Hard Life In The 1930s

A Memory of Boston

I used to see some poor wretched people tramping the roads when I was a kid. I remember one particular man, news went quickly round that a tramp was on his way up Skirbeck Quarter. As kids we would stand at the top of Pulvertoft Lane to gaze at them as they walked by. This man was wearing two shoe boxes tied with string, he was shuffeling along making a scraping noise with each step; his clothes looked as though he had been mauled with a lion.
We would watch the Gypsy caravans go by, making a musical sound as their tin pots clanged against each other, what was fastened at the side of the caravan. They mostly had a young horse tied to the back of the caravan clip clobbing along - it was a wonderful sound. They would spend a few day's in the Nelson field. I remember one Gypsy woman, she said "fetch a bread loaf for me and I will give you a penny". I fetched the loaf, she gave me the penny, I went home and washed it.
Another chap called Braihem would come round the streets shouting as loud as he could "Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits".
To get some money, we would take skins to Roger Tuddenhams in Whitehorse Lane
he would pay a penny--twopence--threepence, depending what condition they where in.

A memory shared by Bob Marriott , on Dec 18th, 2012.

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