Back A Bit To Silver End

A Memory of Brierley Hill

I suppose I'm cheating but I can go back a good way further than the 1900s because my memories are mainly my mother's and she was born in 1904 and lived in South Street. She used to share her memories with me like playing tin can lurky at the bottom of the Baptist chapel wall opposite her house. Her father was a barber and had his shop in the one front room of the double fronted house. She and her sister Violet would have to sit up late waiting for the men to come out of the pub and they came in for a shave. Mom and aunty would have to lather them ready for her dad to shave them. Later on my Aunty Vi had her own barber's shop at Harts Hill close to George Lovatts shop the heaviest man in Brierley Hill. They had to take the shop window out when he died, his body wouldn't go through the door. He's buried in St. Michael's Churchyard. Her grandfather had died the year she was born. He'd lived at his Pottery in Silver Street, Silver End and he'd inherited it from his father in law John Jeavons who in turn had inherited it from his father in law John Barnbrook and that goes back to 1760 when George III came to the throne. Mom went to Mill Street School and her teacher was Miss Parnell and Irish (also buried in St.Michael's Churchyard) who was a bit of a tarter and went bright red when her dander was up. Mom was good at sewing and the headmistress used to get her to knit her stockings for her in her own private room. For another teacher she embroidered the collar of an Australian soldier of WWI. On armistice day she was 14 and was in Dudley and a soldier picked her up and swung her around with joy. She remembered the Police horses stabled in Derry Street. Before the Gasometer was built in the Delph there was a field where someone kept ducks and she pushed her friend Georgie Tennant into some stinging nettles to get them first. To shut him up she had to give him half.

A memory shared by Constance Smith , on Aug 18th, 2013.

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