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tonydw

My Liverpool of Yester-year

It is amazing how far we have come in the last 82 years.
Many of us once lived in city residential areas. Some in houses with just two bedrooms upstairs and two living rooms downstairs, many of the homes had gas-lighting, no bathroom with the toilet in the backyard, and a tin bath hanging from a nail on the back-yard wall

Before the advent of the ‘pill’ families were usually much bigger, some with as many as six, or seven kids, so sleeping arrangements were usually one in all in, kids packed in beds like sardines in a Can, head to foot.
Money was certainly scarce, for the average single wage family, and it wasn’t unusual to put coats on the bed to supplement the blankets. A chamber-pot or bucket on the landing was the norm for most families.

The end of the Second World War wasn’t the end of poverty but living became a little easier with the introduction of hire-purchase.
Not hire purchase on a massive scale. Initially, it was introduced by stores such as Freeman’s and Sturler’s from whom you could request a ‘Cheque,' usually a set amount to purchase a particular item or items from their store.
They would organize collector to come to your house each week to collect a repayment.
These collectors were known colloquially as the ‘Jew-man,' not in a derogatory way and had nothing to do with the religious denomination and more to do with the generosity of the store owners. They brought comfort to post-war Liverpool.

Wartime rationing was still in effect right up until 1952 when sugar and sweets came off the ration.
By this time the kids born in the 1930’s were leaving school and entering the workforce, and they were expected to help their parents by paying a small amount for board & keep.
It was the done thing and gave households just that little bit of extra income.

Householders used the extra cash on home improvements.
The old cast iron grates and fireplaces in living rooms were replaced with swish art-deco tiled fireplaces.
The old living room was now the family room, and the kitchen became the back-kitchen.
It was commonplace to refer to the kitchen as, ‘the back-kitchen.’
It was not because houses had two kitchens the black-grated living room was the kitchen in prewar days, but now those grates were gone.
Homes, mostly rented, were receiving a facelift, new paint and wallpaper became almost an annual event.

Changes were also taking place amongst the young people; they were becoming more fashion conscious and in the early 50’s ‘Teddy-Boys, and Teddy Girls so called because of their Edwardian dress were becoming obvious.
Young men were buying tailor made suits with the long slightly flared jackets with narrow lapels. The coat was buttoned down the front with four or five buttons and matched with tapered trouser legs without turn-ups.
Many of these tailor-made suits cost as much as £20,  
Considering an ordinary, off the hook suite, cost only about £5 the following of fashion was quite an expensive proposition. Those young men who paid the price looked dapper in their Edwardian, tailor-made suits that cost a pretty penny - the times they were a-changing.

Soon families, boy- friends and girl- friends were going to the theatre, especially the Empire; usually to see the latest pop idols such as Guy Mitchell, Connie Frances, Johnny Ray or the very popular Frankie Laine.
Many young people would hang around the Record Department of Lewis’s,
asking the girl behind the counter to play their favourite song or singer.
Country singer Hank Williams senior was my #1 choice; I still enjoy his old songs; real crying in your beer music; however, my musical taste is now more eclectic. I even enjoy the classics.

I along with two pals and our girlfriends went to see a play at the Playhouse Theater.
It was a new experience and the beginning of the Liverpool Renaissance, and the city is still evolving. Young people are better educated, and they are more aware of the niceties available.

My first cousin, Sir Joe is at the forefront of Liverpool's’ regeneration he is the great uncle of many, and I am extremely proud of Sir Joe and our branch of the family tree.  
For almost 60 years (next year) my home has been Australia, but I will forever be a scouse whose mind wanders back to those halcyon days in ‘my Liverpool’.
MOJO1

Nice sentiments expressed there, Tony!
                                                         I'm sure many, even much younger people, are aware to some degree, at least, of the conditions that existed, in years gone by! Though many are incredulous, there's also some fascination with the normal day-to-day existence of your average person, in a place like Liverpool!
                               As for "sir Joe" I'm assuming you mean Joe Anderson? if so, I think he's doing a fantastic job of revitalising the city, though he's come in for much criticism along the way! I think it would be a difficult job for anyone, but there's evidence to support the fact that he's doing somethings right!! Smile
tonydw

MOJO1 wrote:
Nice sentiments expressed there, Tony!
                                                         I'm sure many, even much younger people, are aware to some degree, at least, of the conditions that existed, in years gone by! Though many are incredulous, there's also some fascination with the normal day-to-day existence of your average person, in a place like Liverpool!
                               As for "sir Joe" I'm assuming you mean Joe Anderson? if so, I think he's doing a fantastic job of revitalising the city, though he's come in for much criticism along the way! I think it would be a difficult job for anyone, but there's evidence to support the fact that he's doing somethings right!! Smile

Quite true, you cannot please everyone all of the time, at least Sir Joe got the ideas and acted on them so it was a start.
He did a wonderful job on Lime Street Station and Kings Dock plus the graces. Yes he came from Kirkby, second generation, English name, O'Anderson... a real healthy Irish name, the family dropped the 'O' on their arrival in Liverpool.
Barbie

Hi Tony, nice to see you back.

Yes, memories. I was born 1962 in our posh parlour in Anfield. I lived there until almost my 11th birthday. By then it was 1973 and we still had no bathroom, no inside toilet, no hot tap in the kitchen and that said parlour was a cover for what the rest of the house was really like.
The house had 3 bedrooms, parlour backroom and the kitchen. The kitchen was like the Niagra Falls in that the wet run down the walls. The house was freezing cold in the winter, the windows iced up inside. I personally suffered from bad chest infections constantly. The bedroom i shared with my two sisters was mouldy. My toys went mouldy. Sad

I however saw none of this, it's only as an adult I think, like errrr....jeez!! I just loved my life out in the street, playing with my friends. We played tick, May I? and hopscotch etc etc.....We burst tar bubbles and made our own lemonade from sherbert and water. We ate jam butties and sugar butties and threw the crusts to the pigeons. We made our own perfume from rose petals and water and dabbed it onto ourselves and our dolls. I loved my school. I cried the day it was all over and we had to move onto the big school (where I never settled and played truant most of the time)
Dad spent many a happy hour with me, we shared a love of wrestling, snooker, car rallying and loved to play draughts and cards with each other. He taught me card tricks and showed me the best way to win a game of draughts. I won a lot of sweets and ollys off my mates!!!  Laughing The internet wasn't in existence. No XBox, no pokemon Go. Just our imaginations.

There were no mod cons. No vacuum cleaner, well, with no carpets we didn't need one i guess. No washing machine, fridge freezer, microwave and the black and white t.v. had a metre on the side which if the money ran out, you didn't get to see the end of your programme because of course......no recorder! No catch up service.

Shoes with holes in the soles, hand me down clothes from older siblings and the neighbour's older kids, it was great when I got something brand new to wear. Of course as a kid, I didn't realise these things came on the never never. A Sturler cheque usually. Or maybe a Provident cheque. Christmas presents were few and far between and what i did get often came from the Embassy cigarettes catalogue. So, bearing in  mind ciggies helped finish off my beloved father I feel guilty for that, just a tad.

The good old days.......rose tinted glasses more like!
tonydw

Reply to Barbara.
1962, I was an Australian citizen then, but still call Liverpool home.
Most Liverpudlians suffered the pangs of poverty but, hey! We're past that now -we developed  a strong sense of humour and that's a scouses birthright, even in this day and age.
Scouses just laugh their worries away! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBhhAV4XKLU
Barbie

As I said Tony, I was oblivious to the poverty. Just a kid and those days designer clothes and shoes meant nothing to any of us round our way. So, you were the same as the rest of them.

I made dam sure life was different for my kids though. They never wanted for anything however, I taught them that you cannot just get what you want when you want. They learned that if you want something then you work for it. Earned it. Neither have been on the dole (not having a go at people on the dole, I've been there and was glad, grateful,  for it) they went to school getting 100% attendance most years, went to college, then both went to uni. I may have had a hand in that but they were the ones who did the work, had the enthusiasm and dedication. For that i am proud of them both.

and me....well, I will carry on cleaning and doing kitchen work 12 hours a day for a pittance...I was brought up to believe women didn't need to learn because I was going to be a housewife and mother anyway.....ppfffftttttt. And to think I wanted to be an actress.... Rolling Eyes
Maybe being a drama queen counts for something....  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

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