Barbara Brian. I loved reading your memories of Montague Terrace and I thank you for them. Were you the young Miss Andrews that rode that posh bicycle and lived behind the shop and did your dad at times teach tap dancing in the shop store that had large placards built against it? I remember Mr Andrews very well, a little man that wore a sports jacket, cap and glasses. I may have the wrong Miss Andrews, I hope it's you.
First may I tell you who I am and perhaps you may remember little Freddie Cannock from number 2, whose father kept his little car in your father's yard just by the old mill. My father has only just died at over a hundred.
We moved into number 2 in about 1932. At that time Mr Andrews was the first shop on the corner at Riverside, then Baker's the milk shop who had just moved in, then Mr Punker the butcher with his two sons and a daughter, next the Miss Malpus and two sisters in grocery and then Mr and Mrs Richardson also grocery. We then came to the post office and I believe a Mr Marsh. The next shop was up Spring Lane that in turn was a fish and chip shop I believe and then for a long time a bicycle repair shop and later during the war had a petrol pump. On then to the corner with the Co-op, across the road dear Mrs Turner and Miss Humby (later I delivered newspapers for them), it was then Mr Mullock the shoe repair man and then Mr Gibson, a very kind man that always gave us kids sweets if we shopped there.
Now for the school in Church Road. When I started in 1933 the seniors were about to leave so the teachers that you mention I cannot remember but those I do were: Miss Hawkins, Street, Bates, Moore (head of infants and a lovely kind lady), we then had a Miss Pike and then Mr Waterhouse then in 1939 the war began and the boys and girls were separated and sent to Eastleigh.
I too bathed in the rivers of Bishopstoke in those long summer days when we would take a jam sandwich and a bottle containing water and lemonade powder to the meadows and when the bottle was empty we drank from the river (I can still taste it). We played at night under the gas light outside your dad's shop, Elsie White and her sister Joyce, Joan Williams and my friend Bob and all the other kids from Montague Terrace until our mothers would call our names and it was time for bed.
Let me describe the interior of number 2. The front door with its blistered green paint and a letter box minus its flap and if you put your finger in you felt a string, give it a pull and you were in. A narrow passage with a door to your right into the front room only to be used at Christmas when the fire was lit and for the first hour a strong smell of damp to be superseded by the smell of oranges and spices. At the foot of the stairs another door to the right led into the kitchen and our main living room. It was in there that we ate by gaslight warmed by the little heat from the coal stove with the oven. We would sit on hard chairs all evening around this little fire burning our fronts and freezing on our backs whilst sprats sizzled in the pan and at other times there was winkles for tea. Down one step and you were into the scullery a dark and dismal place. There was no light down there so at night we kept the kitchen door open with the aid of a flat iron. There was only one water tap in the house and it was there in the corner with a very primitive shallow sink where we did the pots, pans and dishes and also washed ourselves. Our bathing facilities hung on a wall in the back yard. There were three bedrooms up stairs each with it's own little fire only to be lit if Doctor Symons was coming.
So many more memories and little space to record them. Please can I go back for just one day to laugh again with the kids of Montague Terrace. Thankyou.
A memory shared byon Jun 22nd, 2008.
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