My Grandfathers Memories Of Ledbury As A Boy - a Memory of Ledbury.
My grandfather, Percy Sturge was born in Ledbury in 1896 and here are some of his memories he related to me when he was in his 90's.
His mother, Annie, had lived by the Brewery Inn and one granny lived in Puddlinghams Yard (All Saints), another lived down by the bridge. One day one of his grannies came home carrying a faggot of hops on her head.
Several brothers lived by The White Hart and one worked at the Talbot Inn. Grandfather and his parents lived in Bye Street and his mother took him to see the celebrations at the Relief of Mafeking during the Boer War in 1900.
His great-grandfather was a master shoemaker who wore silver buckles on his shoes. He had the chance to buy Ledbury for £25 [unfortunately he didn't].
Percy used to watched the magic lantern shows at the Market House in Ledbury, which was put on by the Band of Hope and he loved to play Fox & Hounds on a moonlit night.
To get money for the October Fair, he went hop-picking & blackberrying and walked to Little Marcle and Much Marcle delivering 2-3 dozen Sunday newspapers starting at 4.30 in the morning.
Percy went to Church Lane Infants School, Homend, Ledbury until he was 11 years old. His teacher was Miss Cale and he was often late because he listened to Ledbury Church bells whilst sat on the step. They played 3 hymns every 3 hours, his favourite was 'There is a Green Hill Far Away'. After leaving the infant school he attended Granville Road School and left at the age of 14 years.
He worked at Bitchleys keeping the irons hot for 6/6d. Then at Bobby Precy's as a painter driving a horse and cart at 6 o'clock in the morning. He made bottles at the Pop factory and also worked at Holloway & Webbs, Tent & Sailmakers, pedalling backwards to make sheets from tarpaulin for farm carts, which were 13ft by 5ft, and hop pockets that were 7ft by 9ft.
Percy remembered that Bill Bachelor led the Ledbury Hounds as the First Whip and they drank the Stirrup Cup outside The Feathers Hotel.
Milk was collected in a churn and cost 1/2 to 1 old pence a pint.
A loaf of bread cost 5 old pence & a Cottage loaf 2 1/2 old pence. His mother bought 13 loaves of bread a week for 1/3 of a farthing each and they lasted a week. She took some of their meals to be cooked in the baker's oven after the baker had finished his daily baking.
2 Woodbine cigarettes cost 1/2 old pence, 5 cost 1 old pence.
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