We moved to Bromley Cross about 1947 just before my sister Virginia was born, it was a lovely new prefab, but I don't remember much about the inside of it apart from the wood-burning stove, that sticks in my mind for some reason. When it was thundering and lightning Mum would sit with us children on the back step and we would watch as the lightning snaked through the sky. A couple of years later they started to build new houses across the road and my Mum knew the councillor Mr Dart, I think he asked her which one she would like and she told him the one on the corner. That is how we came to live at 32 Windsor Rd.
In those days no-one had central heating, so in the winter it was very cold and we used to sit round the fire which my Dad used to light with scrunched up newspapers and firelighters. The fire heated the hot water for our baths. Mum had green fingers as far as gardening was concerned, she loved her garden and always kept it immaculate. She was always dragging Dad away from his cricket to mow the lawn. Dad smoked a pipe and his tobacco was Old Holborn, it left a lingering smell and I loved it. He worked at the bleach works at Bradshaw with his dad and a couple of brothers, when I left school at aged 15 yrs I worked there for a couple of months but Mum was plotting something better for me. One day she said 'We are going to the telephone exchange for you to have an interview to become a telephonist', I had no say in the matter!! I went for 6 weeks training in Manchester Key Street, then I worked at Eagley telephone exchange for a number of years.
Us children when we were young played outside most of the time, we had seasons for things like top and whip, marbles, hop scotch, roller skating or just batting a ball. We would go fishing and bring home frog-spawn in jam jars, lean over the side of the reservoir near Hamers farm.
We had to get the school bus to Darwin every day till aged 13yrs when Turton opened, what a difference to walk to school and take only 5 mins. When I was 15yrs I was chosen as Bromley Cross British Legion Rose Queen. I remember being petrified of the speech I had to give, but I did and it was a wonderful day.
My memories of growing up in Bromley Cross are as fresh as if I was still playing hide and seek (in the ruins that is now The Last Drop). I recently had a nostalgia trip back and was surprised to see a few people I remember from the old days and a couple of them are in their 90s.
A memory shared byon Jun 29th, 2008.
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