when the papers came out. The jangling women with their red arms folded, frequently with an infant at breast, seemed to enjoy the relaxation that this pastime afforded them. I simply sat on the step and fondled my big cat 'Bobbsey'. Indeed, the back entries, the warrens of Wavertree, were, as well as being hives of gossip, the social meeting place of the wretched unemployed, the weary women and snot-nosed kids. I think back to the neighbours of the entry often. I regarded the closed shop of our entry as a security against the dangers of the outside world. In fact the only back-alley visitors allowed through were the 'good ole rag and bone man' and the Mary-Ellen fishwives. Occasionally Big Paddy [the policeman] would tear through on his huge Indian motorbike, but even he chose his times.
I loved the entry get-togethers and it was a happy feeling to see everyone laughing and hear them guffawing for a short while. It was especially comical when Ma Adams let out the goat which she kept in her tiny back yard. We laughed even harder when Big Paddy asked for her licence, and she responded by throwing a bottle of red biddy at him. All of the neighbours of our side of the entry, the Dolmans, Helsbys, Renshaws, Gregorys, Goulds, Branigans, Corniss, Jarvis, Cartys, Draycotts, Aspinalls, Hudsons and Gooles, joined forces with the Parkers, Adams, Andersons, Shipleys, Halliwells, Palins, and Rigbys from the opposite side. They illuminated not only the dreary alley, but also my young life.
PEGGY KIRK (née Draycott)
of Victoria, B.C., Canada -
born 1921 at 27 Abyssinia
(Note: LONOA = Liberty, Oak, Nebo, Ono and Abyssinia Streets,
off Wellington Road, Wavertree)